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NZ Organisations Shaken Out of Complacency

NEWS RELEASE

NZ Organisations Shaken Out of Complacency
Business Improvement Programmes on the Rise

AUCKLAND, 30 August 2001 - More New Zealand organisations than ever before have started business improvement programmes in the past year, with signs that Kiwi organisations have shaken off their previous complacency according to the latest research conducted by ACNielsen New Zealand.

Overall, 86% of New Zealand senior managers said they had initiated a business improvement programme, compared with 69% of senior managers in the UK. In the past year a huge 35% of New Zealand organisations surveyed have started to improve their businesses compared with only 16% in the United Kingdom.

The New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation initiated the research in partnership with ACNielsen. The research explored the current environment and identified issues facing senior managers amongst all sectors and regions in New Zealand.

“I’m very excited about the ACNielsen research findings,” said Sue Wright, Chief Executive, The NZ Business Excellence Foundation. "The complacency seen in New Zealand organisations as recently as five years ago is certainly no longer there,” added Wright.

The recent symposia, forums and media coverage of the challenge faced by New Zealand with its loss of international competitiveness appears to have had real impact. These include government and business forums such as ‘Competitive Auckland’ and conferences such as the recent ‘Catching the Knowledge Wave’ conference.

"Being good is no longer good enough, our organisations have to be better than similar organisations around the world. In that way we will lift the competitiveness of our nation," said Wright. “The challenge now will be in maximising the returns from initiating these programmes,” added Wright.

Over the past three years, and particularly over the past 12 months, organisations have mobilised to undertake business improvement initiatives. 68 percent of those surveyed have introduced a business improvement programme in the past three years, of which half began in the past year.

“The research found that not only is there a huge increase in the number of New Zealand organisations undertaking improvements, but they are occurring across all sectors and sizes of organisation”, said James Armstrong, Executive Director Customised Research ACNielsen New Zealand.

Previously, the size of an organisation has typically been a key factor driving business improvement initiatives, with the skew towards large organisations (over 250 employees) implementing improvement programmes. However, in the past year an equivalent number of SME’s (up to 50 employees) have initiated business improvement programmes.

"The messages are hitting home, with New Zealand undergoing a significant change programme”, said Wright.

“We’re seeing evidence of the three key phases of change management right before our very eyes. Firstly, awareness of the need to change, followed by people engaging in the need to change, and finally organisations taking action. That’s exactly what appears to be happening in our country", added Wright.

About the NZ Business Excellence Foundation
The New Zealand Business Excellence Foundation is a not for profit organisation focused on encouraging and supporting organisations attain business excellence. Wright is looking forward to working with organisations to ensure time and resource invested on improvements deliver maximum return.

About ACNielsen
ACNielsen, a company of VNU N.V., is the world’s leading market research firm, offering measurement and analysis of market place dynamics, consumer attitudes and behaviour, and new and traditional media in more than 100 countries. Clients include leading consumer product manufacturers and retailers, service firms, media and entertainment companies and the Internet community.

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Source: ACNielsen
Self completion questionnaire, 380 respondents representing NZ organisations, July 2001.

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