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News Worthy - 11 July 2008

News Worthy
Dr Richard Worth

11 July 2008 - No. 254

The future - our leaders

Don Jaine of Swann Group Limited has recently written a paper on the leadership market describing it as an emerging chasm in New Zealand.

He makes the point that leadership is core to New Zealand business, the economy and our future. The leadership talent pool available to New Zealand enterprises is shrinking rapidly. The trends show that attracting and retaining leadership talent will fast become an even greater challenge for New Zealand business.

* A significant proportion of the NZ labour market - the baby boomers (those born 1947-1965) - will retire over the next 15 years.

This group of prominent New Zealanders will increasingly step down from leadership roles or exit the labour market to become more lifestyle focused.

* There are less people in Generation X - those below the baby boomers - to look to for leadership succession. A very substantial leadership deficit of up to 40,000 people will hollow out the leadership capability of New Zealand business.

* Furthermore, leaders in Generation X are heading overseas in numbers exceeding 1500 per annum, taking their earning potential, qualifications and business acumen with them. There is a net migration loss of executive level talent each year - and there are not nearly enough people with the right experience coming through to replace this leadership deficit.

There is a fast emerging shortage of 35-50 year old educated and experienced people in the New Zealand economy, the very pool of people required to lead business as the baby boomer generation exits.

This potential leadership deficit of 40,000 means that, at the very least, there is a significant gap in numbers of these people with relevant experience compared to those in the 50-65 year age gap. Moreover, migrant figures will not fill the gap - because our migrants are not of the appropriate age, and for experience and cultural reasons are not quickly of value.

Improving ambulance services

The Order of St John is an amazing organisation with a history going back 900 years to the time of the Crusades when the blessed Gerard founded an order of hospitallers in Jerusalem.

The hospital has continued until today and is now an Ophthalmic hospital primarily tending to the eye diseases and injuries of the Palestinian population.

Closer to home the Order of St John provides the substantial bulk of ambulance services to the New Zealand community.

The Health Select Committee of Parliament has just released a report into ambulance services with a focus on double-crewing and funding ambulance activity. Those recommendations now await a Government response.

St John is a charity. In New Zealand it has 13,000 members, of whom 7,070 are volunteers. Of its 3,130 ambulance officers, 2,318 are volunteers.

Quite clearly the activities of the volunteers are critical to the discharge by St John of its functions. Across the New Zealand community many social services are only sustainable by dint of volunteer effort.

The world, differently Colin Murdoch 1929-2008

Politicians are never short of reading material and an interesting article appeared in the July/August 2008 edition of Idealog.

Colin Murdoch was a true Kiwi hero - the inventor of the disposable syringe, childproof cap and the tranquilliser gun. Like many inventors, he never got the fame and reward he deserved.

During a career spanning 50 years, Colin, a Timaru chemist, patented over 40 inventions and revolutionised medical and veterinary science.

His most famous world-changing invention for the wellbeing of mankind was the disposable plastic syringe.

When he first demonstrated his disposable syringe to the New Zealand Department of Health, officials declared it to be "too futuristic" and decided it would not be well received by doctors or patients. He persevered scraping together the funding to further develop and patent his syringe, and after a decade or so his plastic disposable syringes found global acceptance.

Today millions of disposable syringes are used throughout the world every day.

Quote of the Week

"Everybody has the right to choose the sunny side of life" - Sri Chinmoy

- Indian philosopher and teacher (1931-2007)

Dr Richard Worth
National Party MP


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