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We reveal NZ’s Most Reputable Organisations

In this issue:


Reputation is everything Air NZ wins with people focus Bonuses are back p8 The power of your brand p42 Feltex’s threadbare governance p63 Deloitte/ Management Magazine


Air NZ’s CEO Rob Fyfe with engineer Stuart Rentoul.

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TOP 2OO A Bold Spirit

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By working to align resources with strategy, we helped  GlaxoSmithKline achieve 30 per cent revenue growth across Northern Europe After Unilever acquired Best Foods, we helped successfully blend two very different cultures. The result? Double the number of high-potential applicants at the newly established Foodsolutions Costly staff turnover at Areva Resources dropped by 58 per cent following our leadership initiatives Our work on Compass Group’s employee survey program delivered insights that raised performance across 36 territories and delivered 34 per cent profit growth Hay Group made these things happen because we know what works. We’ve worked with many of the world’s best and most admired organisations around the world. And for almost seventy years, we’ve amassed insights about businesses and their people. Millions of people. In thousands of businesses. Hay Group in New Zealand can be contacted on 09 921 5900 or email For more information go to:

NZ’s Most Reputable Organisations

Reputation is everything In New Zealand’s first major peer review of reputation, NZ Management magazine and global business consultancy Hay Group reveal our Most Reputable Organisations. Reg Birchfield analyses the insights that emerged.


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eputation can be a forgetful and unforgiving companion. Abuse it and chances are it will bite back. Leave it unattended and suddenly it has gone. Pay attention to it, and few marketplace strategies deliver so profoundly. Air New Zealand, NZ Management magazine’s first Most Reputable Organisation, is living proof of how a good reputation can create a Kiwi icon. And similarly honoured in the study are Kiwibank, named our Most Reputable State Owned Enterprise; New Zealand Police, voted as New Zealand Most Reputable Government Department; and The Salvation Army, declared our Most Reputable NotFor-Profit Organisation. The value of a good reputation has, in the past year or so, become more apparent and shot to the top of the strategy agenda of many organisations. Many that attempt to cultivate a reputation will fail, because at leadership level they don’t understand the commitment required to build an honest reputation. In today’s interconnected world, the most painstakingly designed and manufactured reputation can blow out in an instant. BP, for instance, invested billions of dollars telling everyone that, when it came to safety and environmental considerations, it would stake its reputation on being the “most trustworthy” energy company around. Its reputation now looks like an empty well. So, what, in New Zealand, identifies a

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reputable organisation? What management and leadership insights does a peer review of this scale and scope reveal? NZ Management and Hay Group combined forces to find out. Every year in the United States, Hay Group helps Fortune magazine identify what it calls, The World’s Most Admired Companies. Last year, the consultancy started something similar with BRW magazine and generated Australia’s Most Respected Companies List. Given NZ Management’s wider readership and the idiosyncrasies of New Zealand’s small and public sectorimpacted economy, the researchers opted to seek opinions on more than just our companies. Directors and managers across the economy were asked to rate the reputational performance of our companies, state-owned enterprises, government departments and not-forprofit organisations. They were then asked to nominate one organisation, across all categories, that they considered New Zealand’s most reputable. Air New Zealand flew in. An overwhelmingly high percentage of respondents chose our national airline. Its high profile and sometimes inspirational management and leadership performance over the past two or three difficult years deserved to be acknowledged, said the respondents. And so it is, in this inaugural issue of New Zealand’s Most Reputable Organisations. The research provides fascinating

management, leadership and performance insights which are made all the more relevant, says Hay Group New Zealand’s chief executive, Ian MacRae, by the “outstanding” response to the survey. “The response rate was dramatically higher both in quantitative and qualitative terms than we have achieved in other countries, particularly in start-up year,” he says. “More than 70 percent of respondents were chairs, directors, CEOs, general managers or partners. The remaining 30 percent were senior managers, managers or similar level leaders. Given the response, we are confident that the findings are robust and reflect what leaders across the economy consider are reputational criteria relevant to today’s tricky market conditions,” he says. Given the enthusiastic response, the survey will be conducted every year, according to NZ Management’s publisher Toni Myers. “It will help us build a better understanding of what organisational reputation means and what it is built upon. We can then tell our readers what consistently resonates with directors and managers when they think about reputation,” she says. Despite the diversity of the organisations surveyed, our top level respondents were surprisingly consistent about what constitutes key reputation-defining characteristics. Strong and effective leadership is one in particular. These are difficult economic and social times, so

it is hardly surprising that the nation’s organisational leaders recognise the critical role strong leadership plays in delivering on survival, performance and success-focused strategies. It stood out as the highest-rated characteristic of Air New Zealand’s reputation, and featured as the secondhighest characteristic identified within Kiwibank and NZ Police, the country’s most reputable SOE and government department respectively. Air New Zealand has, said one respondent, “strong leadership from the top through to lower-level management”. And its “strong leadership is open and honest (providing) a high level of customer service, vision, communication and international recognition.” Its chief executive, Rob Fyfe, was frequently singled out by respondents for his unique and motivational leadership style. “He knows the business from the ground up, and has provided great internal and external leadership through what has been a difficult time to be in the airline business,” said another respondent.


ome-grown businesses dominated in the Most Reputable Company category. Air New Zealand, Fonterra, global engineering consultancy Beca, Fletcher Building and F&P Healthcare took out the top five places. Overseasowned multinationals did not rate. Air New Zealand also rated strongly

for being strategically innovative, having a clear and compelling vision and because respondents believe it contributes significantly to the wider community. “It is an organisation that puts New Zealand on the map and one which we can be proud of. Its CEO connects with wide stakeholder groups and represents New Zealand well in foreign markets,” said another respondent. Footing it globally earned reputational brownie points. Dairy industry giant Fonterra ranked second, mainly for its clear and compelling vision, its welldeveloped strategic plans and objectives and for its effective organisation structure which, perhaps, says something about how Kiwi leaders rate the global effectiveness of co-operatives. Fonterra was, said one respondent, New Zealand’s only true multinational “operating in a highly competitive and regulated environment, earning $1 in every $4 New Zealand earns from exports”. There was also a “sense of integrity in their approach to business”.


iwibank, the top rating SOE and New Zealand’s high-profile, homegrown bank earned the respect of at least one respondent for “taking the Australian-owned banks to task, challenging them” and thereby, “setting new industry rules”. It rated highly because it was “New Zealand-owned, innovative, trusted and fun”. Respondents felt Kiwibank was

Our Most Reputable... MOST REPUTABLE ORGANISATION Air New Zealand COMPANIES 1 Air New Zealand 2 Fonterra 3 Beca Group 4 Fletcher Building 5 Fisher & Paykel Healthcare SOEs 1 Kiwibank 2 NZ Post 3 Meridian Energy 4 Genesis Energy 5 Solid Energy GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS 1 NZ Police 2 Department of Conservation 3 Treasury 4 Inland Revenue Department 5 NZ Customs Service NOT-FOR-PROFIT 1 Salvation Army 2 Cancer Society of NZ 3 Plunket 4 Southern Cross Healthcare Group 5= Royal NZ Foundation for the Blind 5= National Heart Foundation of NZ 5= Royal NZ SPCA


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customer-focused, engaged with the community and was equipped with a clear vision of what it was established to do: “compete with the major banks and provide affordable banking services”. Kiwibank’s birth mother, NZ Post, is the nation’s second most reputable SOE. Its perceived effective organisation structure and contribution to the community rated highest. Its effective implementation of strategic plans and objectives, coupled with “strong financial management and performance” also captured attention. Energy companies filled the SOE category’s next three reputational placings. The ranking of Meridian Energy, Genesis Energy and Solid Energy probably says something about the nature of the state’s involvement in the New Zealand economy.


hen it came to ranking the reputations of New Zealand’s government departments, NZ Police out-gunned the competition. Not surprisingly, it scored highest for its contribution to the community. That attribute was, however, closely followed by perceptions of the department’s strong and effective leadership and its effective and appropriate operating model. It is doubtful whether a policing organisation would score as strongly in many other countries. More likely they would have a reputation for being corrupt, uncaring, excessively coercive or just plain incompetent. 28 | | SEPTEMBER 2010

Respondents considered NZ Police well led and managed under difficult circumstances. It shows “high integrity” and, despite being under-resourced in some areas, is generally “not corrupt” and “upholds the principles” of good policing. One respondent believes it “keeps us relatively safe and helps enhance all New Zealanders’ quality of life”. The Department of Conservation is New Zealand’s second most reputable government agency. It contributes to the community, has an effective and engaged workforce and, in the opinion of the survey respondents, has a welldeveloped strategic plan and objectives which it implements competently. It is, in summary, committed to preserving

and enhancing New Zealand’s natural environment which, obviously, now rates relatively highly with New Zealand’s organisational leaders. The next most highly rated agencies are Treasury and the Inland Revenue Department. Both are credited with being consistent in how they deliver customer promise and service. Treasury, said at least one respondent, gives “consistently high quality advice” while IRD is “innovative, efficient and well-respected globally”.


he Salvation Army leads the reputational charge as the country’s highest-ranking not-for-profit. It contributes positively to the New Zealand community. It does this through its

The Research... NZ Management magazine’s Most Reputable Organisations survey was conducted by Hay Group New Zealand. Hay Group is an international consulting organisation that conducts research worldwide to identify admired, respected and reputable enterprises in both the private and public sectors. The word reputation was chosen deliberately for this study. Because the survey covers more than just the corporate sector of the New Zealand economy, the researchers were keen to establish leaders in every sector based on perceived critical reputational indicators that were more broadly based than profit, return on investment or other strictly commercial criteria. The objective is to establish indicators on which peers value an organisation’s contribution to the New Zealand economy and community as a whole. Hay Group’s survey was sent to over 4000 senior executives and directors and received a highly credible seven percent response rate. Participants were asked to nominate organisations they believed were reputable and to rate them using 12 criteria ranging from having a clear and compelling vision to actively contributing to the wider New Zealand community.

effective organisation structure. And it consistently delivers on its customer promise and service. The Salvation Army is, as one respondent put it, “always there in times of need”. According to another it “works effectively and quietly, has widespread support, and does not get political”. The Cancer Society and Plunket are New Zealand’s next most reputable not-for-profits. The Cancer Society scored for its clear and compelling vision, strong stakeholder relationships and because, once again, it contributes to the wider community. Plunket scored similarly on its community involvement, clarity of vision and strong stakeholder relationships. It also got credit for the delivery of its customer promise and service. Southern Cross Healthcare ranked next and was, perhaps, a surprising inclusion in the most reputable not-for-profit category given that that it was up against stiff competition from the charitable sector. Respondents credited it equally highly for its clear and compelling vision, its effective organisation structure and for its strong stakeholder relationships. The work it does keeping its stakeholders well informed obviously pays dividends. It was credited with “providing a good service in a difficult sector. Sharp focus, competent management, consistent.” As another respondent put it, Southern Cross “actually invests money into making their product better”.


hile having a strong and effective leader featured most as an indicator of reputational ranking, organisations that contribute to the wider New Zealand community also ranked highly. This holds a message for businesses in particular that focus simply on satisfying shareholders first, second and always. The importance of organisational contribution to the wider community is uniquely New Zealand, according to Hay Group’s MacRae. “That characteristic does not rate as consistently in other countries,” he says. “This might, he adds, simply reflect New Zealand’s smallness. People can see the impact of an organisation on the community more clearly. Some organisations realise that their actions are more open to scrutiny and so they focus on community impacts.” There are, says MacRae, lessons to be learned from this finding. Organisations serious about enhancing their reputation in New Zealand need to think more carefully about their social responsibilities and community perceptions, he says.


he survey, according to MacRae, reinforces his consultancy’s increasing anecdotal evidence that more organisations are focusing on the strategies to address reputation building. “There is a heightened interest in the relevance of reputation and standing. Many more leaders are now talking about reputation. It is becoming a key element

in their organisational thinking.” This switch in focus is probably the result of recent global events. “People have seen reputations ruined almost overnight. They also see that organisations with strong and well-founded reputations have come through with their reputations intact,” says MacRae. “There is a realisation that perhaps a strong reputation helps organisations survive and succeed in difficult times.” The survey findings are generally consistent with similar reputational surveys Hay conducts around the world, says MacRae. A clear vision or view of an organisation’s future rates highly. But that view must be compelling and properly articulated by strong and effective leaders. A good reputation takes time and genuine commitment to build, he says. “Companies with established reputations understand that they must walk the talk. They understand the value of reputation, but also understand that it takes consistent effort to protect it. It is about building organisational trust and confidence.” But, he cautions, while many organisations are now focusing on reputation building, too few understand just what sort of commitment it takes to build and deliver on. “For those that do, like Air New Zealand’s Rob Fyfe, Kiwibank’s Sam Knowles, it can pay dividends and become a self-fulfilling prophecy,” says MacRae. M SEPTEMBER 2010

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Flying people

not planes Under Rob Fyfe's leadership, Air NZ's focus on its people has rapidly built a winning culture and earned it the accolade of New Zealand's inaugural Most Reputable Organisation. Reg Birchfield.


ven in a year when Air New Zealand received significant global recognition there is, says the airline’s chief executive Rob Fyfe, “no recognition more valuable than that from fellow New Zealanders”. Fyfe’s comment came in response to his company being named NZ Management’s Most Reputable Organisation, the first time the accolade has been awarded. “It’s humbling and immensely rewarding to be recognised by peer Kiwi businesses,” he added. Last year Fyfe picked up the Deloitte/ Management magazine Top 200 Executive of the Year Award. Now his company has been acknowledged as a leader in “an area that really matters to us”, he said. Air New Zealand was ranked as New Zealand Most Reputable Company with the added plaudit of being named the Most Reputable Organisation overall.

30 | | SEPTEMBER 2010

Fyfe is delighted because he thinks New Zealanders expect a lot of their national airline. “They are simultaneously our harshest critics and our most avid supporters,” he says. “To win this award means a lot to us.” Five years ago, when he took over as the airline’s CEO, he discarded words like “vision, mission and strategy” from the organisational lexicon. “We decided to centre our business around the authenticity of our people and their personalities,” he says. “Our business is about flying people, not planes. We have given our 11,500 people the opportunity and responsibility to be themselves and to engage with colleagues, customers and suppliers in a genuine and engaging Kiwi manner.” This philosophy now permeates everything the employees do and effectively shapes the company’s overall reputation in the marketplace. “It is a business advantage that can only be achieved

when you have a passionate and highly engaged workforce,” says Fyfe. “Trust is essential to the success of an airline,” he says. “More than 35,000 passengers get on our aircraft every day and put their safety in our hands. Our reputation, our integrity and our commitment to safety – these are the foundation stones of our business. The airline business is testament to how quickly businesses fail if they lose the trust of their customers.” Reputation is, says Fyfe, built at multiple levels. “Our passengers translate clean aircraft, our brand reputation and our customer service into signals of a business that pays attention to detail and cares about and listens to its customers. They also see it as a business that represents New Zealand on the world stage with pride, integrity and in an authentic Kiwi way.” At 42nd largest in the world, Air New Zealand is, Fyfe concedes, a tiny player in the global aviation market.

“Yet we win all sorts of awards including Airline of the Year and Best Passenger Service beating off far bigger rivals. This is because of our reputation for being innovative and nimble and having a team who go out of their way to help passengers.” Fyfe’s decision to focus on people and personality guides what is done at the airline and provides his most important success measure. “Rather than use policies and procedures to define the personality – we use stories and real-life experiences to bring this personality to life and to give our people guidelines and reference points,” he says. “Our stories bring to life simple concepts like: be yourself; welcome as a friend; can do; and share your New Zealand. These concepts guide our responses.” The result is, he says, that all Air New Zealand employees feel trusted, supported and empowered to be themselves. “Our industry is governed, for good reason, by the strictest rules and regulations. The sense of identity that sits alongside these rules sets us apart from many of our competitors. And it brings a genuine and relaxed Kiwi style to the way we do things they can’t even begin to match,” he adds. Fyfe also sees a direct link between reputation and shareholder value. “The airline industry has incredibly fine margins. Every passenger that chooses to fly with Air New Zealand rather than one of our competitors because of our reputation, is of great value to us.” A two to three percent increase in passenger demand as a result of reputational pull increases the company’s profit by 50 percent, he says. “And earlier this year our reputation brought us one of the biggest accolades in the industry – the Air Transport World magazine Airline of the Year Award. “These are the Oscars of the indus-

Rob Fyfe … The greatest intangible benefit of a winning reputation is the pull it has with people.

try and ATW Airline of the Year is probably the greatest compliment bestowed on Air New Zealand since its inception. The global publicity that emanates from an award like this further builds passenger preference, reputation and shareholder value.”

genuinely connected with the company, compared with 68.5 percent three years ago. Our reputation in the marketplace helps build staff culture and vice versa, and customer service levels correlate closely with the increased sense of engagement and connection.”

The airline business is testament to how quickly businesses fail if they lose the trust of their customers. The greatest intangible benefit of a winning reputation is the pull it has with people. “Our employees are connected with the company and what we stand for better than at any time since we started measuring employee engagement,” says Fyfe. “Today 88.9 percent of our staff feel

The other New Zealand organisations Fyfe rates highly are those that don’t feel intimidated by New Zealand’s small size and remoteness. “Those that believe in themselves, their ability to perform at world-class levels and which embrace their New Zealand identity as a source of advantage,” he adds. M SEPTEMBER 2010

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Fletcher Building JONATHAN LING, CEO

“Fletcher Building has been around in some shape or form for 101 years, and you can only build a business that survives that long if it is able to deal openly and honestly with its customers, suppliers, and staff. “We are here for the long term – hopefully another century at least – and having a strongly positive reputation in the wider community is good business and will help to ensure we do survive even in tough times. “Having a great reputation is part of what needs to be done to build a sustainable organisation – one that continues to evolve to meet the market.”

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare MICHAEL DANIELL, CEO

“We’re in the medical devices business, so our reputation is important for our business. Reputation is important to us, because we have a lot of stakeholders – the shareholders first and foremost. Also it’s important for consumers and staff, to be seen as a good quality business, especially as we’re looking to recruit and attract the best people. “Our strategies come naturally right from the founders more than 75 years ago. We are a company that goes out of its way to behave ethically and honestly – it’s part of our DNA, as opposed to being a conscious strategy. “Having a good reputation serves us well with shareholders, customers and staff.”


Beca Group



“Fonterra is really performing. We are growing export earnings, we are investing in New Zealand and about to deliver the second best ever payout to shareholders this year. We are delivering on our vision to take Kiwi farmers’ milk to the world, to maximise returns to them and New Zealand, and do it as sustainably as we can with scale and quality. “For us, reputation is vital. We are in the food business and our whole business is built on our reputation for quality, reliability and trustworthiness. “Over the past 18 months we have been through a thorough process with 300 of our employees to clarify and refresh our values. These values, ‘Co-operative Spirit’, and ‘Do What’s Right’, are at the core of everything we do, while ‘Challenging Boundaries’ and ‘Make It Happen’ promote innovative thinking and a basis for action.”

“Our reputation is crucial to our business. Engineering projects are often unique, large-scale and enduring with an inherent degree of risk. “It is imperative that clients feel confident that Beca’s planning, project management and technical advice can deliver the appropriate solutions not only in terms of functionality, but also with regard to safety, value and sustainability. “Beca’s reputation as a trusted adviser facilitates recruitment and retention of the best people in our field, attracts premium projects, helps us build long-term relationships with our key clients and helped insure us against the latest recession.”


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Kiwibank steals a march


n reflection, Kiwibank’s arrival on the New Zealand financial ser vices scene could not have been more exquisitely timed. Its outstanding performance in NZ Management’s first Most Reputable Organisation survey is, given banking industry events since 2008, therefore hardly surprising. As the judges said at last year’s Deloitte/Management magazine Top 200 Awards in which the bank was an award finalist: “Kiwibank has stolen a march on the established trading banks that have for so long dominated the New Zealand financial sector.” But, as the bank’s successful and soon-to-leave chief executive Sam Knowles said in response to learning of Kiwibank’s ranking as New Zealand Most Reputable SOE: “Our strong reputation has been built on trust. “We have not over-promised and

we have delivered on what we have said,” he added. “We have challenged the established banks and made a difference. That is what we said we would do.” The survey respondents, it seems, agree. They rated the bank first for its “clear and compelling vision” and almost as strongly for its consistent delivery of customer promise and service and its strong and effective leadership. Reputation is, says Knowles, critical in a competitive market which the banking sector unquestionably is, the fiasco of the past couple of years notwithstanding. In his opinion, the bank has quickly established a “reputation for delivering on promises, being fair and being known for innovation which all helps differenti-

encourages customers to consider their options and make critical decisions on which bank is right for them. Consequently, Kiwibank continues to attract more than 1500 new customers a week,” he boasts. “Perception can be intangible, but public perception of the bank as honourable, honest and trustworthy is solid gold.”

Reputation and trust are inseparable. – CEO Sam Knowles ate Kiwibank from its competitors”. According to Knowles, innovation drives the bank’s strategic approach. “Innovation is critical,” he says “whether it be through new products, new developments in IT or new ways to deliver service. Equally, focusing on our customers by always doing what we say we will and doing what is right, is critical.” Knowles rates reputation-building strategies among the organisation’s key measures for success. “Reputation and trust are locked together,” he adds. According to Knowles, a great reputation delivers tangible outcomes. “It drives competitive advantage and 34 | | SEPTEMBER 2010

Again, as the Top 200 judges observed last year when they ranked the bank a finalist in the Marsh Most Improved Performance Award: “Kiwibank is a homegrown success story. Its huge customer uptake and popularity is the result of its professional approach to offering the right services and the right price.” Acting professionally and delivering on what is promised apparently goes a long way to building an organisation’s reputation. The perception that Kiwibank has been doing that is, it seems, obvious to other business leaders, particularly those who responded to the survey. M


NZ Post Group

Solid Energy



“The New Zealand Post Group’s reputation delivers real benefits. We have some of New Zealand’s most-trusted brands including New Zealand Post itself, our PostShop retail network and Kiwibank. People readily relate to us and we are able to provide real value for our customers. A good reputation is also a key to attracting and retaining top-class people.”

“Solid Energy has come a long way in the last 10 years and part of that has been openly acknowledging that in the past we hadn’t always done the right thing in the way we carried out our mining activities. “We’ve spent a lot of time and effort addressing our environmental performance and our relationships with neighbours and other people in the communities.”

Genesis Energy

Meridian Energy



“The company’s reputation impacts its relationship with communities affected by our power station assets, our relationship with our many customers across New Zealand, with our local and international suppliers and with the many governmental organisations that we deal with. Reputation and standing in the community at large is impacted by everything we do.”

“I’m exceptionally proud of the culture the company has built over the years which is underpinned by a set of values we call the Meridian Way. This is a roadmap for our staff, how we achieve our vision to be a global reference company for renewable energy. “It has served us well from the very start and is a touchstone inspiration for the innovative team work that has made us successful.”



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Police walk the talk


t’s probably unsurprising that the New Zealand Police is New Zealand’s most respected government department. Our cops sometimes take a hammering in the media, but time and again they score well in public opinion surveys. Now they are highly rated by Kiwi leaders too. Commissioner Howard Broad is “delighted” with the top-shelf vote of confidence and thinks his peers respect his organisation’s mission “to ensure the community’s safety and security”. “They probably also understand the difficulty of our operating environment,” he adds. “I suspect they look at it and say: that’s tough.” Fronting up to and dealing with difficulties while simultaneously keeping an eye on the ball and delivering a service dayin and day-out, is a tall order for any chief executive and management team. “But that is what we do,” says Broad.

“You can’t take time out to just think about things and try something else. You have to be doing it, as you do it.” But Broad also thinks having, what he calls “skin in the game” builds ‘brand’ respect. “We are not just talkers,” he says. “Our staff own the business. They can end up with police officers getting shot or badly injured. We occupy a ringside seat on the country’s difficulties and we are part of it.” And finally, Broad thinks NZ Police has a clear but simple operating strategy. “We turn up when people call for help. We have coercive powers that we must deliver on, and at the same time show the community why we can be trusted to exercise these powers. The whole community policing thing is the counter-weight to the other coercive powers part of the organisation.” The survey’s respondents undoubtedly picked up on the department’s effective

we competent when we turn up? And, can we be trusted because of the nature of the services we deliver?” It is difficult to imagine many countries where a police force would enjoy a similar survey rating. Broad agrees. “New Zealand does have a trusted police force,” he says. “People have opinions about us and want to tell us how to do our job, but that is a good thing. That’s democracy. But they trust us even when they disagree about things we do.” The New Zealand police force scored highest for its contribution to New Zealand community and that, says Broad, is entirely understandable. “We encourage our staff to engage in the community. We don’t have a fortress mentality, like many police agencies around the world. We have a different view and encourage our people to get involved in all sorts of community stuff. “We are widely distributed and very

Having ‘skin in the game’ builds brand respect. – Commissioner Howard Broad operating model. “When I talk about the strategy of policing (to outside groups) the simplicity and the compelling nature of that strategy is clear and they invariably get it,” he adds. So why is such a high ranking in NZ Management’s survey so important to him? “There is nothing more important to us than our reputation. We can’t do anything without a good reputation,” he says. “Being considered reputable is important to us. Reputation is built on the quality of our service: Do we turn up? Are 36 | | SEPTEMBER 2010

visible. And we use technology to get our people out into the community, not as a way to pull back from being out there.” And when it comes to strong and effective leadership he says simply: “We’ve done some work over the last few years to build our leadership brand. Not just command leadership, but teaching a wider set of skills associated with effective leadership. “To see that reflected in a survey like this is very encouraging. It is also personally satisfying for me after five years in the job. For someone to come along unannounced with this kind of finding is very pleasing.” M



“I would like to think that we have a reputation for integrity, and for being free and frank with our advice. We are professional and committed to doing excellent work. Our lead role in improving public sector performance is taking on greater importance. The Government has high performance expectations of the Treasury, and we in turn are setting clear expectations for ourselves. ”


“Inland Revenue works in a very business-like way. We can and do measure productivity, and have lifted it each year for several years. “We have excellent relationships and high customer satisfaction level with the business community and a transparent, open tax policy process, as seen in the discussions leading to major tax changes.”

Department of Conservation

NZ Customs Service


“We hope this rating reflects the work we have done to build trust and confidence in the way we deliver our services. We work hard to tailor our services to the business interests of our stakeholders, whether they are in government, industry, or the public – and deliver to their needs while maintaining our protection and enforcement roles.”

“DOC works with over 4500 businesses every day – from small-time bee-keepers and kayak operators to the country’s biggest energy and tourism companies and I think the business community is starting to understand the wider value of the conservation work we do. We are looking after the very things that New Zealanders say they treasure most.”



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Sallies fight the good fight


eputation is not something the New Zealand Salvation Army sets out to engineer and market. “It is a by-product of our work,” says Commissioner Don Bell. Having said that, he accepts that having a good reputation is “critical” to the Army’s effectiveness, and he’s “humbled” by the recognition his peers have accorded his organisation. “Without the moral and financial support of the public, our corporate partners and various trusts and foundations the breadth and depth of our work would contract dramatically,” he adds. “Since the recession started in the first quarter of 2008, the number of families coming to us for emergency food alone has increased 55 percent to almost 29,000 families a year. Without that support a good many of these families would have faced hardships most of

us can’t fully comprehend. So we don’t take reputation for granted but its significance goes far beyond any dollar value that it might raise.” The Salvation Army’s mission statement – caring for people, transforming lives and reforming society – defines the organisation’s strategic objectives and the way in which it delivers on its promise and service to the community, particularly to society’s disadvantaged. “We work with New Zealanders in their darkest hours,” says Bell. “And everything we do is guided by the mission statement and our belief that we need to be there for people when they need us most.” The Army launched four mission goals in 2006, the success of which it is now evaluating. The goals called for

organisational management structure, with every section answering to a chief operating officer. That has been changed to a structure with a CEO (Bell), a chief operating officer and three ‘cabinet’ offices running the three divisions of business, programmes and personnel, who report to the COO,” Bell explains. “People relate better to this more structured format,” he adds. “We have also delegated the decision-making

We are highly structured and disciplined. – Commissioner Don Bell making “dynamic disciples”, increasing the Army’s membership, eradicating poverty and “becoming a streamlined and mission-focused” Army. “We have pretty well concluded that this is the core essence of the direction we are going and so we will re-launch these at the end of October,” says Bell. Survey respondents scored the Army highly for what they perceived as its effective organisation structure. And its structure is regularly reviewed to ensure that it continues to deliver on its service. “At one point we had a straight-line 38 | | SEPTEMBER 2010

down to the people who run each of our programmes.” Activity programmes, such as the Army’s addiction programme, have their own management board and governance structure, which in turn report back up to the cabinet. “Delivering on our mission is why we exist,” says Bell. “We are highly structured and disciplined and our goal is to serve suffering humanity. And we deliver on that.” NZ Management’s Most Reputable Organisation survey respondents seem to agree. M


Cancer Society of NZ




“Reputation equals trust. We rely on raising our own funds through events such as Relay For Life and Daffodil Day, as well as bequests, donations and through sponsorship. Without a sound reputation, we would not be so well supported by the people and businesses of New Zealand.”

“Plunket is, and has been for over a century, trusted to go into homes across New Zealand. We value very highly the trust that the families across New Zealand, of all cultures and walks of life, place in us, often when their lives are undergoing a huge shift.”

The National Heart Foundation of NZ

Southern Cross Healthcare Group



“Reputation is very dependent on internal culture – the way that we do things. We try to measure this through staff satisfaction surveys and exit interviews, to ensure that staff feel that their personal values and the way we do things is aligned.”


“As a charitable organisation, it is expected that we undertake our charitable activities in a professional and effective manner, and in this regard the SPCA excels. Our sincere and honest appeal to the public to support us, is received in the spirit in which it is asked.”

“Is [being] reputable important? It’s vital – we are talking about people’s health. Our members and customers have placed their trust in us – usually during a difficult time. We seek to repay this commitment by providing excellent value and service.”

NZ Foundation of the Blind SANDRA BUDD, CEO

“Reputation is an important part of building a solid and sustainable foundation; it keeps you front of mind for your target audience, and gives your stakeholders the confidence to trust you. A great reputation is invaluable to attracting and retaining great people.”


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Valuing People – Creating Value Full of inspiring case studies, people and ideas, the EEO Trust Work & Life Awards 2010 presentation dinner promises to be a lively and stimulating event celebrating New Zealand’s diverse workforce. Thursday 28th October 2010 Auckland War Memorial Museum Dome 6.30pm Registration Earlybird (until 30th September)


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Management Sept Most Reputable Organisations  
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Most reputable organisations