Home' acuity : Acuity Sept 14 Contents In contrast, I find Kiwis pride
themselves on personally taking
responsibility for and solving problems.
Perhaps this is linked to the “decent
person” attribute discussed above.
Again these are really quite subtle
differences but ones leaders must
understand and allow for in training,
organisational culture and sometimes
call centre location.
If you or your clients are doing
substantial business on the other side
for the Tasman, whatever side that
is, make sure you have a “bilingual”
adviser or director keeping your
business strategy, marketing and
operations in tune with these
Yes, ANZACS, our similarities
are much greater than the subtle
differences. But it is an understanding
and mastery of the differences that can
be the key to achieving great success
and avoiding failure.
New Zealanders, who see themselves
as a “work hard, play hard” bunch,
when new to Terra Australis sometimes
wrongly view its inhabitants as lazy
and say they constantly “spend five
days planning for two”. Penalty rates,
perhaps linked to the concept of a “fair
go”, are higher in Australia.
Alternatively, I find Australians view
work-obsessed New Zealanders as sadly
lacking their (Australian) proper work-
life balance. Of course both countries
shut down for the Melbourne Cup and
the beach over summer.
For those Kiwis looking to lead
teams in Australia, I think the
biggest difference is getting people
to take personal responsibility and
ownership of a task. Perhaps this is
linked to conservatism, and the fear
of being the one to make a mistake or
“upset the apple cart”.
“I passed it on to another person (or
department)”, “I only said I would do
my best, I did not promise anything”,
or “the committee [or indeed anyone
else] will make the final decision” are
common phrases that I have come
across in Australia.
and understatement based, whereas in
New South Wales a more west coast US-
like “boldness” of capability and talent
Common to the ANZAC spirit there is
a definitive strong moral compass to
individuals and businesses down under,
but there is a subtle difference.
In Australia, there is a universal sense
of a “fair go” at all levels of sport, business,
media and society, and everyone is your
mate unless proven otherwise.
In New Zealand this moral compass
plays out slightly differently with
a strong “decent person” test of
individuals and corporates in both
private or public life.
In Australia, one can proudly be a bit
of a rogue, but still pass the fair go test.
In the land of the long white cloud
being a rogue threatens the “decent
Marketers need to understand
customer intent and know how to
maximise brand image and company
positioning for each moral compass.
And in negotiations or business dealings,
to transgress these principles in either
country puts success at risk, because
tolerance for deviation is limited.
“Common to the ANZAC spirit
there is a strong moral compass to
individuals and businesses down under,
but there is one subtle difference.”
PAUL M SOUTHWICK CA
is a founding Director of Map2 Pty Ltd, a trans-Tasman
consultancy specialising in counter-conventional value
creation. He was born in New Zealand but has been
based in Melbourne since 2002. Email Paul@Map2.co
just for the
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