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This CEO role is equivalent to getting an MBA on the job: NZTech chair

Divina Paredes | Oct. 17, 2014
"You can't work for any business and get this level of opportunity, whether it is in public service or the private sector," says Bennett Medary, on the NZTech CEO role that will be vacated end of this month

During this phase, NZTech worked with NZ Trade and Enterprise and with Cabinet ministers in offshore delegates that provided opportunities for Kiwi technology firms. There were also meetings with the venture capitalist community, and visits to universities and hi-tech companies like Google. "It was important to understand what the talent pool is like over there," says Medary.

NZTech also "reached more deeply" in the industry through start-ups and smaller members during this phase. The organisation worked with the education sector, particularly polytechs and universities, "collaborating better on helping people to become more work ready and more relevant" when they exit university, and helping parents "appreciate the opportunity that the technology sector offers".

"We now have more people on our board and membership that relate [to] something other than ICT vendors."

The third phase of the organisation, he says, is "where we need critical mass and develop anidea of a sustained collaboration with government and other parts of the economy.

"It will be around collaboration openly and in partnership with a number of stakeholders to design a program of impacts that represents outstanding business cases, in terms of accelerating the economic and social advance of New Zealand enabled by technology

"That is the end game."

He says NZTech is now at the stage where government is inviting business leaders to sit down and talk, and looking at "how to make that sustained collaboration real".

"But we also need to bring our industry together," he says. "We have by nature an industry full of independent, very clever and very creative people; that is part of our beauty and part of our strength. But it does make it more challenging to come together as an industry and understand what collectively makes sense and what we need to identify and what we need to resource that we can only do on a shared service.

"It is a bit like taxation, how does every single person put a little bit on the pot so we can have stuff done that we all want done but none of us do individually? How can we be smarter in aligning all of our individual efforts and capabilities so we have less replication, everyone running around trying to do the same thing, and a little bit of sharing? We will keep specific things that are unique and aggregate that up so we gain a composite understanding of the industry at large.

"By being strong together, we can be represent and understand and come to identify the most powerful things we can do that are beneficial to our country. Then government is keen to support an industry that knows where it is going, what it can offer and things to happen."


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