NZ has ‘short man’ syndrome

September 6, 2012

How’s this for a diagnosis of what ails New Zealand?

New Zealand has the state equivalent of ‘short man’ syndrome – comparing ourselves to other countries often and regarding everything from Olympic medals to average house prices.

The default is to look over our shoulder to Australia and David Shearer keeps admiring Finland from afar, but Dr Robin Mann says we should have our sights firmly set on Singapore.

Mann says the Asian city-state has developed a culture of constant betterment that has improved its business performance immensely.

“Although a different environment it’s really about the leadership in Singapore.

“They have put in place a culture which is about trying to become better continually, year on year,” he says.

“It’s embedded from the school system to business.” . . .

How good could New Zealand be if we too had a culture which was about trying to become better continually, year on year in our schools, businesses and wider society?


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