The only constant is change!


Tena Koutou


At a recent conference I was privileged to hear John Ryder (ex Ryman Healthcare) speak briefly.  During the delivery, he touched on a couple of concepts that resonated given the strategic direction we are taking at PF Olsen.  Therefore, I am shamelessly going to use a couple of these concepts in this commentary.


The only constant is change.  This is the only thing we can completely rely upon, and as a result to be successful we must evolve.  In 1986 and 1987, the NZX had 115 IPOs, of those only one remains (Michael Hill).  PF Olsen was established in 1971 and continues to be a dominant player in the asset management space with an enviable depth and spread of service offering across a broad geographic spread, to a wide range of clients.  Evolution for us does not mean a divergence from our core offering of high quality, customised professional services, but it does mean becoming more responsive to changing clients and client needs, having the agility to move quickly with changing technologies, and having the courage to act with integrity given our changing social and environmental leadership responsibilities.


In the NZ context, we are very fortunate to have the political landscape and the political leadership in Shane Jones that whilst supportive of our industry, is also challenging us to evolve.  We all understand the dilemma for politicians in knowing what to do but acknowledge that doing this might result in not being re-elected.  We understand the dilemma of personal preservation and personal advancement vs. concern for the environment and long term positive social outcomes.  So, it is very refreshing to have the unreserved commitment to our industry and our communities from both a minister, and a political coalition.  Therefore, evolution as a business and an industry is a must.  We must assist with reducing our carbon footprint, we must find an alternative to log fumigation, and we must accept that climate change will have an environmental impact that we have a social leadership role in mitigating.  Commentary in Australia suggests that an impending election will have increased focus on climate and social issues, which will in theory align more closely with NZ’s political direction and therefore create an improved environment and increased opportunity in our industry.


The point is change is constant.  We have a favourable political environment in NZ and hopefully soon in Australia.  The current commercial environment provides additional opportunities and it is up to us as a business and industry to become more agile and responsive to these, and other changes.


“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement.  Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable”.  William Pollard