It was really rewarding last week to be inspired by the enthusiasm of people at the Tuesday Club. People are responding to the chance to get involved, which was exactly why we started the Tuesday Club. We will never go fast enough to keep everybody happy, but the challenge is to enable people to feel that they can contribute to something which is committed to making this a better place.
Over the past few weeks, I have been considering leadership, in its many forms. We have to work hard to build leadership up from the streets. It’s time for us to work with our democratic structures and insist that we are listened to. I read this in the Guardian about leadership:
Effective leadership, then, is not about what separates the leader from others. It is about what brings the leader together with group members and allows him or her to represent them. An effective leader is one who is seen to be one of us, to work for us and to achieve the things we value. That isn’t about being ordinary or typical. It is about being prototypical – of representing the values and the qualities that make our group distinctive.
In addition, effective leaders are not passive. They actively craft the group narrative and their own personal narrative to make the two mesh: they are skilled entrepreneurs of identity.
Therefore, this is about all of us. Not “them”. Us. Below you will read about collaborative work which led to a new product being created. The effective leadership referred to above is each one of us taking our place in transforming this City. We can’t all take on big things. However, everybody doing their bit is exactly what is needed. For too long we have been told by bureaucrats what they will let us do, and what we can’t. Well, it’s “up you” time.
When we have clarified what we want to get involved with to transform this City the Guardian said:
Moreover, we need competent governance to get us through, rather than insurgent incompetence to get our votes.
This week I will cover two examples of leadership from the streets. The first is a challenge to get “shovel ready” projects right. The second is how a new product was developed and the collaborative structure it took to create it, and how we need our economic development agency to step up.
Street leadership 1: Shovel ready projects.
So, with the commitment we have to street leadership, last week we started looking at what “shovel ready” projects could look like. It was great to hear Duncan Webb say that he had been advocating for resources for these projects in Christchurch. He reported that he had experienced push back from Ministers, and bureaucrats, who said the list supplied by Christchurch was not good. I would label them as “disappointing”. Or maybe “unimaginative”. Goodness knows how the list was arrived at.
Here is the list of projects proposed by CCC to Central Government.
- $92.7m of flood and environmental protection work along the Avon River corridor;
- $123m for drinking water improvements and prevention of backflow;
- $12.2m for a “smart city” technology programme.
- A boost for the $473m stadium;
- Safety work on Evans Pass and Dyers Pass in the Port Hills;
- Widening the bridge in Marshland Rd to four lanes;
- Improvements to Halswell Junction Rd;
- Guardrails on the Port Hills;
- Construction of the South Express and Nor ‘West Arc cycleway;
- The Stadium.
I can understand (1) and (9). The rest should be on CCC Asset Renewal programmes, or as is the case with (10) the funding is already in place. To widen the bridge on Marshland Road is just plain dumb. Guardrails on the Port Hills?
The Council also endorsed the following:
- A new $64m recreation centre and wellness precinct at the University of Canterbury,
- A film studio at Templeton,
- The Box 112 business development programme and
- Hotels at the new Te Pae convention centre being developed by Philip Carter’s Carter Group.
I can understand (1). I would support analysis for a film studio here, but why be so specific for just one site? Surely there is not just one option. I have no idea what Box 112 means and Philip Carter certainly does not need any Government support. We could have asked for a research project on how we can find some uses for Te Pae, aside from Conventions. Also, where’s the commitment to completing the Arts Centre? Surely that would come before anything else on this list.
We are inviting you, the readers of this column, to come up with genuine, job rich, shovel ready projects which will supply work for the thousands of people who will be unemployed in this City. Please send this to email@example.com. I will collate them and invite our political leaders to reconsider a list which might be slightly more acceptable to those who decide how to spend our money in Wellington. Then we can make a second attempt to get it right. Ideas this week please.
Street leadership 2: Private sector innovation which leads to new jobs
If ever my hopes were raised for the future it was when I read this article: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/the-little-ventilator-that-could
Read it and feel a warm glow of hope. Here was a clever man who had observed a potential problem. He also had an idea for a solution. He joined forces with a mate who had the skills he didn’t have. They attracted the attention of a guy who recognised that they were genuinely carving a new path and he linked them up with two venture capitalists. Then they all worked together to produce a new product which probably needs more work but they are on the way.
What brought this product from an idea to something real? A collaborative framework.
There must be thousands of potential products currently residing in the minds of clever people in this City. We have CRI’s in this City. Do we use them properly? The linking of science and enterprise. We have two universities and Ara in this City. They must have a valuable role in the rebuilding of a green and vibrant economy.
What we need is a vehicle which unleashes our potential. To build on our skills, which we have in bucket loads. That is the role of an economic development agency. That’s what ChristchurchNZ must become. It certainly isn’t there right now.
We will collect people’s feedback on who has ideas for new products which could create new jobs in Christchurch, Canterbury and the South Island. Again email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will work with anybody with an idea which has potential.