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Working smarter, not harder: Productivity Week 2018

This week, with only four working days, will see businesses across New Zealand trying to get more done in less time – in short, being more productive. This makes it a great week to highlight our new resources to help make your business more productive, and to launch the New Zealand Business Performance Panel.

Read on to learn about resources to help you get more from your time, and to hear about the first ever Productivity Week.

Life in New Zealand

Ask anyone who has moved to New Zealand why they did it, there’s a good chance they’ll tell you it was for the lifestyle. Whether you’re into fishing or taking the family to the beach, the New Zealand lifestyle is hard to beat.

This week, as we head into the Easter break, many businesses up and down the country will be trying to get more done in less time, so they can spend the long weekend enjoying that Kiwi lifestyle.

Productivity in New Zealand

Being more productive means getting more done in less time. For some time New Zealand’s productivity growth has been very low – significantly lower than in countries like Canada and Australia. This is a big deal, since productivity growth is essential for sustainable economic growth, wage growth, and maintaining our way of life for future generations.

Experts agree that one of the best ways business owners can become more productive is by improving management practices – things like implementing systems and processes to help with everything from employee motivation to cash flow planning.

That’s often easier said than done, especially with the long to-do lists that keep business owners so busy there’s little time to sleep, eat and chase invoices, let alone find time to research the latest management ideas.

This is why has been working with a group of world-leading experts to create free, easy-to-use online tools and resources to help Kiwi businesses understand and implement the best management practices from around the world.

This group is called the New Zealand Business Performance Panel, and was officially launched by the Minister for Small Business, Stuart Nash, on Monday.

Productivity Week 2018

Along with the launch of the Panel, this week marks the launch of a new range of business performance resources on business finance, now live with the section on management and leadership.

On Tuesday we hosted a free seminar with Dr Julia Richardson, from the New Zealand Business Performance Panel, where she discussed her latest book “An Intelligent Career”. The same day the Productivity Commission hosted a discussion on small business access to finance.

And on Thursday, the Panel will be answering questions submitted by you, our newsletter audience.

Work smarter, not harder

Each day of Productivity Week, we’ve been sharing a new tip from the Business Performance Panel to help you and your teams work smarter, not harder:



Understand strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – for you and the business. For your business to thrive, you need to play to your strengths and cover weaknesses.

A SWOT analysis is a great place to start. Conducting a SWOT analysis helps provide direction and allows you to quickly develop a set of actions for you and your business.



Understand strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – for you and the business. For your business to thrive, you need to play to your strengths and cover weaknesses.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula to write a business plan. But there are some key things you should consider. Check out our free templates.

How to write a business plan



Long-term success depends on good systems and processes. Take time to write them down so you don’t need to reinvent the wheel each time.

Keep your business plan up-to-date and use it to document your systems and processes. Here's a template to get you going:

Business plan template [DOCX, 210 KB]



You don’t have to do it all. Everyone has different skills, so make the most of the people around you and utilise their skill set.

 You don’t have to be a business dynamo to lead and delegate well. Find out what good leadership looks like, why it’s important and fine tune your skills.

How to be a good leader

What we’re doing here is only a small part of a much wider conversation involving businesses, their advisors and experts. We hope you’ll find the time to take a look at the new resources, see if they can help you, and give us feedback on what you like or don’t like so we can make them better.

We hope you and your teams have a productive week and a happy Easter, with lots of time to enjoy doing what you love.

Matt Kennedy-Good and the team at

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