Ludcke House, Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness

A key part of Project 2058 is to develop a strategy for New Zealand’s long term future, consequently a visit to Michael E. Porter (author of Upgrading New Zealand’s Competitive Advantage), was a must. Unfortunately the man himself was on holiday, but one of his Research Associates, Alexander Muggah, gave me three hours of his time and a number of fascinating research publications. The result was everything I had wished for and more. I learnt about the Cluster Mapping Project, the Council of Competitiveness,  and the annual Global Competitiveness Report – which lists every country annually. Interestingly, the 2007-2008 report identifies inadequate supply of infrastructure as the most problematic factor for doing business in New Zealand (p268).

As you can see in the picture – the white building belongs to the Institute and Michael has his own boardroom with his desk off to the left hand side. His administration staff and waiting room on the right and all his research associates working on the floors above. It was an impressive set-up. I also recommend the website as it contains many of Michael Porter’s presentations, Powerpoints and recent speeches. I am hopeful that the Institute may review our draft strategy in mid 2009, but this will depend on their availability and workload – as it is not something we could afford to fund more formally at this stage. They do continue to do this type of work for countries, but it would be in the vicinity of US$400,000 which is a bit beyond our budget.

I also spend two nights in the Harvard Book Store (which closes at midnight) – just for those who love books. It was a fascinating place, and I can see why people go there and never leave.