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When words actually measure up to reality

Dec 20, 2021 / 2 minutes read

How often have you read something about an organisation, a service offering or a product when it says one thing, but your experience of it is entirely different?

A huge amount of time, energy and resource can go into developing strategy, vision, purpose and values, yet there’s so many examples of businesses that don’t nail it when it comes to making these real. Getting it right is not easy but it is achievable when you have the right people in the right seats, doing the right thing.

A key to this is attracting and retaining great people. We all know it is a real challenge at the moment and it’s not necessarily going to get any easier in the months ahead. So what can we do? We’ve asked ourselves this question regularly as we focus on developing and retaining our current team, and recruiting for new team members. Here’s some things that we’ve learnt along the way that may be useful if you are facing the same challenges:

  • Ask your team – actually ask the team that you have already and listen to their feedback. Ask them to get involved and encourage them to be part of the recruitment and retention focus. The caveat is they actually have to believe that being here is a great thing and they need to know we that we care about them and continue to look after them too.
  • Be true to what you say – whether it is delivering great service, living up to the values you have in place for your organisation or being part of the community, make sure that you live up to what you say. Don’t say one thing and do another. If you stay aligned to your values and purpose, it will make a lasting difference.
  • Keep working at it – we don’t always get things right but if you know where you are heading and your team is aligned, it’s much easier to keep your focus on the things that matter. Celebrate the wins, work through the challenges and all the way along, support your team to be the best they can be.
  • Ask and listen – as with the first point, ask your team, ask your clients, ask your key business partners/suppliers for their feedback. We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak (ref: Epictetus).


The Maori proverb below is also a great anchor point to remind us of what is important:

He aha te mea nui o te ao
What is the most important thing in the world?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
It is the people, it is the people, it is the people.


From a personal perspective, after four months at McIntyre Dick, I am still blown away every day as I see the strategy, purpose and values come alive. There’s no bells, whistles or bright flashing neon lights that point to these examples but rather it’s the little things every day that add up. I can see the investment of time, energy, resources and commitment that has gone into building really strong foundations here and this shows every day, in practical ways. The daily huddles, regular and meaningful recognitions, clear daily and weekly focus that helps us achieve our team and business KPIs, the time spent getting to know the humans in our team beyond the role that they perform…the list could go on!

It is a privilege but also a great responsibility, to build on these foundations to achieve our BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) of transforming McIntyre Dick from an Accounting firm to be the most people-focussed business team in New Zealand. This means our team, our clients, our communities and our business partners and suppliers are all part of our journey. As we head into the festive season, I wish you a very safe, enjoyable and special time with your whanau and loved ones.


Noho ora mai, meri kirihimete



Rachel Lock

Chief Executive

Originally from Southland, Rachel has extensive experience in leadership and management in a variety of industries, including education, government, financial services, and not-for-profit.