It refers to a leader who has the ability to "decide which data to heed, which to ignore, and how to organise and communicate the information". HBR says it is one the most important traits for business executives in the 21st century. But haven't we known this all along? Are we not referring to the "skill of synthesis", as HBR puts it, when we talk about wading through the information overload, separating the wheat from the chaff or seeing the forest through the trees? These are all clichés now so this particular skill is something we have been aiming for quite some time now.
Which brings me to the theme of our magazine this month - the top 100 ICT vendors NZ's senior IT decision-makers should be aware of. I have to thank our panel of judges - four analysts and six CIOs - who chose the companies that made it to our Global 50, New Zealand 25 and Rising Stars 25.
They definitely used their "skill of synthesis" to go through hundreds of possible contenders to determine who should make it to the list. Lots of interesting names cropped up, particularly for the New Zealand 25 and Rising Stars, and we at MIS also used our "synthesising skills" to finalise the list.
The results of this collaboration
Those who did not make it this year are already in my database of companies to watch out for, and you will definitely read about them in our future issues.
MIS has a tradition of featuring a Kiwi icon for its special editions (watch out for MIS100 in July). Last year, the glorious paua shell graced our inaugural Strategic100 cover.
This year, it is the beloved Buzzy Bee, used with permission from Lion Rock Ventures Limited.
Credit should also go to future IT journalist Daniel Malcolm Keall (son of PC World magazine's Chris Keall and AUT communications advisor Andrea Malcolm).
While working on the cover, art director Chris McBride realised he needed more shots of the Buzzy Bee and had to borrow the real one from Daniel.
Dominion Post photographer John Selkirk graciously scheduled an impromptu photo shoot so that Daniel (just under two years old) could have his Buzzy Bee back, ASAP. I hope you liked the results of this collaboration!
Finally, we welcome this month two new members to our editorial advisory board - Derek Locke, chief information officer of the New Zealand Defence Force; and Greg James, the new chief information officer of Fonterra.