I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who were involved in this year's Westpac Northland Business Excellence Awards which culminated with the awards' gala evening at Forum North on October 26.
It takes almost as much courage to hold yourself up to be judged by your peers as it does to embark on a business venture in the first place. So, once again, congratulations to not only the winners and finalists but to all of this year's entrants.
Special thanks to all the sponsors who contributed in various ways to making this year's event possible. New Zealand Chambers of Commerce Northland is fortunate to have the support of many local and national businesses without whom organising an event of this scale would not be possible.
The many judges involved should also be applauded for giving up their time free of charge and in some cases having to travel long distances to visit entrant businesses. Through their support they are real champions of Northland business.
The Westpac Northland Business Excellence Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate business excellence and the role it plays in our community.
Through business, countless individuals can apply their talents to achieve their aspirations and provide service for others.
If we can celebrate and respect these people, and foster a better understanding of the contribution business makes to the wider community, this will go a long way to inspiring more young people to pursue their own aspirations.
Although relatively high profile, the gala evening and announcing of winners is a small part of the overall entrant experience. For most entrants, it is the culmination of all they have learned and practised in their business life to date.
Often they would have planned to enter for well over a year and in many cases they may have been considering entry for many years but were waiting for their business to be ready to enter.
In truth, most businesses are constantly changing and developing to meet the challenges of a dynamic economy and market, which demands that businesses innovate and evolve or else fail.
The time-critical nature of the entry process and the prescriptive framework used to evaluate the entrant business demands the business leader rigorously examines how they do business and to consider whether their results confirm they are doing things the right way to ensure success.