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Idealog Year in Review: Suzi McAlpine

In the latest edition of our series asking some of Aotearoa's best-known businesspeople and visionaries to take a step back and offer their insights on how the past year has gone and how the future might unfold, we chat with leadership coach Suzi McAlpine.

Favourite innovation that isn't yours?

Weirdly – customised recruitment software that filters your applicants on organisational cultural fit.

Favourite innovation that is yours?

The Leader’s Digest App that I launched this year. It’s the first leadership App in New Zealand - designed to give leaders free useful leadership tips and tools, right at their fingertips. You can download it here (hint hint).

Most interesting launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

The rise of AI.

Lamest launch/innovation/trend/thing of the year?

TVNZ’s relaunch of the TV One brand, renaming the channel TVNZ 1. Lame as a lame thing on a lame day. I wonder how much that cost…

Most promising New Zealand company/companies?

Weirdly, see above. Callaghan Innovation.

Heroes?

Standing Rock protestors – they proved once again that peaceful protest can make a difference in this world.​ Paralympic gold medal winner Mary Fisher. I’ve had the privilege of meeting her and she’s as inspirational in person as you can imagine.

Villains?

Anyone who didn’t vote in Brexit or the US elections that could. This is a privilege that millions across the world are willing to die for. I’m getting all worked up just thinking about it….

Best stoush?

The one between my husband and I predicting the result of the US election over eight months ago when everyone thought Trump was a joke. I lost.

Your own biggest success?

Launching my blog The Leader’s Digest, which has been termed “one of the best leadership blogs of the 21st Century” and “One of World’s top 50 Leadership Blogs”. I suffer from serious self-criticism, so I’ll take those compliments!

What’s the biggest mistake innovators/businesses will make in 2017?

Waiting to get it perfect before launching and missing the boat. I’m all for a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) approach.

What do you expect to see in the next five years?

In leadership? A rise in the value of intuition, mindfulness and the ‘softer’ oft-dissed aspects of leadership.

What will be dead in the next five years?

Television stations that spend a lot of money rebranding and changing the name of their stations instead of reinventing themselves.

What should be invented and/or un-invented?

Personally if someone could invent an automatic dish wash stacker that didn’t complain incessantly about stacking said dishwasher, I’d sign up in a heartbeat.

Favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/magazine/story/performance enhancing drug of the year?

Vikings.​ And I’ve discovered Vala Afshar on twitter and am embarrassed at how often I retweet his gems.

One piece of tech you’d have on a desert island?

Sorry to be boring and obvious but my iPhone. Truth. I think it’s an extension of my hand.

Will the robots become sentient and kill us all? (asking for a friend)

Yes. 2016 has been a tough one so not feeling rosy at this moment. Ask me after a good break lying on a kiwi beach for a couple of weeks and I might change my mind.

As you’re enjoying the great outdoors this summer, The Kiwibank Conservation Dogs will be out there too, hard at work, giving our nature a future.