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PIHMS Principal Name Regional Champion

Flora Gilkison, principal of the Pacific International Hotel Management School(PIHMS), has been selected by the Economic Development Association of New Zealand (EDANZ) as a 2008 Management Focus regional champion.

The Management Focus is an initiative of the Business Capability Partnership � a group of key private and public sector organisations that works together to improve the management and business capability of New Zealand companies through targeted projects.

The Management Focus Champions are from a diverse range of industries � from agriculture to social sciences � but each is an outstanding leader in his or her own way.

�Obviously, I'm very flattered,� says Flora. �It's been a very interesting process. Everyone who has read the report on my management philosophy has taken something different from it - that's very valuable - getting people's feedback and seeing what's important to them."

PIHMS provides integrated hospitality education and training for future hospitality managers.� Based in New Plymouth, PIHMS was recently admitted to the prestigious �Leading Hotel Schools of the World� group.

Flora�s leadership and management philosophy is based around people and how they fit into an organisation.� She believes the inherent design of an organisation can explain why new staff members tend to adopt the working style of their predecessors.� Understanding how inherent organisational design operates and being able to communicate changes clearly are therefore critical to any organisation�s success.

Looking to complete her Doctorate in January, Flora says that as her management career has developed, she has increasingly appreciated the need to understand and incorporate theory into management practise.�

�My early leadership style was very instinctive, it was real seat of the pants stuff.� Since then, I have studied more theory and absorbed a lot of information.� My management philosophy now is based around being a situational leader � understanding what the other person needs.� I am not a fan of hierarchies because they tend to create silos.� It is better to work, where possible, in a quite flat, integrated manner.� That means working cross-functionally inside an organisation and having strong linkages to the external environment,� Flora says.�

��In my organisation, like most education institutions, there are two broad groups of staff.� The lecturers are professionals who get their credibility from external sources like their peer groups and professional bodies such as NZICA.� The other group is the support staff who get their credibility from internal sources - namely the people they work for.� This inherently means two different modus operandi,� Flora says.

Flora flags that there is a danger managers can get so involved in running the organisation that they lose sight of the values and behaviours they want to see in their staff.� �I�m always looking at our mission � to be integrated with our industry � and our values.� Our values reflect the hotel industry � honest, trustworthy and hard-working.� If you want your staff and students to have those values, the leadership team have to walk the talk,� she says.�

Go to Management Focus to find out more about�the group and to read the full record relating to Flora Gilkison and PIHMS. < /br>

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