“The thing for me is recognising that, as a business leader, you have a responsibility to lead a company for the future, leaving it in a better place in five, 10, 15, or 20 years’ time. My job is to make sure that commercials are strong, the customer experience is great, the culture of the organisation is constantly improving.”

Christopher Luxon

Christopher Luxon, the former CEO of Air New Zealand, stresses the importance of taking a long-term view as a business leader. He believes that a CEO’s primary responsibility is to lead their company towards a better future, ensuring that it is in a better place in the years to come than it is today. To achieve this, a CEO must focus on several key areas: Commercial performance, Customer experience, and organisational Culture (The 3C’s). This is the key to High Performance Engagement.

Commercial performance is critical to any company’s success, as it ensures that the business is profitable and financially sustainable. A CEO must ensure that their company generates revenue and is financially healthy. However, focusing solely on short-term financial gains can harm a company’s long-term prospects. It is essential to balance short-term and long-term objectives to ensure that the business remains viable and profitable for years to come.

A great customer experience is also crucial to a company’s long-term success. Customers are the lifeblood of any business, and providing them with an exceptional experience is vital to retaining their loyalty and trust. A CEO must ensure that their company is meeting the needs and expectations of its customers while also anticipating their future needs and preferences.

Organisational culture is another critical area for a company’s long-term success. A constructive, supportive, and inclusive culture can attract and retain top talent, foster creativity and innovation, and drive productivity and growth. A CEO must constantly improve the company’s culture and create an environment conducive to success.

Christopher Luxon’s quote highlights the importance of taking a long-term view as a business leader. A CEO’s job is not to just focus on short-term gains abut to ensure that their company is in a better place in the future. To achieve this, a CEO must focus on several key areas: commercial performance, customer experience, and organisational culture. By finding synergy between these areas, a CEO can lead their company towards a brighter future, leaving it in a better place than it is today.

High Performance Engagement (HPE)

The High Performance Engagement (HPE) initiative at Air New Zealand was designed to improve the company’s overall performance by harnessing the power of its people. At its core, HPE was about creating an environment where the people closest to the business problems were empowered to find and implement solutions within three key pillars: Commercial responsibility, Customer value, and Culture.

The first pillar, Commercial responsibility, focused on ensuring that employees understood their actions’ financial implications and aligned with the company’s overall business goals. This meant encouraging a culture of accountability and driving efficiencies across the organization.

The second pillar, Customer value, was about putting the customer at the centre of everything Air New Zealand did. This meant involving employees in customer experience initiatives and empowering them to find innovative solutions to improve the customer journey.

Finally, the third pillar, Culture, was about creating an inclusive and engaging work environment where employees felt valued, respected, and inspired to perform at their best. This meant fostering a culture of collaboration, continuous learning, and open communication.

By bringing together these three pillars, HPE aimed to create a high-performing organization where employees were empowered to take ownership of their work and drive results. This involved a significant shift in how Air New Zealand approached its business operations, emphasising employee engagement, cross-functional collaboration, and data-driven decision-making.

The results of the HPE initiative were impressive. Employee engagement and satisfaction levels increased, customer satisfaction scores improved, and the company saw a significant improvement in its financial performance. The success of HPE at Air New Zealand is a powerful example of the benefits of putting people at the heart of organizational strategy and creating a culture of empowerment, collaboration, and continuous improvement.

The Results

“Our customer centricity, commercial focus, and highly engaged culture have made Air New Zealand the most revered company in our part of the world as reflected in our corporate reputation rankings on both sides of the Tasman.”

Mr Luxon says he will miss heading to work every day to lead the aviation equivalent of 12,500 All Blacks. 

“It has been an awesome journey and what we have achieved by working together with a common goal of supercharging New Zealand’s success economically, environmentally and socially has been nothing short of remarkable.

“I have absolutely loved the responsibility and experience of leading this company over the last seven years. It has been intellectually challenging, people centred and an absolute privilege to do this job. However, I do feel it is the right time for a new leader to take over and preserve and enhance the good things from our past, but also to put their own stamp on the organisation bringing their own personality and emphasis to the role as I did.”

He says the culture at Air New Zealand is unlike any other company and it has only strengthened as the airline introduced performance management and leadership development programmes, pioneered High Performance Engagement (HPE) with its union partners, chose to pay a Company Performance Bonus, improved its safety record and lifted its commitment to diversity and inclusion. 

“All of this has seen Air New Zealand regularly voted as the best place to work in the country. I will miss the friendship and support of all those with whom I have worked with and served.

Air New Zealand Media Release

Discover the Power of finding Synergy between Commercial Responsibility, Customer Value, and Culture

Are you tired of the conflict, silos and bloating that stop your organisation from delivering on its potential?

Do you want more collaboration, flow and throughput to drive performance and achieve more for your organisation? Do you want to achieve High Performance through Engagement?

If so, join us for an engaging and informative session to explore the complex relationship between commercial responsibility, customer value, and organisational culture and learn how to find synergy between these factors to increase performance and achieve long-term success. 

Whether you’re a seasoned business leader or just starting your career, this recorded webinar will offer valuable insights and inspiration. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from an experienced High Performance through Engagement Practitioner who worked with Air New Zealand for over five years.

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What You’ll Learn in this Webinar:

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This is not a free webinar recording, but it is packed with decades of knowledge and experience in supporting organisations to find the synergy between Commercial Responsibility, Customer Value and Culture and creating an environment for sustainable high performance.