Holstein Australia has this week launched its new five year strategic business plan to members. What is it, how has it been developed and what does it mean? Chief Executive Officer, Rohan Butler, explains.
What can you say about the strategic business plan & how it was put together?
It’s been a while in the making, which is a good thing. We began the process in earnest at the beginning of the year with input from the Strategic Directions Committee, Breed Development and Conformation Committee and Board.
What’s really important is staff played a key role in the development process too. Their input has been invaluable.
It’s basically a road map for the future direction of the Association. Where are we now and what are our aspirations? Where do our members want us to be? It sets out clearly our current and future path.
Where does the Association want to be in the future?
The consultative process we went through with member representatives identified seven key areas that we needed to focus on, being breed development, community, export of Australian Holstein genetics, finance, governance, member services and youth and future leaders.
Like any good map, we have pinpointed where we want to be, our aspiration in each area. From there we developed objectives, or what has to change for us to achieve the aspiration. We then identified the series of actions or steps that help us reach the objectives.
How will Holstein Australia use its new strategic business plan?
We’re already working to it. We’ve had sessions with our committees who were obviously involved with putting the whole thing together. We’ve also had separate sessions with sub-branch officers to ensure the plan can be rolled out effectively at member level.
Graeme (recently retired CEO Graeme Gillan), myself and the Board were insistent from the beginning that the 2021 – 2025 strategic business plan be available to every member, is succinct and to the point and easy to understand. Generally that’s good practice, but for a member based organisation it’s really important.
Access to the plan means members can track how we are doing. That makes us accountable. It’ll be available on our website, from sub-branch officers and from our field staff, and we’ll provide regular updates as we work through it.
What can members expect to see initially?
One of the first things we’ve done is appoint a dedicated liaison in Sarah Keens, to work with sub-branches and members, providing practical support and a single point of contact for them.
That’s in the plan and was one of the many practical actions that came out of the committee sessions during the plan’s development. Providing better support to sub-branches and the Holstein community is an essential start point for a lot of what is to come.
Some other areas of immediate focus are refining our service offering, ensuring we are delivering these in the right way and that they work for members on-farm. The internal process on this has started already.
Youth is also a priority. Making sure we have programs that work for the different age groups right the way through from the youngest kids to the young adults who are looking to develop skills to progress a career in the industry. This is a challenging area, but we have some passionate and switched on people drawn from our membership who will focus on this.
We’re in this for the long haul, we’ve got our road map for the next five years, and the direction we’re heading can only be positive for our members and positive for the breed. I’m pretty excited where the Association is heading and looking forward to the journey.