Vice President's eNews Update
Happy New Year
Welcome to 2019 – It’s an odd year. (maths joke, sorry)
As custodians of some of our community’s largest value assets, we engage with many; advisors, suppliers, politicians and members of the public as part of our professional responsibility. Together, we seek to optimise the asset lifecycles as they provide essential services to our communities and customers. Unlike some other sectors, we have to be focused on the long-term. Our sector cannot operate as a boom-or-bust industry. Therefore, we need to collectively focus and engage on those issues that impact long-term value and sustainability to households and businesses. Sometimes this can be a challenge or even appear to be impeded.
As such over the past years, our focus has been on the maturing of asset management practices. More recently, this focus has also included a strong desire to work more collaboratively with other councils and Central Government to enable better outcomes for our communities. The national engagement and support for the Local Government Risk Agency centre of excellence is but one example.
As with the LGRA, not all of our initiatives will be successfully implemented. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep challenging the status quo – looking for new and better ways of doing business. And it is important that we continue to approach these opportunities from the perspective of long-term community value, not from a short-term, ‘make it go away’ agenda. This distinction is especially important to understand in light of the negative influence of an increasingly disrupted world and social media influence on asset management decision making.
Ultimately, it is our resolve as asset management professionals on long-term value that drives the best community engagement, the soundest investment decisions, and the best regional and community outcomes.
This year I encourage you to keep a focus on your business’s culture. Culture is one of the many, growing intangible value drivers that can affect our sectors ability to deliver the best asset-based services. It’s fair to say that business culture is difficult to measure – but we all know what ‘poor’ looks and feels like. As we move half way through the 2018 Long Term Plans with proposed drinking water regulations looming and Local Body elections later in the year, it will be our ability to promote the right attitudes and behaviours that will be increasingly important.
Some sectors recognise that, “culture eats strategy for breakfast”. As 2019 throws stuff at us - and it will - this needn’t be the case for our sector.
Vice President, IPWEA NZ