Andrew, in his chair update, focuses on Nuffield strategic initiatives and NZRLT board activities, while this update covers management activities of the NZRLT Trust (incorporating both Nuffield and Kellogg programmes) as well as Nuffield programme activities and reflections.
The launch of our new branding, in late June, has occupied a large amount of my time. Juliet Maclean led the project which began in January, through the brand development including the research, strategy, creative, story, and identity to get it to the brand kit and roll out stage. Juliet’s commitment to making sure the Nuffield and Kellogg programmes are relevant for our future markets is invaluable in setting us up for the future.
We started with the development of a new brand for our new organisation – the New Zealand Rural Leadership Trust (referred to as Rural Leaders) accompanied by a new fresh logo for the Kellogg programme and a refreshed modernised logo for the Nuffield Scholarships. If you missed our email with the story behind the branding, click here for a detailed explanation and video.
We created a single website which now hosts Rural Leaders and the two programmes, but have ensured that all Nuffield (and upcoming Kellogg) marketing drives people directly to the Nuffield page on the new site. Over time, we hope to position Rural Leaders as the recognised organisation delivering both programmes with marketing going to just that site.
The single website also provides one platform for our joint alumni to interact with both programmes and alumni activities. It is the first step in bringing our alumni groups together also under one umbrella organisation for thought leadership activities. The final step in this project is the transfer across of several hundred reports from both sites which will take some time.
The new branding is now fully adopted in all communications; the response has been very positive from internal and external audiences.
The appointment of Clara Sweetman as a part time marketing contractor in late June has already bought results with a raised social media profile and some fresh ideas. This is a resource which has been needed for a while but was delayed until the rebranding process had occurred. Clara joins us after contracting for Farmlands, before having her first child.
Our 2019 Nuffield Scholarships close on 19 August and at the time of writing this newsletter we are waiting anxiously to see the calibre of applicants who apply. It is getting harder to market the Scholarships with the clutter of advertising and messaging, so the marketing strategies are continually being reviewed. 5 years ago, most of our marketing was focused on the rural print publications and alumni networks while now our vehicles are social media, testimonials and alumni shoulder tapping. We are also trying to work more closely with each industry sector to get them identifying their emerging leaders and encouraging this as part of their pathway.
While I appreciate that it has always been a big commitment and investment to undertake a scholarship, we are seeing and hearing some of the following challenges /barriers for the next generation of potential scholars;
- Young family commitments – many in the 30 – 40 age group are just starting families or have very young children
- Working partners – ability to cover family/business is reduced
- Diversity of investment often across several farm types or production systems so no natural breaks in workload
- More sole operators with no backup from family or others and no fulltime managers to take workload
- Greater opportunities to travel overseas, attend international forums
- Competing programmes and options to develop leadership skills
While there is greater flexibility for doing the individual research travel there is still a requirement to be overseas at least 4 months in a 10-month period and complete the full scholarship in a year, which is tighter than other Nuffield countries with timelines of 18 – 24 months. Of course, we do note to scholars that learning how to reorganise ‘life’ to take on new challenges is part of the benefits of undertaking a scholarship.
As alumni numbers grow we also need to connect our recent scholars into the support network where alumni provide the opportunities and support their development post the scholarship. The Biennial Conference provided a great launchpad with this year’s 2016 and 2017 presenting scholars and it is pleasing that their topics are attracting industry interest with all of them having presented at conferences and industry forums before and after the Conference.
Their 15min video presentations on the website and You Tube is proving to be a popular vehicle for those wanting to get an overview of their reports. If you haven’t checked them out, click here https://ruralleaders.co.nz/nuffield-presentations/
Planning for the 2020 Nuffield Triennial Conference is well under way with an organising committee meeting this week to sign off some key dates, branding, components. This will allow us to release the first marketing for the event to Nuffield alumni globally through country conferences, direct mail and using alumni contacts
This is a very big commitment for the organisation in terms of resource, time and financial resources, and the full support of all alumni, which I am sure will be forthcoming.
- Kellogg Course 38 delivery: June – November
- Kellogg Course 39 2019 Applications close:19 October
- Nuffield Selections: September/Oct
- 2019 Nuffield Awards: 6 November