Key factors in developing a culture of high performance within a senior management team in large scale dairy organisations.

Executive Summary

The research in this report was based on four organisations with a structured interview designed to identify the key features of the culture of each organisation. The organisations were chosen as they represented different forms of ownership, state ownership, investment company, family owned business and corporate farming enterprise.

The key findings from the interviews were as follows

  • All organisations had a vision, strategy and values statements which is critical in defining the Why, What and How of the organisation.
  • Senior management team were structured in a way that each member had a distinct role in the business and responsibility. The goal was not to overload the operational team but to allow them to focus on coaching and mentoring the team.
  • A critical component of the senior team is their ability to use coaching and mentoring to build a relationship with their team and give and receive feedback from staff. It is important that the team members are engaged in the process and have clear exceptions and take ownership, responsibility and accountability for their roles. These are key components of above the line thinking and building a strong team culture.
  • Models such as Empowerment Model, Coach Approach, Clifton Strength Finder, Tuckman’s Model, Jim Collins Good to Great Model were used for coaching and feedback.
  • Excellence was recognised by all organisations with a focus on recognition and celebrating success.
  • Poor performance involved feedback focused on expectations and values of the organisation. The Performance Matrix is a tool which can be used in feedback process.
  • When building a team culture, relationships, trust, values are important and that individuals are accountable for their behaviour and aligned to organisational values.

Developing a culture of high performing management team is a deliberate process that requires a focus on continuous improvement and building strong team values.


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