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Learning from other organisations: What can DairyNZ do better.

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Executive Summary

This project aims to assess what DairyNZ can do to improve the way it learns from other organisations.

Thirteen interviews were carried out, seven with people from DairyNZ and six from organisations related to the kiwifruit industry (HortNZ, KVH, NZKGI, Zespri). The interviews were transcribed and then analysed. The key findings below are supported by the literature.

All those interviewed believe there are gains to be had through improving the way their organisation learns from others. The key benefit would be better and smarter solutions with lower risk and cost.

Five factors are outlined as having significant impacts on an organisation’s ability to learn better from other organisations. These are leadership, organisational culture, empowerment of personnel, process, and reward. These were needed in all organisations regardless of size; however in the smaller organisations some of these factors may be addressed in a less formal manner.

Currently there are many barriers that restrict learning from other organisations. To address these requires a change in the learning culture within the organisation, personnel empowerment through delegated authority and time, and leadership to bring about these changes. Other factors including establishing a clear and transparent process and rewards were also noted as barriers but were not as significant as the previous three. Addressing these barriers requires concerted focus and willpower from the leadership of the organisation. It is acknowledged that all five aspects are interlinked and as one changes this will impact the others, so an integrated approach is needed for the change to occur.
For DairyNZ to achieve better and smarter results for farmers, they need to learn more effectively from other organisations. This can be said for any organisation that wishes for the same outcomes. The results of this project are not limited to DairyNZ, being relevant to any organisation wishing to achieve better and smarter results.