Professional Pest Controller issue 94

07 March 2019

Inviting strategy for breakfast

Chief Exec viewpoint | PPC94 March 2019

You may have heard the phrase “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and it’s true. The culture of an organisation often leads to the strategy of an organisation not being delivered.

Businesses large and small suffer from this. You can have the best ever strategy, objectives, targets and plans but the result is that they are not delivered.

But why? It’s mainly because people choose to do what has always been done. They choose to ignore the strategy or relevant plan.

Often people don’t even know what the strategy or plan is because they haven’t been effectively communicated through the organisation, so how can they be expected to contribute to their delivery?

The problems I have encountered in other organisations are typically due to poor communications, poor ownership, poor definition of responsibilities and poor definition of accountabilities.

So, what does all that mean? People will keep on doing what they have always done. It means that there is no clarity on exactly where the organisation is heading, no clarity on what the organisation is expecting to deliver and who is responsible to contribute to that delivery and who is accountable for ensuring it is delivered.

The whole culture of the organisation leads to things simply not happening as they need to happen.

If you’re a sole trader or a small business, you might be saying that this is all only relevant to larger businesses. That’s not true. Every business of any size needs to know where it wants to get to (strategy) and what needs to happen to get there (enablers).

As a sole trader, you are the one responsible and accountable for ensuring that you keep focused and milestones are achieved.

As a business grows in size, ownership and communication become pivotal. Personnel are accustomed to doing things themselves rather than involving the wider team and, guess what, that is what they keep on doing.

As a business BPCA is no different. While we are now one year into this three-year strategy, we have taken quite a bit of time to make sure that our strategic objectives (where we need to get to) and our enablers (how we will get there) are transparent and that accountability and responsibilities are clear.

This has taken time but sometimes you have to slow down in order to speed up. Our work in 2018 focused on ensuring the Executive Board was fully aligned to the strategy, and the enablers, and accountability filtered throughout the group supported by the BPCA Management team.

One sticking point I have discovered with the delivery of strategy is with our committees. All three committees of the Executive Board are structured by type of member (ie servicing members, manufacturers and distributors and then specialist fumigators). This means that all three committees have to own the whole strategy rather than being able to split up that responsibility more effectively.

I suspect that this is why there has been a bit of a bottle-neck when it comes to strategic ownership, understanding and effort has not got beyond the Executive Board.

This needs to change. The committees need to get closer to the strategy of the organisation and this will start to happen over coming months.

We had considered changing the structure of the committees but the proposed change was not supported by either the Servicing committee or the M&D committee and as I write this, I do not yet know what the Board will choose to do now.

One thing that will not change is that we are the trade association for the professional pest management sector and as such we are about doing two things well:
Driving professionalism

Being the voice of our members.

Our strategy is fully aligned to these two things and regardless of how our committees are structured, this is what we need to deliver. One thing that is clear is that we need to get better at communicating with all our members on where we are heading, how we are going to get there and how we are getting on delivering that and I will keep you posted as that journey progresses.

IAN ANDREW

BPCA Chief Executive
ian@bpca.org.uk

Source: PPC94

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