It requires a bit of communication across the organization that you are working with.
So that you know where different parts of your organization, whether it be a water authority or transportation authority or a local authority that encompasses a range of activities.
You really got to get people talking to each other and be on the same track, don’t you?
You do. Again, looking back at the journey we went on and what we do differently now when this asset management came in the mid-1990s in New Zealand, it was seen very much as an engineering profession.
Some people’s job title really just changed overnight but their job didn’t change a great deal, did it?
Yes. And so the thing is that like in most organizations, municipalities or water utilities or roading authorities, you have silos. You have engineers doing their stuff in one silo, the accountants or the economist or the legal people doing other stuff in their silos.
If I was to give one piece of advice out of our 15 or 20 years of experience is you’re going to need to communicate way more and way better than you do when you are pre-asset management.
And I think that’s both across the organization as well as up and down.
The governance role when you got decision-makers, the councilors or elective representatives of some sort, they need to understand and be communicated with, so that there is a level of understanding between the managers and those decision-makers and the people are actually on the same path.
So I think that’s a real challenge in the leading change area. So that’s the role of the asset managers, who are actually sitting in the middle of all that, they have a broad understanding of the intentions and what’s important to the different parts of the authority.
And I think the thing with the communication Grant is also, particularly with the governance and the senior management, there’s a whole heap of trust tied up with good communication as well.
They need the professional advice that you are providing. They shouldn’t be getting surprises because that destroys trust.
No politicians like surprises, no.
It’s just about clear, consistent, continuous communication because everybody will be on the same journey.
And so when we, when we are communicating with various people, are we telling one story, or is there perhaps more than one direction that we need to be looking at?
Yes, I think sometimes that’s the interface of communication.
Ultimately you’ll end up providing a range of scenarios put forward and your decision-makers, your governance is going to make their set of decisions around whether the ability or the community wishes for that particular thing and a whole heap of other, – however they make their decisions.
So perhaps that’s where this top, down and bottom approach come together where you have the intentions of both in leadership positions, elected representatives.
They may be wanting to achieve one thing, whereas the engineering folk is looking at the assets that are actually on the ground or providing the transportation links and looking for what is needed for those.
So those things need to come together at some point and people have a real conversation about it.