"Yesterday marked my last day at Fonterra after nearly 5 years of service. It has been an incredible journey. Together we went through a complete transformation which started with a deep hard look at what our true purpose was as a New Zealand farmer owned dairy cooperative. It required us all to make some tough choices along the way but how gratifying it is to now see the fruits of that pain with a return to profitability, record payouts and most importantly a renewed clarity of purpose and vision about where we are headed.
I am grateful to the farmers, to the board, to the Fonterra leadership team and to everyone in the office of the CFO for accepting me into the fold and being so open to create something amazing together. As much as Fonterra has transformed over this period, Fonterra has transformed me more.
These are the biggest lessons that I take away:
1. Be clear on your purpose and make sure that the purpose is aligned with what the owners want and need and that it is something which makes the world a better place
2. Be holistic in thinking about creating true value. We create value by improving productivity. Productivity is output divided by input but we need to learn to think holistically about what output (not just revenue but also social impact) is and also what input (not just costs but also natural capital and the well- being of employees) is. If we do that then we will make the world a better place and society will be more inclined to reward you
3. Atmosphere (culture) matters. The nature of problems we face cannot be solved by one person alone, we need a culture of collaboration in which diverse people with different skills and strengths and ways of thinking can work together to look at problems from different angles. An atmosphere in which people feel safe to say what they think and are inspired by the purpose of what we are doing is going to lead to much better outcomes.
Nga mihi #Fonterra! Thank you!
Mā te kotahitanga e whai kaha ai tātou
(In unity, we have strength) "