Clear strategy important

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Clearer direction equals better results.

With the new term of council comes new opportunities.

New councillors, new priorities, new ways of doing things — and how we work with each other within the council, and with our community, is no exception.

Our councillors and I are working together to better define the council’s strategic direction, to clarify our vision and to clearly state our priorities.

As we continue to work with our community over the next three years to help us review Waitaki’s priorities, it is my goal to ensure we give our staff clear direction, while continuing to evolve our work plan. With clearer direction come clearer key performance indicators, resulting in stronger operational accountability for our CEO and stronger governance accountability for ourselves.

All too often we spend far too much time in the weeds, looking at information which may be interesting but which does little to improve our governance or the council’s service to Waitaki.

The time has come to challenge our thinking and to more strongly focus on the strategic direction for Waitaki.

Our challenge will be to stop focusing on individual potholes and lift our focus to governance solutions. If we get our policies right, the potholes get sorted.

American businessman, Stephen Covey once said: ‘‘Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.’’

I want our new council to work even more closely with the community to make sure we have Waitaki’s ladder of success leaning against the right wall.

The district is ticking along quite nicely and we have the chance to refine our direction and priorities — in effect, choosing which wall we should lean our ladder on.

We need to better communicate our vision and to show what we are doing by encouraging our CEO and his team to deliver on clear, measurable indicators of success.

This is far easier to say than to do, but with the skills and intellect among our councillors, I am confident we can achieve it.

That is my goal for the three years ahead. We have the team to make this a reality, and I welcome the opportunity to make Waitaki even better.