Our leadership contributes to a positive culture characterised by high levels of engagement, trust, collaboration and confidence.

One of the most important actions identified in the Australian Dairy Plan is to make an urgent, meaningful, industry-wide shift in our behaviour; how the industry thinks and talks about itself, how it engages and supports people and how it does business.

Current leaders play a critical role in this shift. A leader’s behaviour influences the way people around them believe they are expected to behave. Industry leaders must make themselves very visible and demonstrate the skills, mindsets and behaviours they expect to be included in any leadership development program.

We need to become aware of our own impact and helping our teams to see the bigger picture and understand the impact of their work. We can all do this by leading by example and modelling the expectations; recognising and acknowledging others for their achievements and successes; encouraging and reinforcing the development of our teams; and giving constructive feedback. In this way leaders directly impact the culture through action. This in turn influences the engagement, wellbeing and development of their teams; the effectiveness of their businesses and their ability to collaborate across the industry.

To maximise the impact of leadership on successfully driving industry wide culture change, we need to commit to leadership and leading by example at every level; to continue to raise awareness of and enable the effective impact of leadership on culture; and to build the capability of leaders at all levels to role model, reinforce and embed a positive culture throughout the industry.

The dairy industry has historically prided itself on its constructive and collaborative culture across the supply chain. However, sustaining a positive culture has been difficult during challenging and volatile times. We need to turn this around by rebuilding high levels of trust, collaboration and confidence because there is little doubt the future will continue to be challenging.

A positive culture and image will help to attract and retain people and investment. A collaborative culture will ensure we support the wellbeing and mental health of our people. Mentally healthy and confident people make more effective decisions, work better together and play a constructive role in our industry success.

Building a more positive culture is fundamentally about leadership. It is critical that everyone in the dairy industry recognises that they too are leaders and takes up their role in contributing to a positive culture of leadership. As leaders we can all influence culture change through our ideas and actions as we role model, reinforce and embed the desired culture and ways of working.

What do we need to do to get there?

  • Recognise, enable and advocate for the effective and positive impact of leaders at every level across the sector
  • Build leaders’ understanding, mindsets and capability to role model, reinforce and embed the desired culture, behaviours and mindsets
  • Align leadership systems, programs and processes to support and reinforce the leadership expectations and the desired positive culture shift

What will we measure

  • Increased widespread acceptance of the impact of the leader’s role in culture change
  • Desired culture, behaviours and mindsets are being role modelled by leaders consistently and in different settings
  • Critical systems, programs and processes have been identified and changes are being made to align with desired culture

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