I can’t believe it’s been almost two years since I joined BMMI and what an incredible journey it’s been. It seems like just yesterday I was given the responsibility to lead this great organisation.
When I look back, it’s really quite incredible to see how much we’ve crammed in, in a relatively short period of time. With dedication, hard work and a different approach to doing things, 2017 has been a successful year despite the challenging market forces at play.
Thanks to our strong Winning Hearts culture in place, we had a great foundation to build upon. Together, we’ve seen a huge amount of change and evolution.
If I had to choose one word to summarise this year, it would be: dynamic.
Dynamic because of the multiplicity of things going on, the energy in terms of dynamism and I think also our approach has been dynamic. We look to challenge, we look to change and we look to make a difference.
From winning new bids, developing new concepts, managing excellent relationships with multi-national organisations to developing new menus for our restaurants.
A key contributor to our success this year has been our approach. The desire to and comfort in challenging and being challenged, promoting (sometimes forcing!) cross-collaboration and open communication has helped in breaking down barriers.
The desire to challenge is something I’ve been promoting since I joined BMMI, coupled with the performance element of our Winning Hearts programme. As an organisation, I think we’re getting more comfortable with being challenged and challenging others.
We’ve also seen an improvement when it comes to how we communicate and promote cross-collaboration. How are we doing this? I would say one forum that’s supported this is our monthly Commercial meetings. These meetings provide a medium for our business units to share business performance and the issues and opportunities each of us is facing in an entirely inclusive manner.
Our strategy sessions have also helped provide another platform to share and brings in our support function heads. This ensures everyone in our leadership team is not only aware of our core strategies, our tactics and what their role is in those strategies but also included in their creation in the first place – its not my strategy, its our strategy as a result – this has drive greater ownership and a sense of responsibility.
As a result, you see greater commitment and discretionary effort made across the group. It’s so encouraging to see so many members of our team including my direct reports, making that transition, going over and beyond their job descriptions.
On a wider scale, 2017 also saw the introduction of our Town Hall meetings. The idea behind this was to make myself more accessible to a wider group of our people, allowing me the opportunity to directly share with some of you our strategic plans but also enable me to hear your concerns, ideas and opportunities. Again this reinforces the kind of culture we have where our business unit and support services managers are happy for their teams to come and share so openly and directly with the CEO.
I believe that this again builds that transparency and openness. Based on the feedback shared with me, we’ve achieved our objectives, these meetings have been well received and serve a good purpose. We will continue to roll these out and wherever I travel to our overseas operations, these sessions will be a part of my itinerary as well.
So we’ve done quite well in reducing barriers, breaking silos and creating stronger working relationships, however I still feel there is a great opportunity to improve our speed to execute and the quality of our execution. This is what I would like us to focus on as a team in 2018.
So when it comes to execution, I encourage you to challenge yourselves. Ask, how can you think beyond your job or role in a particular project? How can you be a great team player? When do you need to get started? What other factors might delay progress? Who do you need to involve? How will you communicate progress? How will you flag issues before it’s too late? When you see a gap or a colleague struggling how can you help? Take ownership and have a sense of responsibility, that’s really important.
As we head into 2018, our objective remains the same, which is to deliver sustainable profitable growth. Our four strategic pillars remain the same, but we will be focusing on the tactics within those strategies a little differently.
One thing we can be certain of is uncertainty. I look around the world and there’s very few places that are certain. There’s a whole host of events going on, making our world not as stable as we would like it to be. As one of my old bosses used to say, “we must be prepared for the worst and continue to execute for the best”. We will continue to look to new opportunities for growth, reducing our reliance on a single market. We’re moving in the right direction. Everyone is a lot clearer on our strategy and what we all need to be doing going forward so let’s make sure we deliver against that.
I cannot thank you enough for all that you do. I really do appreciate all the hard work and all of you who are making a difference. I appreciate you living our values every day, and for that you will always have my complete and total support. Thank you so much for making my first year as your CEO as enjoyable as it has been.
Wishing you and your loved ones a very Happy New Year!