By Dino Biordi, Luna Building Management
People thrive through strong connections and partnerships - whether they are with family, friends, work colleagues or customers. A greater focus on creating meaningful connections and partnerships can provide us with a feeling of being part of something bigger than an individual alone, and, subsequently enhance the wellbeing of our communities. Respect for each person individually, and as a whole, encourages honesty in conversations about creating a framework, and inspires a greater likelihood of success for Strata schemes.
For the partnership between a Strata Committee and Building Manager to achieve success, we need to be clear about what that success looks like.
In addition to pre-established duties and by-laws, the management team will benefit if both time and careful consideration is taken before beginning the conversation. It will also be helpful to implement some of the recommendations provided below.
Be clear about:
1. What kind of success you are looking for, and the methods required to achieve it.
2. Guiding principles upon which to base the decision-making process.
3. Rules for partnership, in order to maintain harmony between the Strata Committee and the wider Community.
The vision provides an understanding of the kind of success you are looking for and the results achievable in 1-3 years’ time and beyond. It allows the Strata Committee to subsequently create a road map (decision making process) that will ensure that the correct goals are achieved, in line with the Owners Corporation. Strata Committees need to know what that success looks like for their community/building, so that they can clearly convey this message to their management team/partners.
Some ways of creating a vision statement:
- A description of standards using levels i.e. the hotel ratings model.
- A description of what is most important/valuable to the building/community i.e. a community building centred around award winning gardens.
- A simple vision statement such as ‘Creating a safe and secure home beyond the front door.’
Principles help management make decisions in line with a set mission and its goals and remove the emotional aspect of decision making. When formulating principles, be honest with yourself and ask what principles work best for your community? Keep in mind those things that work positively for the community’s greater good, basing your principles on what is good for everyone and not only for the individual.
Examples of principles:
- All decisions should be made in line with by-laws and supportive of the agreed goals.
- Play as a team - Don’t let the little things prevent progress when everyone is in agreement with the big things.
- All Strata Committee members have a right to speak up.
- Be clear on what the deal is - the more data you have, the better the decision will be.
- Seek to promote thoughtful disagreement and meaningful discussions.
- Endeavour to understand how the owner or Strata Committee member arrived at their opinions.
- Think holistically. When challenging a decision, always consider the broadest possible context.
- Once a decision is made, everyone should support it, even though certain individuals may disagree.
3. RULES OF INTERACTION
Defining the rules of interaction will boost the Building Manager’s performance, making it more efficient and effective. This will create acceptable ways of acting and interacting, so that the Strata Committee Members and Building Managers do not have to spend time deciding what is appropriate in each situation.
Examples of some Rules of interaction:
- Strive to understand each other and avoid conflict.
- Try to integrate the needs of the individual along with those of the wider community.
- Inform the Strata Committee Members and Building Manager/s if something goes wrong - rapid response creates a quick, positive and efficient resolution.
- Do not seek to use the process to advance personal interests.
- The incoming Strata Committee will continue to pursue the established set of goals.
- Seek to acquire all possible relevant information before arriving at a decision.
- Be respectful and reasonable and expect others to be the same.
Bringing the above core steps together will take longer than you might expect. However, once they are in operation, they will bring greater efficiency, reduced conflict and smoother running of the project.