If we could see around corners and over horizons, plotting a pathway to future prosperity would be much less difficult. Given that we don’t have those capabilities we must work with what we have. Perhaps the most important thing we can all do is to believe that there are better ways of doing what we do; and that we will find solutions, if we work together.

It is also essential to be very clear and realistic about where we want to get to and to take a methodical approach, knowing that not every idea will produce the game changing outcomes we need. Incremental improvement is very important. Small steps; learning from our mistakes and trying not to repeat them makes sense. Measuring what we do and trying to do it better next time will almost inevitably improve performance. As we’ve discussed over recent months, Riverland Wine is in the throes of developing its first strategic plan. When asking the question: what is a strategy? most of us struggle to explain what we mean. The American author Richard Rumelt says that a good strategy is a coherent response to an obstacle or challenge to progress.

Without worrying too much about whether or not Rumelt’s response is good enough, the Executive Committee has agreed to several key themes as the basis of this first strategic plan. The most fundamental of these is leadership. We must be bold and we must be innovative. We will actively engage with others who can assist us, whether they be other industry bodies, politicians, scientists or customers. We will be competitive. We will continue to focus on extension and adoption programs, educating the region’s producers about best practice, continuous improvement and striving for excellence in grape growing and winemaking. We will find ways to grow the market, to sell more wine at price points that enable more of the region’s growers and winemakers to be profitable and sustainable.

We have actively listened to those who make up our membership. At the end of June, the plan will be published. It’s unlikely the plan will enable us to see around the next corner or over the horizon but it will provide a clear pathway forward, one that will enable the region to work towards those in game changing outcomes that we need.


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