"The critical and comprehensive strategic plan that Don helped our industry develop has industry wide support, clarity and measurable outcomes."
The Okanagan Plant Improvement Corporation (PICO) is a variety rights management company that licenses new varieties of tree fruits and berries domestically and internationally. PICO has exclusive evaluation, distribution, propagation and commercialization rights for the apple, cherry, berry and soft fruits breeding programs of the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in B.C. PICO’s clients include small, independent farmers, large-scale vertically integrated growers, fruit companies and nurseries across Canada and abroad.
The successful commercialization of new varieties is critical to the long term health and sustainability of the Tree Fruit industry in British Columbia. New Varieties allow growers to bring to market superior products that appeal to customers and attract stronger margins.
In recent years, the BC Apple industry has been challenged in turning promising new varieties into successful new commercial varieties. The chain of production from breeder to independent grower to packer and marketer is a multi-faceted partnership that struggles at times to be “on the same page.” If new varieties are to be successfully commercialized, the industry needs a shared vision of the way forward.
Working with Don Maunders of On Strategy Consulting, a cross section of B.C. Apple industry leaders came together to:
- Get the issues on the table in an open, respectful way
- Evaluate the critical roadblocks, and key opportunities for a superior strategy to build on
- Gain consensus for a new process for ongoing cross-industry communication and a new management model for commercializing new varieties
John Kingsmill, PICO General Manager and CEO, offered his thoughts on the results of this work:
"Don did a wonderful job of bringing a group of industry players who historically communicated poorly, or not at all, to a place where there was open, honest and very productive communication. I attribute this in large measure to Don's skills in really listening and being fully present coupled with a genuine interest in consensus and team building. The end result is a strategic plan that is fully supported by our industry.
"Don is patient and thorough and possesses remarkable skills in consensus building. As a result, the strategic plan he helped our industry develop is supported by everyone and hence far more likely to be effective in achieving its purpose.
"The critical and comprehensive strategic plan that Don helped our industry develop has industry wide support, clarity and measurable outcomes. Those are the underpinnings that make the road ahead achievable."