Priority Six Report: Develop, diversify and maximise commercial opportunities
Our guiding principles measure our overall financial results as well as our strategic planning, staff engagement and succession plans for critical roles. We believe there is risk in too much rigid planning and instead use long-term destination thinking that gives us the flexibility in our workstreams to get there, with our guiding principles helping to steer our actions and behaviour. Our annual review of our strategy allows us to welcome, and be excited by, the inevitable change that is occurring in and around our sport.
We are pleased to report that after a budgeted loss of $11.8m, we ended December 2019 with a loss of $7.4m, a $4.4m improvement on budget. This is a great result that was down to our people being financially responsible in their workstreams. Our SKY partnership extension will deliver a financial boost, which we can reinvest into our game over the coming years. However, we know this is an ongoing piece of work and reviewing the way we administer rugby and the reasons behind what we’re doing is crucial to the financial health of NZR in what are certain to be challenging conditions in 2020.
It is important to us that our people feel connected and engaged with NZR and what our vision and values are in rugby. We set ourselves a goal to improve on our 2018 engagement score – particularly focusing on those factors that have the biggest impact on our people. Aiming for a 95% participation rate, 98% of our staff completed the 2019 survey and our final result was a 2% improvement on last year.
What was particularly important to us was that all areas that have the biggest impact on our people and their working environment improved on 2018.
We also developed full succession plans and processes for critical roles after what was a year of significant change. NZR Chief Executive Steve Tew announced his resignation, leaving NZR at the end of the year, as well as Steve Hansen and other management staff announcing their plans to leave the team after Rugby World Cup 2021.
2020 will see us come to the end of NZR’s 2016-2020 strategy. In 2019 we completed the outline of Rugby Inc’s post-2020 strategic plan with Board signoff and wider stakeholder engagement. This includes our vision and aspiration, directional measures of success, focus areas and pillars. Looking forward, we will develop the detail within each focus area and develop an overall transformation framework to show prioritisation and phasing. It is important to us that everyone involved in our sport knows the part they play in our vision to Inspire and Unify through Rugby, so we will continue to work closely with our wider stakeholders in 2020.