In tough times like these when the drought has invaded our businesses and our lives, it is more important than ever to make decisions that are sound in all dimensions; economically, environmentally and socially. Holistic Management provides the framework to make these decisions.
In 2006, Trent and Carol Vincent and their son Bryan, daughter Tanya and son-in-law, Wade, all attended a Holistic Management course run by Brian Marshall, and Brian Wehlburg and Helen Lewis of Inside Outside Management.
Trent comments, “The training is unique in that all family members are encouraged to complete the training. This allows a greater understanding of one another and the direction that everyone wants the business to take.” All fired up, they immediately started implementing changes on their property, Hidden Springs; in addition Carol and Tanya organised training for all the staff at their Roma shop, Mind Body Soul, a natural health, beauty and wellness centre in Roma. “Holistic Management practices allow staff members to contribute and to have ownership in the business. It allows us all to identify the direction we are heading towards as a business which the staff, as well as the owners, are passionate about.”
The Vincents utilised the Holistic Grazing Planning process last year and did not have to drought feed their stock.
“We made the decision to implement a few low cost changes to the property’s internal fence system to utilise available feed and allow plants time to recover. Even on minimal rainfall there has been a considerable change in plant structure and quality. There are now plants growing on areas that were previously bare,” explains Trent. “Holistic Management ensures you make decisions that are environmentally sustainable; i.e. maintaining ground cover, retaining and promoting green plants." Trent uses Holistic Management principles to combat pest problems.
“I now look at what environment a pest lives in and I create an environment that does not suit it.”
Carol’s natural health business is not land based but she feels that the training has shown her how the environment is integral even at a business level in a non-agricultural field, and how all decisions we make now affect the environment now and in the future. “It is excellent to see business training that incorporates environmental factors,” she says.
The Holistic Management financial planning module emphasises focusing on wealth generating expenditure, providing a framework for identifying the expenditure that results in the greatest return for the least amount of output.
Both Trent and Carol like the decision making process offered by Holistic Management as it reduces the conflict that can arise when making business decisions. “I like Holistic Management as it makes you focus on the grass-root when making decisions and provides an easy commonsense tool. It has brought our family closer together and helped us focus on common goals. It also makes you realise that what is important to one family member is not of concern to another, and allows for the differences to be taken into account,” Trent says.
“The training has given us a clear direction on where we are heading,” adds Carol.