Rubber-stamping yes-men not the way forward for the Studbook

Taking part in inspections or dressage competitions with your horse means you more or less put yourself at the mercy of the judges. Results are not always favourable, as every owner of a Friesian horse can confirm. ‘Quite frequently we don´t agree’, Peter Bazuijnen says. In his capacity of KFPS Board member he is part of the work party ´culture´ which together with ´management´ and ´structure´ make up the three themes for consolidation of the KFPS.‘Differences of opinion are okay. What´s more, different visions and opinions help to take the KFPS to a higher level’, he continues. ‘Because rubber-stamping yes-men won´t get us anywhere. What is important though, is that this kind of discussion must be carried out in a professional way and with mutual respect.’
To better understand and change this ´soft´ side of the consolidation process of the KFPS the help has been called in of professional Elke van Tiggelen, organisational psychologist with BDO. ‘Members of the KFPS are extremely passionate about the Friesian breed. Everybody is keen to do the right thing in their own way.’ The Studbook however, also has to consider strategic objectives. ‘So it is important to look for the common denominator. What helps to take the organisation forward?’ No matter if it´s about taking part in meetings of the Breeding Council, or assisting in the organisation of the Stallion Inspection; there are plenty of examples. Such as the professionalisation of the Jury body, one of the focal points within the consolidation process of the KFPS. |‘Everybody has some sort of influence. A Jury is expected to produce uniform assessments and to act professionally. That will win the trust of the members and their support. Differences of opinion trigger social interactions.’ Van Tiggelen explains that communication is a crucial factor for a good culture. ‘Discussions should be embraced, but the way it is done is key.’ She argues that the correct line of approach is not to try and convince others of your idea, ‘But instead to show a willingness to understand each other. So ask questions about the whys and wherefores. Try to understand each other.’

Culture map

In order to clarify the term ´culture´ a culture map has been developed (see insert), in which the four core values of the Studbook are written down and described: connectedness, reliability, respect and professionalism. Basically, the culture map states nothing new, these are all normal expressions of etiquette. ‘The values as described on the culture map are in fact self-evident’, Van Tiggelen points out. ‘Still, it´s a good thing to write it all out as a reminder for us all.’ Bazuijnen: ‘In the end, what you reap is what you sow.’

Click here for the Culture Map