Johan Raubenheimer joined the Flower Foundation in November 2016 and after a two-month handover period with his predecessor, Cedric McKie, Johan has been flying solo as CEO since the beginning of 2017.
Johan joins the aged care sector after many years spent in management consulting and executive coaching. He spent a number of years equipping executives in various sectors to expand their skills sets and develop their emotional intelligence. His senior executive experience with well-developed communication, people leadership, stakeholder management and consulting experience, was gained within financial and professional services across a range of industries. Joining Flower Foundation appealed to him because of the close alignment he saw between coaching and the care sector.
He admits he is still learning and understanding the dynamics of the aged care sector, and as he is contracted to Flower Foundation he first wants to “get into” his new organisation and is hesitant to be drawn into wider dynamics. He believes FF’s success lies on different levels. First of all Johan believes his predecessor wasn’t valued sufficiently for his contribution. A very quiet individual he was unassuming and very diligent, and he understood the industry very well. His level of conservatism benefitted the organisation at that time and also the industry at a broader level. The esteem that the Flower Foundation is held in, is great as a result of Cedric’s input, believes Johan.
Also contributing to FF’s success is the quality of staff, especially in the care centers, from nursing service manager level right down to carer level. Their empathy, their pride in the environment in which they work, their engagement with their residents, the investment they make in terms of themselves in respect of maintaining a professional image and standards, all contribute to the quality staff they are. And in addition, most are long serving.
In the FF villages, the commitment from the ops staff at village manager level where they are in the firing line of residents is to be commended.
Another strength of the FF is the quality of the organisation’s infrastructure and the maintenance of that, and much of that can be attributed to Cedric’s diligent way of engaging with the various components of the business during his tenure.
And in the background, is the financial strength of the organisation. Johan praises his financial manager who engages with residents’ committees, managers and other gatekeepers in preparation of a good budget, despite it being increasingly difficult to juggle various cost drivers. An example is the fuel increase last year of 11-13%, and an increase now from the tax side, compounded by fluctuation in the exchange rate; municipal increases of 15%, medical inflation of 14-22%.
“What makes me come to work every day? It’s integrity, the choice I make to take the organisation forward; it’s about ethical values, cultivating this culture in the organisation. I read to remain current in my thinking, always considering my role in being a funnel or change agent.”
When asked about succession planning, Johan says he sees elements of it in the FF, but he believes it needs to be improved on. They have many staff with long tenures of service, who are loyal and confident in their roles. He is focusing hugely on staff development and includes this in their budget. This year three will go on management development programmes, one on specialist IT training, and carers will be taken to the next level. He believes in continuous development as a means of ensuring adequate succession planning for the organisation. His staff are being sent on Eden Alternative training too.
Reflecting on the value of networks, Johan believes it’s important to have linkages in different spaces and be involved in networks at different levels. He believes two minds are better than one and in the care sector, we have collectively a responsibility that is so huge. He thinks leaders in the care sector need to collaborate and engage on broad strategic matters and lobby together about matters of mutual importance.
Who inspires Johan? “ My 3 sons across a 12-year gap – their enormous energy and their courage inspires me.”
A husband, father, friend and coach – different roles in different communities. Johan is a man who is a keen birder and enjoys wildlife; he loves classical music and jazz; loves the arts in a broad sense, painting, photography, music. He also reads extensively on leadership coaching.
Welcome to the care sector Johan Raubenhiemer. We look forward to your leadership role you are assuming and greatly look forward to collaborating together for the greater good.