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Development Company must manage public expectations says Falla

Development Company must manage public expectations says Falla

Monday 21 November 2022

Development Company must manage public expectations says Falla

Monday 21 November 2022


The Chair of the Guernsey Development Company says the fledgling new agency must be prepared for “a lot of public opinion”, and that “trying to find something that works for everyone will be difficult”.

Speaking at an Institute of Directors event on Project Management, Stuart Falla CBE said the company needs to be consistent in articulating its aims and brief and be “safe in the knowledge that there is not one boss to satisfy but literally all of the public”.

He added that he has spent his life “delivering projects imagined by others”, including the Credit Suisse building, Sir Charles Frossard House and the 2003 Island Games. 

Regarding the Games, he said that project “success” was measured by bringing along the “non-sporting fraternity” in the island, to the point where those people could “turn around and say: I wasn’t sure I’d enjoy that, but it was blooming good”. 

Mr Falla noted that project briefs are shared between multiple parties, and poor articulation and interpretation of what is trying to be achieved can lead to vastly different outcomes in practice.

east coast development plans

Pictured: The Company will have a broad remit to execute projects on publicly owned land, primarily across the east coast. 

More substantial proposals for the Guernsey Development Company should come back to the States Assembly in March next year according to Mr Falla. 

Applications are currently open for six Non-Executive Directors to join its board, to help shape primarily the east coast of Guernsey – from The Bathing Pools up to the Bridge – although it does have scope to act in other parts of the island too. 

Mr Falla hopes those who are selected will bring “a greater level of diversity” of thought and practice to the company alongside two Executive Directors.

Pictured: You can read more about the event in this Twitter thread.

One audience member questioned the best approach for getting the community behind major projects. Mr Falla said there sometimes must be a forced outcome, despite initial skeptical reactions, using the example of compulsory seat belts and the benefits provided. 

He contrasted how Credit Suisse attempted to “show off” with its new offices, whilst the “States of Guernsey did not” with its headquarters.

Another suggested that celebrating successes in the public sector is often difficult and queried how this could be remedied. 

Mr Falla claimed that intimacy, whilst allowing for receptiveness to needs and changes, can hamper successes. “Small negatives are enhanced by the media,” and people are “worried about being found out” locally. 

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