One of the keys to a competitive advantage in agriculture is to tap into the cumulative brain power of the team. We have all seen this modeled by local committees, boards and businesses. Why not use that same advantage in your business?
Let's think for a moment about what keeps us from fully utilizing the people resources available to us. An insight to understanding this may be looking at how your dad managed situations around the farm. Depending on his age, he may have been a command and control type of manager. You may remember hearing, "Here's where we're going...here's how we're going to do it…here's the deadline…you're going to do it and you're going to like it, and don't screw it up." Sound familiar? That may have been the extent of instruction you received and it's possible you became good at being a mind reader. This management mindset, however, needs to change.
Today our operations are much more complex. We need to extract every morsel of mental capacity from our employees, our family members, our trusted suppliers for the purpose of achieving our vision that we talked about last week. As people are included in the planning process they begin to own their part of executing that farm vision. They internalize it. We have all seen that ourselves as we have served on boards or committees in town. When we are part of the creation process, the plan then becomes our belief system and we will do a better job of making things happen.
One reason we have not previously tapped in to the resources at hand could be fear of the unknown. If we have not seen this modeled for us we may be afraid of sharing where we're headed or what we're doing. We simply do not want people to judge us.
Don't we all battle with this at times? You may think: "They may not like my direction; maybe if I keep them in the dark, they'll just do what is expected of them." Typically transparency is a better approach. To have the competitive advantage you must bring people together with diverse experience and tap into their talents to achieve the goal. They can help us with the 'how' part.
We have a client that's good at this. Every year they bring together their trusted suppliers to make sure everyone is on the same page in helping the operation advance toward their vision.
Think about your operation. How can you move in this direction? First, determine who you trust. Start small. Test out some situations where you can create plans together. Everyone takes on some responsibility for a part of the plan and is accountable for the outcome. Share your vision by creating a picture of where the business is going and work together on how you'll get there. Tap into the expertise.
Information is doubling so quickly that it is impossible for us to be masters of everything. We have people who offer a variety of talents. We can set the direction and make sure the execution happens. Secure your vision by bringing those relationships to the table.
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