Nov 23, 2017
It’s easy to stay busy with our to-do list and all our responsibilities – but if we’re going to get better, we need to periodically review how we’re doing. In this episode Dean reviews four different approaches we can use in our business to better understand how we’re doing, if we’re on track and what we need to change next year.
A lot of the topics we cover in this podcast focus on the future—how to change behaviors, disciplines or thought patterns to get you or your business where you’ve envisioned for the future. But now and then it’s prudent to slow down and reflect on where you’ve been and what decisions and paths have taken you to where you are now. Today I bring you four different tools to use as you look back after harvest and begin planning your next crop year.A lot of the topics we cover in this podcast focus on the future—how to change behaviors, disciplines or thought patterns to get you or your business where you’ve envisioned for the future. But now and then it’s prudent to slow down and reflect on where you’ve been and what decisions and paths have taken you to where you are now. Today I bring you four different tools to use as you look back after harvest and begin planning your next crop year.
I. After-Action Review (AAR): Developed by U.S. Army to improve project debriefing. Simple, question-based format to analyze what happened, why, and how it can be done better next time. Adapts well to the farm’s crop year. Gives structure to a meeting; keeps on-task for productivity and keeps away tangents and emotional topics. Use as a follow-up to a pre-season planning meeting that defines success for the season. Need to have the following:
Each AAR contains the same four questions:
What were our intended results?
What were our actual results?
What caused the results?
What will we keep doing or improve?
II. 360° Review: Looks at complete view of business or project to gather multiple perspectives. Allows patterns to reveal themselves. Two basic requirements:
People involved (Yourself , employees, lender, seed dealer,
family members, landlord, etc.)
Questions to use (What are the critical issues about which we want perspective. Simple but specific and targeted questions vs. AAR)
III. Balanced Scorecard Review: Kaplan & Norton developed the Balanced Scorecard in the 1990s as a framework for measuring organizational performance outside of strictly its financials, using a balanced set of performance measures. After looking at the mission and objectives of the firm, they’d move into four different perspectives:
People (employees) – How are we doing with them? What is their
perspective on our performance as a company?
Customers – How are we doing at keeping our relationship, etc.?
Processes – Systems & efficiencies
Financial – Effective profitability
Don’t get too focused on one area. Financials are important, but the other areas contribute to its health.
IV. Leader Life Review: About the leader taking stock of all aspects of their world. How we’re doing vs. how we wish we were doing in six key life areas:
Is it all balanced? Have we fallen short of the mark in any area? Introduces intentionality and personal accountability to our decisions and actions.
We always welcome your feedback at Modern Farm Business Podcast. Do you have suggestions for future episodes, or questions on something we’ve already covered? Drop Dean a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. He’ll look at each email personally and respond as quickly as possible.
Thanks for listening! See you next week!