Keys to a Successful Crop Plan Farm employee meeting

Meeting – when people come together to discuss or decide something (Oxford Learners Dictionary). Others might say- “where you go to lose your mind and sense of time”. More often than not I side with the latter. If our goal is to work towards a purpose, that purpose needs to be clear, concise, and relevant. With cool weather and rain in the forecast now is a perfect time to plan ahead for the coming weeks. Which hybrids/varieties are planned to go on which acres? Do some fields require different technology/special treatment this year? 185 execs were interviewed per Harvard Business 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient. Moreover, 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together. Planning ahead can increase the probability that you maximize yield on every acre.

When structured right meetings can:

1. Revive the team to come together and visualize direction/end goals

2. Affirm strategic planning, and allow for reflection and learning

3. Solve unaddressed nagging problems

So what makes a good meeting? How do we structure them to be effective? For these answers I turn to a favorite book “Principles”written by Ray Dalio for a few key points:

a. “Assign personal responsibilities so it is clear who is supposed to do what after the meeting is adjourned”

b. “Utilize the 2-minute rule to avoid interruptions” give someone an uninterrupted 2 minutes before jumping in.

c. “Make clear what type of communication during the meeting you will have” ie. Educate team vs. discuss with team

d. “Lead the discussion by being assertive and open-minded” For example: A trivial already tested opinion is offered up. Step into their reasoning with them so they can understand how you arrived at a different angle while open-mindedly exploring the fact they might be right.

e. “Watch out for Topic slip” or off-topic convos. Tip: Use a whiteboard to track meeting progress

With warm weather again on the horizon we are about to jump back into #plant2020. Every spring provides new challenges and farmers are some of the best at innovating to solve them. Planning ahead can assure that you stick to your cropping plan. “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.” ― Dwight D. Eisenhower, former U.S. President

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