Over a period of 4 years, the Brown farm faced a devastating blizzard and a series of hailstorms that destroyed their 100% of their crops. Gabe Brown’s neighbors were eyeing his 1,760 acres of farmland–ready to pounce on his failure. This, Brown said, was the best thing that ever happened to him. It forced him to adapt.
Leaders See The Opportunity
At its worst, COVID is causing businesses to shut down. At best, it’s forcing an evolution in how and where we work. Everyone is being forced to adapt, whether we want to or not. In this, you can either see an opportunity or you can abandon ship.
If you want to not just survive, but thrive through these challenges, you’ll recognize the giant opportunity we all have right now. You’ll hunker down, strengthen teams and make business run more effectively. You’ll take a true inventory of what works in your business and what might need to be adjusted or turned on its head completely.
For Gabe Brown, the farming practice he’d been trained in was not going to work after those 4 years. He had no money for inputs (nutrients) to help his crops grow. But, as he said, “Gabe Brown was not going to fail.” So he abandoned the industrial tilling, planting, and fertilizing model he’d been trained in and started reading Thomas Jefferson’s journals. Yep. He hadn’t used inputs. How did his farm work? As he dug into the long-lost art of regenerative farming, Brown reinvented his practice and 20 years in, he’s more profitable than all his neighbors. Not only that, but he’s teaching the art of regenerative farming–with General Mills footing the bill to boot!
Thriving Through Change
I realize managing through change is uncertain, exhausting work. Give this technique a try. Take a deep breath, and then divide the change process into small, tangible, manageable steps. Brown identified four principles of regenerative farming and began implementing them. No doubt it was a little rocky at first. But he’s refined the process and now operates a highly-profitable farm that serves as an example to other farms, too. He has no desire–or need–to accept government subsidies.
Take a lesson from Brown and identify your goal, then give your team members a series of things they can control. Make them active participants in the process. No matter how minor these steps seem relative to the end result, empowering people during a time of uncertainty will automatically change attitudes, and might even make them welcome the change.
OK that might be pushing it. But wouldn’t you feel better about entering a strange, dark room if at least you had a plan for finding the light switch?
The Bottom Line
A trip to the business section at your local bookstore (yes, they still exist) or Googling “change management” will equip you with endless tips on effective listening, good communication, patience, and a variety of other touchy-feely techniques. But you’ll also need to get your hands in the dirt and just try some things. Even in normal times, change in the workplace is inevitable. But there’s no need to lose your farm over it. 2020 may not have been the best business year, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be the best year for your business.
There are enough variables in your business you can’t control, but PayReel at least helps you manage the ones you can. Let us take care of your contractor payroll so you can get your hands dirty in the real, life-changing work this year requires.
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