Six Steps to Execution

Recently I had an opportunity to assist in the facilitation of a panel at the 11th Annual Executive Producer Roundtable sponsored by Northwest Farm Credit Services.

One of the panelists, who was a former NFL football player now operating an agribusiness and farm ranch enterprise, discussed his six steps to execution of business strategy. Boy, were they powerful!

Right People
His first recommendation was to hire the right people to execute your strategy. He further states you should hire for talent more than experience, and attitude more than aptitude.

Right Strategy
Next, conduct a strategic planning session including a SWOT analysis, which incorporates strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Determine what your core business is (what keeps you in business) and don’t deviate too far off center.

Communication and Alignment
Don’t take a knife to a gunfight. The point here is to bring the proper resources, including land, capital and information, which enable you to seize the moment or minimize the risk in adverse events. Get the right people in the right places, including management, employees, suppliers and professionals.

Right Tools and Equipment
Make sure your people have the resources and training to get the job done. In today’s high tech world, we often underestimate training and development of internal staff and those who serve us.

Measure, Confirm, and Correct
Get an accountant or hire a specialist that will allow you to be productive in carrying out strategy. Budget and develop key performance indicators (KPIs) in each activity on the farm. Measure or track the KPIs through metrics to confirm, and utilize corrective action to improve.

Recognize, Reward and Hold Accountable
From bottom to top in the organization or family business, hold people accountable in each of their areas that links to overall success. Communicate successes and correct mistakes in private.

I believe these six steps can work in any business, at any stage or size.

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist specializing in business management and ag finance. He recently retired from Virginia Tech, but continues to conduct applied research and travel extensively in the U.S. and Canada, teaching ag and banking seminars and speaking to producer and agribusiness groups.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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