Reduce time-suckers on your farm to improve results
Which items on your to-do list do you dread? Do you delay a task because it’s harder than it needs to be? When tasks are too complex, you waste time and lose motivation, says Susan Hite of Hite Resources, a certified facilitator of complexity reduction for Bayer CropScience in the U.S.
In November, Hite spoke at the 2012 Executive Women in Agriculture conference in Chicago about the complexity reduction program that she developed for Bayer, based on the book From Complexity to Simplicity by Simon Collinson and Melvin Jay.
"Reducing complexity is a simple, yet profound way to reduce stress and increase profits on your farming operation," Hite says. Below are nine behaviors that hinder progress. Once you identify which behaviors you or those within your farming operation exhibit, you can begin to eliminate unnecessary complexity.
Hite says the best way to start reducing complexity is to lead by example. "You have to model the way. Demonstrate your commitment to show you are always making things simpler yourself and improving your own behaviors."
Also, realize that this is an ongoing process. "Continually challenging anything is not simple," Hite says. "Keep asking: Is this the simplest way?"
This includes making minor changes that do not add up to something substantially better. Make sure you recognize when something is good enough, and stop trying to make it 100% perfect.
Do you make the decision-making process more intellectual than it needs to be? Determine which details are important, make a decision based on the facts and be ready to act.
You can always improve a process or product. But creating a new way of doing something just for the sake of trying something new can be a waste of both time and energy. Determine what you do well enough and what needs improvement, and move on.
- January 2013