The family that works together theoretically stays together. But people are human, and humans encounter an array of emotions that shape their world view and their approach to business communications, even on the farm.
For younger producers preparing to take over farm operations from the preceding generation, communications can be especially daunting, particularly in cases where the older generation is hesitant to talk about issues of money and ownership. In cases like that, it pays to have a strategic plan written down, says Sarah Beth Aubrey, a farm business coach, consultant and author.
“When one generation is really ready to talk about what the future holds and how to address it, how to make those changes and prepare for them, and another generation isn’t, that’s a dicey situation,” acknowledges Aubrey, who recently presented at a Top Producer webinar on strategic planning. Aubrey will lead farmers through two workshops on the subject during the 2016 Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference June 16-17 in Nashville.
(Click here to register for the 2016 Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort from June 16-17.)
To begin a discussion about farm business transitions, Aubrey recommends producers craft a one-page strategic plan based on an approach she developed called A.C.T.I.O.N.: Your Strategic Plan on a Page. The acronym A.C.T.I.O.N. stands for awareness, collaboration, trust, innovation, organization and NEXT!
Click the play button below to watch Aubrey’s complete webinar presentation about the A.C.T.I.O.N. approach to strategic planning:
“A lot of times, it’s hard to talk to someone at a different stage of the game when you can’t articulate what you’re wanting to do,” Aubrey says. “The conversation with that other generation may even be easier when you have something like this. You can approach a couple of members of that other generation and say, ‘I put some thought into this. These are the ideas that I have, these are the goals that I have. I’ve got some objectives for how I could accomplish them, and I want to talk with you about them.’ That may even grease the wheels a little bit and make the conversation easier because you’ve had the time to articulate what you want.”
To learn more from Aubrey about strategic planning, watch the webinar recording on this page or register for the 2016 Tomorrow’s Top Producer conference to attend her live workshops.