Bob Milligan

Articles By Bob Milligan

Aug 08, 2011

Leading and Managing a Farm Business Today

Dramatic changes in farm business management mean decision-making is more complex, a team is needed to make decisions, and personal growth and development opportunities both within and outside of agriculture are needed. Over the last 50 years, we have gone from feeding hay and grain to balancing rations for amino
Jul 08, 2011

Do You Work Too Much?

I just returned from an absolutely fantastic two week vacation in Italy (with Road Scholar educational programs). It has been an embarrassingly long time since I took a true vacation - no work, no emails, no phone calls. Although I certainly did not come home rested after a busy two
Apr 11, 2011

Leading a Successful Dairy Business in Turbulent Times

Four key responsibilities are necessities, including requiring excellence in operations, and establishing and implementing a winning business direction and strategy. Recently, in discussing “Strategy in Turbulent Times,” I introduced: Embrace Change + True Urgency = Opportunity. While teaching and reflecting on these ideas, I have thought about the broader issue
Mar 29, 2011

Strategy in Turbulent Times

Three years ago, none of us could have imagined what would transpire over the next three years in our dairy and agricultural industry or in the general economy. I have been referring to this as TURBULENCE X TURBULENCE. Since there is no indication that either the dairy/agriculture economy or the
Dec 10, 2010

"Good Job!" How People Respond to Positive Feedback

Praise motivates employees and builds confidence. What if you provided high-quality positive feedback at least once a day for the next 21 days? Achieving superb farm performance requires excellence in both our technical and our people processes. What people processes, then, do we utilize to ensure that our workforce performance
Nov 13, 2010

Active Listening: The Lifeblood of Great Communication

Many, perhaps most, of us do not fully listen to what is being said nor do we then ask follow-up questions to elicit greater understanding or additional information. Think of a recent time when someone – employee, colleague, partner, family member, friend – was not listening when you had something
Oct 04, 2010

Quality Assurance: A Key to the New Higher Management Level

Quality assurance is necessary to enable ourselves and employees to succeed. It may sound simple, but it’s not. The last several issues of LearningEdge™ have discussed the need for management to go to a new higher level. We have built on Albert Einstein’s statement, “The significant problems we face cannot
Sep 03, 2010

How Do I Motivate Joe?

As workplace leaders and managers, anything you can do to create on-the-job intrinsic motivation will lead to increased productivity and greater job satisfaction. The most frequent question I get asked is, “How do I motivate Joe (or Emily or Bill or Betsey, etc.). The simple answer is: You don’t. Joe
Aug 06, 2010

Coping with Emotions in a Turbulent Economy

By Dr. Bob Milligan, Dairy Strategies, LLC As I have interacted with clients and workshop participants, many continue to experience and observe strong emotional and behavioral responses to the current economic conditions. (I often refer to this as “turbulence x turbulence” to describe the turmoil both in agriculture and the