As we pause to consider 2014 and beyond, we can see there is a lot of change afoot in our world. Change is certainly not a new characteristic of the strategic environment for agricultural business. However, the speed of change now working its way through our world in technical innovation, communications, social media, culture, government policy and our collective weltanschauung (perspective of the world) is very new and compels us more than ever to keep one eye on the present moment, executing our current plans well, and the other eye squinting toward the horizon for clues about tomorrow’s opportunities and coming challenges.
Dennis DiPietre Simply knowing what is likely to come is not sufficient to qualify for a seat at the table in the future. In “Six rules for Effective Forecasting,” (Harvard Business Review, July-August, 2007), Paul Saffo notes that the “goal of forecasting is not to predict the future, but to tell you what you need to know to take meaningful action in the present.” More than ever before, flexibility and the ability to be creatively restructuring today for tomorrow’s opportunities is the price of admission to long-term access of the stock of scarce global resources: Characteristics and resources we must acquire to feed a growing population with rising incomes and demands for food.
As hard as it is to comprehend in an industry and a world that has struggled economically now for more than half a decade, the opportunity presented by what is coming is without question more exciting. It also is more profitable and even more human than what we have experienced in our world to date, but it will not be available to everyone.
As in every great move forward, there is a driving force, an insight or a discovery that unlocks a new era of progress for a world ready to step up and possess it. The key that unlocks the next step in our future is the emergence of precision as both methodology and mindset for technical innovation and applied practice. Those who can embrace both have a ticket to ride.
Precision to Identify Issues Sooner
Precision is about details and about achieving the goals we set out to accomplish with greater frequency. Precision is about understanding far more quickly when, where and why things are going awry and being able to make timely and targeted responses to fix problems in effective manner. That requires some dramatic changes in what we measure and the way we measure it in order to close the deviations gap between our planned production goals and our actual outcomes.