Building Your Management Success
Do you ever have that feeling that others seem to be building more management success than you in certain areas of their operation? I think everyone has felt that at some point. The more significant question, however, assuming that might be partly true is: “Why?” What is their advantage over the way you normally operate?
One item that I have found very helpful to people in assisting them to reach their highest levels of success is the implementation of regularly scheduled Management Team Meetings. This is a concept that I introduced to my clients 20 years ago. As we have seen during that same time period, these sessions have guided many of our clients to achieve items that, had we asked them before, they would not have believed possible.
The concept revolves around the benefits of solid communication, positive teamwork and accountability. When we meet as a group, usually every other month, we have a written agenda that we try to follow as closely as possible. The benefits of doing this are two-fold. First, it makes sure that we do not skip over any important topics we need to discuss. Second, it keeps us from getting off on tangents that almost always seem to revolve around insignificant items. Essentially, the agenda keeps us focused.
We also keep a set of written minutes during each meeting. I have found that this creates greater accountability within a Management Team. At the end of each meeting, I send each and every Team Member a copy of the minutes (usually two pages). This has been helpful, because it allows everyone to know what items are supposed to happen prior to our next meeting (e.g. changes in the breeding program, improved heat detection, getting some help on milking procedures or milk quality issues). It is also useful for their review prior to the next meeting. At the top of these minutes are a listing of “The Top Three Tasks to be Completed” before our next meeting. We develop these as a Team.
Additionally, as the facilitator of these meetings, you will find these minutes very useful in setting your agenda for the next meeting and to make sure that you cover all the necessary items to keep you moving forward in your operation. For example, if you have discussed the need for improved heat detection at your last meeting and then established a set of steps to take to make improvement, having this in the minutes will remind you to revisit the current situation to see if you are indeed seeing positive results. Otherwise, it can end up on the “back burner” and not really get resolved. Of course, in the case of heat detection or other key management issues, this could spell disaster down the road.
Deciding who to include in these meetings is crucial. Here are a couple guidelines for you:
- You will want to include anyone who is a “key player” in your operation. Normally, this will include your Veterinarian, Nutritionist, Herd Manager, your Financial Adviser if you use one, your Banker if you wish and you as the owner.
- Include only people who have something positive to contribute. These meetings are designed to improve your business, not to point fingers at each other and determine who is at fault in an area that needs improvement. The real reason for the meeting is to make sure that you are achieving everything you possibly can. My experience has been that participants who are argumentative or critical of others do not really add to the success of the Team.
- When you hold these meetings, you can reach a point of saturation in terms of participation. In other words, you can get to the point where you have too many people in attendance. This will tend to impede your progress because it will reduce the level of open dialogue between your Team members.
These meetings will lead to greater levels of success in your business because they generate greater:
- Common Goals
- A reason for Celebrating Success
If you would like to learn more about similar topics and the tactics our Clients have used to improve their outcomes, as well as what applications of these lessons you can make in your business, please join us for our next Success Strategies Mastermind Group series of quarterly workshops in July 2019. They are designed to teach more people the Finance & Strategy Concepts that I offer business people. Signups have begun, giving you the opportunity to learn these same concepts and meet with other producers who have overcome some of the same challenges you may be facing. Check them out at:
This entire thinking process is absolutely critical today, and if you need assistance, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out the rest of our website for many useful tools for your ongoing business evaluation. I’m always available for a follow-up call and wish you the best of success!