Tapping into unused talent and avoiding the Iceberg of Ignorance...
If you’re a dairy farmer, there is light at the end of the calving tunnel. Calving is the busiest, most exhausting time of the year on farm. There aren’t enough hours in the day, the work is physically demanding and the stakes are high. For many farms, the team may also have a few new faces, relationships are developing and the team is still establishing how they will work together.
I came across this picture the other day. I love it because it shows how critical it is to establish a culture where people at the coal face feel safe raising frustrations and problems. If they don’t, you’ll miss out on information that can help make work easier, better, faster, safer and more enjoyable for your team. You’ll also miss hearing about ideas for improvement – the people doing the work are usually the ones with the best ideas about how to fix what isn’t working.
The team also needs a practical process for sharing and capturing what didn’t work (these are “Opportunities for Improvement or OFI”). This is really important during busy times like calving: some things can be easily fixed but others will need time and energy which isn’t available during this time of year. Making sure we capture OFI so we can remember what they were and fix them when we have the time and energy is really important. Teams use different ways to do this (recording them on paper, WhatsApp groups, whiteboards) – how you do it isn’t important. Making it happen is!
Want to know more about continuous improvement culture and how to make it work on farm? Look out for part two of this blog next week or get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org