Feed Lot

DEC 2017

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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with ideas, strategies and even their own mistakes if they know that there are no consequences for their frankness. Take a straight-forward, unvar- n ished and conscientious look at y our operation. Are there barriers that need to be removed? Are there some topics that cannot be dis- cussed? Are there processes and procedures that have outlived their usefulness or need a full review? Do you have some Sacred Cows that need to be fed and nurtured… or slaughtered for the meat? Re- solving these issues may very well b e the difference between profit a nd loss in the upcoming year. Don Tyler is founder of Tyler & Associ- ates Management Coaching. He can be reached at dhtyler@frontiernet.net or by calling 765-490-0353. FL FEED•LOT  December 2017 19 road to a long-term storage shed that was used for seasonal equipment. A few days later the owner asked where they went. I explained that I knew how much those meant to him, s o I took them out of the shed that h ad all the traffic going in and out, and cleaned them up and put them down at the other machinery storage where they would be safer. His only response was, "Thanks." Sacred Cows pose many chal- lenges. First, you must realize when you are dealing with one, and ac- cept that it exists. Then you need to appreciate its origin, learn why it became "sacred" in the first place, and show some respect for the emotional connection its owner has with that project, program, equipment, strategy, person or other item in the busi- ness. Finally, and this is the hard part… you have to decide if you are going to feed it, nur- ture it, groom it and sup- port it—or slaughter it for the meat. As we develop our busi- ness strategy for the new year, an essential part of that process needs to be identifying any Sacred Cows that are no longer valuable, have outlived their usefulness, are creating a barrier to more modern techniques, or causing disharmony among the leadership and management. In Jim Collins' book, Good to Great he talks about doing "autop- sies without blame" where the leadership does an open, honest re- view of business decisions and out- comes, without any focus on who made the decisions, managed the project or was otherwise involved. Practicing this strategy helps Good businesses become Great ones, be- cause a factual, pragmatic, blame- free review of decisions creates the openness needed to maximize results over time. Managers and leaders will be more forthcoming

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