3 steps to avoid being a victim of California’s Drought
There is little escaping the realities caused by the historic drought from which California is suffering. Agribusiness and ag-families are deeply impacted. The subject of water is pervasive in the media; “pray for rain” signs cover the drying landscape and almost every business conversation revolves around the issue. In this environment, it is easy to adopt a victim’s mentality. After all, there is little for an individual to do. One cannot create rain or snow, nor can one divine new sources of water. Certainly we all must advocate for sound policy and hope for pragmatic solutions from lawmakers and regulatory agencies. Yet as former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said, “hope is not a strategy”.
There is however, opportunity in crisis. The only means to navigate this tumultuous business environment is to be proactive. Do not be a victim; merely reacting is certain to only further constrain your profitability and viability. Rather now is the time to take decisive action. Think and act differently. How can you mitigate risk, leverage your strengths and differentiate your offer? As Plato’s Republic states “necessity is the mother of invention”. Innovate and challenge your current practices. Are there new ways to accomplish old tasks? Is there an opportunity for vertical integration? Shakespeare reminds us, “misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” Shift your mindset; it is possible that current foes could prove to be important allies.
Take these 3 steps to avoid falling into the victim trap:
1. Collective intelligence: Seek out the brightest minds. Bring them to the table and work collaboratively with them to identify solutions or new approaches. Benefit from “beginner’s mind”. Covet good thinkers who may know little about the specifics of your business, but have a mind for solving challenges.
2. Presight not Hindsight: Think about what you will regret not doing six months or a year from now. The old adage is hindsight is 20/20. Truth be told, often that wisdom is apparent in this moment, we just chose not to see it because it frightens us. Think about the worst case and plan for action today. It is only in this moment that you can act. You cannot control the future and there is no way to undo the past. Better to take action, even if it is imperfect.
3. Talk: These are scary times. Faced with heavy burdens; do not shoulder them by yourself. Carrying the weight of fears for your family, your organization, its employees and their families, is not something to be done in the absence of others. Find a confidant, a trusted advisor, someone with whom you can share these very real worries and emotions. This is not only important for health but also your efficacy.
We live in unprecedented times. Water is only the latest challenge that has besieged the ag-community. Couple that with a rapidly changing regulatory landscape and a deep misunderstanding of agriculture by the consumer, it is obvious that these are difficult days.
Please don’t allow yourself to be a victim. Rather, be a change agent. There is opportunity in crisis, find it and exploit it.
If you want to learn more about how to take these steps, or if you simply want to talk to someone about your very real fears, please contact us.
The Intertwine Group delivers growth. We work to help family owned food and agribusinesses improve their strategy, leadership and employee engagement. We diagnose and solve real issues. With 25 years of experience and a proven model, we guarantee results.