Caught out

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Answering phone: “ahhh yep, G’day David, you caught me in the office.….”

This was a recent comment that pointed to an aspect of our culture in agriculture that I don’t feel is healthy, or creating the outcomes that people want in their businesses.

We’ve all heard it, quite a few of us have said it! Getting ‘caught’ in the office. I’m sure that sometimes it is accurate, we literally had just stopped to get something and the phone rang, so we grabbed it. Sometimes you are actually doing work in the office, but feel guilty that you aren’t out doing ‘real work’.

Now the outside work must be done, don’t get me wrong. For most producers, a majority of their time needs to be spent outside doing the stuff you really love (and are very good at). However, it is critical to spend time planning, analysing, working on the business to make sure that the outside work is the right thing to do and creating the outcomes that you want. Despite what you’ve heard, there isn’t a snake in the office. At least not all the time!

I just did some back of envelope numbers and if you are running 150 cattle on your own land, then you are probably running a million dollar business! Many readers are running well in excess of that so you are now managing a significant asset.
The value of is decision you make is now much greater.

We are seeing constant variability in commodity prices, seasons, input prices etc. Therefore, we must step out of the day to day tasks and invest some of our valuable time in the office for things like planning ahead, analysing some numbers before making a decision, clarifying what we want or need to achieve. In the Grazing for Profit School we talk about the value of your time and what value you can put on where you spend your time.

Investing good, strategic time in the office means the work you do outside is worth more money to you and your future. This office time could be worth $100/hr right up to $10,000/hr depending on the decisions and outcomes that come from it.

What example are you setting to the people around you? Are you emphasising the importance of strategic work on your business and putting yourself in control, or avoiding it?

Author:
David McLean
RCS Chief of Delivery

David McLean