I recently returned from a farm tour, something always enjoyable for the blend of technology, heritage and family dynamics. While looking around the operation, I was drawn to the farm shop. This is odd in my case, as I honestly don’t find farm equipment that interesting. I don’t even own any tools of my own, unless you count a garden rake.
I studied the gleaming shine of the Snap-On cabinets with their bright red drawers standing as orderly as sentinels. I appreciated how all the items were demurely labeled from floor to ceiling. The tools were groups together by function and task.
The owner and his head mechanic were proud, and it was clear everything worked in tandem whenever
needed. It was August—the shop floors were swept cleaner than a hospital surgery center—and the farm patiently awaited the fall season.
Operational Order. I realized that what I loved about the shop was the process of things. Each tool had its own special place and there was a process for accessing the tool, using it and returning it for the next user. The system clearly met the operation’s needs and ensured they solved the problem or got to their destination as quickly as possible. With executive coaching, we are attempting to do the same thing. A process approach makes perfect sense for farm leaders who are navigating both their family members and their team of employees.
Create Your Own. Now that you know the process, you’re ready to interview your own executive coach or to implement a coaching program to develop young leaders in your own organization. You wouldn’t leave your shop a mess because you might end up searching fruitlessly for just the right tool when you are in a hurry. Nope, you would organize the best resources and keep them handy. The same goes for professional development. Before you start to put this kind of a program in place, develop a process, test it and find a way that works. In my next column, we’ll meet some of your peers, farmers that are actually using the process of coaching and taking time out to focus on their operations.
Read the full article from The Farm CEO Coach here.