Isn’t it usually easier to solve someone else’s problem rather than your own? It’s easier because you are more objective and haven’t invested the blood, sweat, money and tears into their situation. Making it even easier to be an arm-chair quarterback, you don’t have to implement any of your brilliant solutions….they do.
Just as you often see your neighbor’s opportunities more clearly than they do, they see yours too. This is why it is so important for a business to have an outside board of advisors. Sometimes what they have to say isn’t easy to take. We tend to defend our past decisions; after all, they don’t know the whole story. But advisors don’t need to know the whole story. Where you’ve been isn’t as important as where you are going and that’s where their focus should pull you, getting you to think about what you want and how you will get there.
Even though your neighbor may see opportunities you don’t, it probably isn’t a good idea that they sit on your board. In Executive Link we purposely make the boards as geographically diverse as we can. Businesses on a new Executive Link board that will be meeting next month in Colorado include ranch businesses from Southern Alberta to South Texas and enterprises that include commercial cow-calf, seed stock, hunting, grass finished beef and lamb and direct marketing. What seems impossible in one environment and enterprise mix is standard operating procedure for another. The synergy possible when we have this level of diversity is where breakthroughs are born.
Our natural tendency is to avoid diversity. We tend to associate with people who think like we do. But just as diversity increases health and stability of an ecosystem, diversity also increases the power of a team. If everyone thinks the same thing, then no one may be thinking very much and only one of us is necessary.
Whether through our Executive Link program or organizing your own team, periodic review from people who are objective and have diverse perspectives will lead to better decisions and a stronger business.
With that in mind, we have created a Ranching For Profit Blog in which we can debate and discuss the issues and observations I raise in ProfitTips. I invite you to respond to these articles with your reactions and questions and to share your experience. I am looking forward to using this blog to generate rich and stimulating discussions from which we will all benefit. After all, none of us is as smart as all of us.
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