I have had many requests to dive into more detail on our annual team strategy day. Each year we have a specific theme for our strategy day. We use a standard template each year with some standard content and then there are new agenda items also that are added based on the theme.
The Agenda for the day
This is our agenda for this year’s strategy day that we held a couple of weeks ago.
Exceptional in the Detail – our theme
This year our theme was “Exceptional in the Detail”. We are investing in a lot of technology which is going to provide us with a significant amount of detailed data and information. Our team will have whole new level of details and precision that will help them focus on being exceptional in all the key things.
Review of season – how did we go?
Our Strategy Day starts with a report out from the managers on our last season and an annual report that summarises the key numbers around herd number, animal health, quality, production and feed produced. Below you can see some of the slide templates for our annual report. Further, we run through all of our detailed graphs showing the weekly trends across the season. We then review the final budget vs actual so everyone understands the final cash position and profit and loss.
Every strategy day we do a brainstorm of What worked well and what can be improved for the next season. We review our Goals and Focus summary that is based on our strategic priorities for the last season to see how we went against targets and actions set last year. We then set new targets and focus areas for the next season.
Our vision – thinking strategically
This year we also talked about our updated strategy which we are calling our 2030 Strategy. Our current strategy document was developed 2017 for 2018-2023 and focused on establishing a stable and standardised and lean business. Succession was a big part of this also. We obviously have a lot to still do in the lean space and this will continue. However we are also ready to set some new and exciting goals for the business as we head towards 2030. We therefore spent some time with the team brainstorming what our business will look like in 2030 and what are some opportunities for growth or diversification.
Throughout our strategy day we also incorporate plenty of team building activities and working group type activities for brainstorming. We use a lot of post-its!! And of course there is time for some good food, laughs and golf!
This years activities included a session on communication where the team played a silent communication game using actions, a debating session where we the group split into two groups with one team “pro” and the other team “against” and we had to debate a controversial topic. These kind of activities help to build the teams communication skills which are all vital in life. We also did a tooth and energy drink experiment. Many young people love energy drinks but they are not necessarily the healthiest choice. When you are working in a physical role with longer hours, diet and looking after your health is critical.
Finally, we want our team to succeed in life no matter what they do. A huge part of success and helping them achieve their bucket list and other goals, is to be financially astute. We talked about money management and each team member received a simple book called “Money Made Simple” which I discovered in an inflight magazine on one of my Air New Zealand flights. This is a starting point to help our team especially the younger ones learn some valuable skills around money and how they can get ahead with clever investments. We will be following up on this with actions during our monthly “big picture” sessions we have on farm.
Working ON the business
We get a lot out of these days, the team thoroughly enjoy them and it helps to build good engagement, good clarity, good ownership and empowerment and a good team environment for our business. It helps our team to all work together in the same direction toward our common goals. This one day is called “working on the business” not in the business and it is one of the best investments you can make as a farm business. It helps to get you off farm and focus on the bigger picture of your business. Where do you want to take the farm. What’s important? If you are not doing this yet, then I strongly suggest you do!
Check out our quick video of the day on our blog too.