Faciltated by Dennis Hoiberg, Lessons Learnt Consulting, this program is designed to assist farming and regional businesses achieve long-term profitability and sustainability.
Participants will acquire practical skills that can be applied to both personal and business life.
The seven-part program commenced in early 2020, with two face-to-face sessions conducted before being paused in response to the COVID-19 situation. The program resumed in August 2020, with weekly sessions scheduled from 14 August to September 11, 2020.
The consecutive sessions allow participants attending multiple (or all) sessions to build on their understanding and maximise the benefits of the program.
The program consists of 7 modules:
- Keeping your head in the game
- Positioning your business to thrive
- Shaping your future
- Managing finances
- Managing relationships
- Managing change
- When the rubber hits the road: Operational planning and management
Module 1: Keeping your head in the game
If you lose your “why”, you lose your way
A targeted discussion to challenge participants to identify why they are doing, what they are doing and whether they have both individual and shared values to achieve their “why”.
Participants will have their values and strengths profiled as part of a journey towards self-discovery. The “beliefs-values-behaviours” spectrum will be identified and applied for lives and businesses.
Participants will be given a framework for maintaining healthy physical and emotional habits to ensure they are able to play the “long game.”
Participants will have a clearer view of their individual and shared values and strengths profiles and will be guided as to how to positively apply them to their lives and businesses. Participants will be able to identify their “why” and will ask “do we want to?” and “if we do, how do we do?”. Participants will identify their life mission statement and behaviours for wellbeing and resilience.
Module 2: Positioning your business to thrive
If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got
Can your business keep doing what you have always done? What are the options for your business and how can they be assessed and achieved?
This workshop module will help participants deeply examine the analytics of their business and to identify possible alternatives, as well as considering how such alternatives can be achieved.
A detailed environmental and situational analysis will be conducted by participants on their own businesses. Participants will work to think outside the square in terms of business options. This module is designed to help participants start asking different questions of their farming and financial advisors to imagine a future “what is possible” business.
Module 3: Shaping your future
Vision without action is waste of time, action without vision is filling in time, but with vision and action you change change the world.
What is the most appropriate strategic planning framework for rural and regional businesses? This module will use a recommended and tested planning model to identify the aspirations of the business and the linkages required to achieve them.
Participants will investigate all aspects of business operations to ensure the business moves from people running a business to a thriving business being run by people – individuals, families, and co-operatives. This requires a change of mindset and thinking process.
Participants will begin developing their strategic and tactical plans, with templates provided to assist participants begin the process of transforming their businesses. Participants will see how stronger questioning and a curious approach to their why, what and how can help drive better business choices.
Module 4: Managing finances
The devil is in the detail – understanding and using the numbers
Participants will be provided with another way of looking at the numbers and detail. This module will build the business and financial literacy of the participants, with the aim of achieving clearer aspirations for participants by asking more informed questions of their advisors and providers.
Participants will “deep dive” into their businesses using a provided template to help adopt strategies that may better serve them and their businesses. In this module, participants will also be encouraged to share their findings and to identify strategies to achieve their aspirations.
Module 5: Managing relationships
Relationships: At the end of the day, it’s all about relationships
Effective relationships are the fuel that keep small business alive. What are the strategies that keeps these relationships alive and thriving? It is more than just communication – it’s about shared values, goals and having a clear understanding of accountabilities and expectations.
Managing relationships is about understanding the key relationships and applying these strategies on a needs basis. It’s also about managing the difficult times, negotiating and collaborating to achieve a shared outcome.
Participants will complete an “Opinion Leaders Analysis” for external stakeholders and develop strategies for various stakeholders. Strategies to manage internal relationships will also be developed by participants, inlcuding a needs analysis, managing conflict, change and difficult situations.
Module 6: Managing change
Change: No real change happens unless there is resistance – it’s about harnessing that energy to bounce forward.
How do you change behaviour of people? What are those triggers of change that people will either use as a motivator or a blockage to progress? How do you ensure all people are on the “same page” while allowing for individual difference?
Participants will develop their own change management matrix. Strategies to overcome resistance behaviours and attitudes will be developed and implemented.
Module 7: When the rubber hits the road
When it’s all said and done, there needs to be more done than said
This session will build on the decisions that have been made during the previous modules, providing strategies to both measure and sustain change within the business. There will be a focus on operational planning processes and management mechanisms to ensure the business is effectively managed and continuously works toward its agreed objectives.
Accountability, from internal and external sources, is powerful in keeping people focusing on doing what they say they are going to do.
An operational plan covering all elements of the agreed business plan will be implemented, evaluated and measured, ensuring strategies and behaviours are consistent with the aspirations of the business. Management mechanisms and reporting lines will be included to ensure the vision is turned into reality