Being a Great Team Player in the Precision Agriculture Game
Only great team players who are great teammates, have the potential to get championship results. Each player on the team has a position to fill and a job to do. Great team players are successful because they understand the systems approach required to win. If teammates played only from their own perspective, and not in alignment with the other players, the result would be complete chaos.
We’ve all seen the results of this on the farm. While on-farm technology should never be considered a game with no consequences to real life, the same foundational components of championship teams are required for winning in profitable technology adoption.
In the precision agriculture industry, it’s often hard to find great team players. Even more challenging is getting great TEAMS to work together. Yet for producers, the owners of the farm team, this is a critical, under-recognized requirement for the success of technology on-boarding and adoption.
When a single player on the team doesn’t perform, the organization is required to fill that position with a stronger player who can perform at a higher level. In the process of developing our business we’ve had to look at who we are as players, what our abilities are as individuals, and how we can deliver value to a progressive farm team. Below are some points we have to recognize in ourselves to become invaluable team players:
Know the game: Every producer is a different person with different goals and objectives. It is important to know what they consider to be a win. There is no time for estimating or assuming. In the early stages of relationships, intense communication is required to make sure everyone is thinking with the same mindset, knows the goals and objectives, and can identify fundamental barriers and weaknesses to overcome — all details great teams know, prepare for, and implement. Why? Because these are the fundamentals. Standing before the Green Bay Packers with a football in his hands, legendary coach Vince Lombardi said these words, “Gentlemen, this is a football.” Six months later, the Packers went on to win the championship. Legendary basketball coach John Wooden took a similar approach to the fundamentals by teaching his teams how to tie their shoes.
Being well grounded in the fundamentals allow us to think bigger to the potentials we have within the team and the playing field (the farm). If we don’t identify the foundational components — the team’s current mindset toward technology, the team’s ability and desire to implement technology, equipment capability, water access potential, etc. — we’re not positioned to succeed.
To go along with the fundamentals identified, we also need to know the goals we want to accomplish. If any single teammate is not onboard with the owner’s goals and objectives, there is little to no chance for a win even with strong fundamentals. It all ties together.