Employees as Assets
Allan Gray, the center’s director, recently sat down with us to discuss how agribusinesses should think about investing in their employees during an industry downturn. Below, Allan Gray shares:
- Why you shouldn’t be so fast to cut professional development from the budget
- How to view learning as something other than a cost on the balance sheet
- How to position your people to be more capable of handling a different market environment
- How the changing market environment will affect farmer buying decisions
This article examines the act of collecting, organizing and storing selected data and information that has been identified as needed. The objective is to create a process that allows for timely availability of the most relevant data for transformation into intelligence.
In our previous article (Data Driven Decision Making in Times of Crisis), we discussed the importance of making decisions based on insights derived from data and information. In other words, the article focused on having an intelligence-driven approach to the decision making process. Decision makers need the right information at the right time in the most useful and trustworthy form to be able to make well-informed decisions in an uncertain environment. A key question arising from our intelligence framework is: What data/information is important? Or, more precisely, what data/information is necessary to inform our decision?
COVID-19 has sent shock waves throughout the world, challenging every aspect of life. During this time of great tragedy and uncertainty, peoples’ daily lives have been disrupted in an abundance of ways. The concepts of communication, distance, work, food and even shopping are suddenly being redefined. In the food and agricultural business world, this tragedy has resulted in the examination of many aspects of business from the design of supply chains to impacts on consumer buying behaviors to the future of international trade. Has this massive disruption brought a new awareness to risk preparedness, co-dependencies in supply chains and the risks of the pursuit of efficiency at all costs? What are the ramifications of forced use of technology to communicate, buy and arrange for deliveries on the selling and buying functions of farms and agribusinesses? Have we shifted to a longer-term view where things like climate change and sustainability are embraced as part of the grand challenges of the industry, or have these issues been placed on a back burner as we focus on the here and now? Have we started to think about and implement new performance metrics that measure the industry and firm survivability, not just profitability? Ultimately, in the aftermath of this global tragedy, what can we learn about the future of the food and agribusiness industry that can help us create more resilient markets, supply chains, firms, leaders and employees?