Innovation, Creativity and Brainstorming

From Feed and Grains Magazine - Have you ever been in a situation where somebody came up with what seemed to be a really weird idea, and then someone in the group said, “yeah, that’s kind of interesting, but if we added this change it would be awesome and useful.” Brainstorming — an activity that we don’t engage in nearly enough — can be fun and productive. This is not to say that we always need to be changing the way we do things, but brainstorming can allow us to look at a problem or challenge from a different perspective and sometimes to come up with an innovative solution. Tom Peters said, “If it ain’t broke, you haven’t looked hard enough, fix it anyway.” For feed and grain organizations focused on success, Mr. Peters offers some sage advice that puts innovation and creativity front and center.


Modern Chinese Management and Agribusiness

China is one of the most major food producers and consumers in the world. More and more western agribusinesses are forming alliances and partnerships with Chinese companies, and mergers and acquisitions are taking place. Well-known Chinese companies such as the retail giant Alibaba is involved in agriculture, working in the supply chain of fruits and vegetables. Many input manufacturers such as chemical and seed suppliers are based in China and are increasing their footprint in the western ag world. Additionally, important commodity traders such as COFCO are based in China. China, after the U.S., is the second largest investor in ag techs with $2.7 billion in investments in 2022, targeting mainly biotechnology and bioenergy, according to AgFunders.

How to Tighten Your Grasp During Industry Shifts

There’s no double that the ag and seed industries have experienced major changes over the last 5-10 years, with the last two years greatly accelerating these changes across all levels. Mergers, acquisitions, cost saving initiatives, the pandemic and much more have impacted our daily operations. With such a dynamic and fluid marketplace, it can be difficult to make sense of these shifts; however, those who don’t attempt to keep up can quickly be left behind.

What if You Could Be 10% Better?

One of the cool things I get to do in my role as a professor today in sales and marketing is work with sales organizations all over the world. Hearing some of the challenges these organizations face nearly daily gives me, I think, a unique perspective on trends. When I see repeated issues arise, it prompts me to identify tools researchers in the area of sales and marketing have explored that may be relevant to what is happening in the real world, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes academia follows the real world rather than leading it, but research about sales in one industry often applies to what happens in others. The trends I’m observing right now may fall into that category.