A word from the CEO: Happy New Year; Time to make a New Year’s resolution; New Year New Start

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I could start this article off with an array of clichés.

Each of them coming from a kernel of goodness that over time has become bland and often just said or written without thought or intention.

The challenge is when things become habitual they can become easier to do, but sometimes the thought is removed.

2018 is going to be a year where I think questioning habits is the way to go.

Is doing things the same or with an incremental slight change going to allow the success to occur?

The BCG Board members are asking themselves these questions. We have put effort into setting strategic goals. We have agreed upon how we will measure our journey trying to achieve the goals.

We have tried to set ourselves up in a way to capture the various opportunities that arise.

Each of these have taken commitment and trying to think through what we have done and what we will need to do.

The scary thing is, we will not really know for a couple of years how impactful the choices have been.

This same challenge is going to apply to our members and farmers across the region. For the majority, 2017 will be looked upon as a pretty good year. Not great but not a stinker either.

However, generalisations never help and I know a number of farms where frost and/or other issues have caused challenges and financial impact.

2016 was pretty good to excellent year, 2017 a good year, what will 2018 bring? Who knows, but I do know you are better off tackling the bigger decisions after a couple of good years rather than a couple of tough years.

Make sure you are not making the easy habitual choices around crop choices, paddock rotations and management inputs, but saying all right let’s set where we want to get to in five years’ time and identify what risks need to be tackled to get there. 

Is 2018 the time to start the succession planning discussion?

Is 2018 the year to set the five-year plan to grow the business by 25%?

Are we looking at paddocks in the district or further afield? Is lease or buy preferable or either?

Is 2018 the time to set up/invest/grow a business that is less impacted by the climate? Is it sheep, is it a chook shed or is it an industrial property in Thomastown?

All of these and a few more are the harder choices because they are bigger decisions involving more risk but normally they are best thought and talked about when the decision isn’t pressing.

I do know the worst time to take the riskier decision is when you have no other choice and it is all or nothing, nothing normally wins.

So here is to a year of exploring the bigger decisions and being ahead of the curve. It is generally the time when shared solutions are best discovered and implemented.

Finally, a song which is probably contrary to all that I have written above but at the same time reinforces that you don’t often know good times until they have passed by and you reflect.

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