Letters From Lisa – September 2022

Inspired accountability keeps everyone accountable 

At BioZyme we desire a culture that drives what I like to call inspired accountability.  Inspired accountability is every leader’s dream, as it is accountability that is driven from inside the individual not accountability that is driven with a whip, financial incentives, more days off or performance reviews.  Sounds impossible, especially in a time in our country where accountability of anything including being nice to people seems to have disappeared.  

Webster’s Dictionary defines accountability as: “the obligation or willingness to accept responsibility for one’s actions.” At work, that might look like owning a mistake and sharing it as a learning experience or giving a presentation around your personal contributions and their impact. 

Henry Evans, the author of “Winning with Accountability,” says accountability is “clear commitments that in the eyes of others have been kept.” Here, the phrase “in the eyes of others” is key. On teams, accountability isn’t just about making and keeping commitments; it’s also about transparency and sharing with teammates along the way. When we make our commitments visible to our teammates (through daily check-ins, quarterly reviews, an annual tool or some other format), everyone is empowered to ask follow-up questions, check on progress and help move work forward. 

Fostering a culture of inspired accountability is one of the hardest things I have had to try and do as a business leader. I struggle with it daily and if I am totally transparent, I would say I am closer to failure than success. So how do I have the right to write this article? I probably don’t, but maybe some of the things I try to do to lead the accountability desired will jump start your brain and you can share back what has worked for you to help me out. Below are just a few of the items I try to keep in my head: 

1. Model inspired accountability 

When it comes to building a culture of inspired accountability, change starts with you. Team accountability is impossible without strong personal accountability in place first, so it’s important to first work on yourself before approaching an accountability conversation with others. 

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2. Set clear expectations 

It may sound obvious but doing what your teammates expect of you requires clarity around what’s expected in the first place. Unclear expectations and lack of specificity create accountability gaps. To fill these gaps and reduce ambiguity, try to be as specific as possible. 

3. Create a “safe space” environment 

Trust and feeling safety when taking risks are foundational to building a culture of accountability. 

4. Use the Accountability Puzzle 

This puzzle (created by Henry Evans) consists of four pieces where each reinforces the others. When a single piece is missing, so is accountability. The four are: 

  1. Clear expectations 
  1. Deadlines with a specific date and time 
  1. One owner of each task 
  1. Sharing specific commitments with another person so we can hold each other accountable 

According to a recent study in Inc magazine, 93% of employees don’t understand what their team is trying to accomplish (let alone how they can contribute to help get there), and 85% of leaders aren’t defining clear enough expectations for employees in the first place. Without accountability standards and accountability systems in place, folks will constantly struggle to know what’s expected of them to perform to their fullest potential. 

This is a hard topic, but together I think we can get it done. Agriculture understands inspired accountability more than any other industry in my opinion.  I mean who gets up at 3:30 am to blow out a steer or heifer, lunge a horse, feed the chickens, check the weather or markets????? 

Letters From Lisa – August 2022

In previous issues of VISION, I talked about having the right people in the right seats on the bus. In thinking about the forward movement of that bus, lifelong learning helps keeps the momentum. These folks never settle for what they currently know and always seek to improve and build upon their current knowledge. People become smarter with the power of knowledge and solve problems more easily. Who doesn’t want them on their bus?

In this busy world, it may be hard to find time to learn anything that isn’t repeatedly shoved in our face. But if we can find time to learn a bit more, it is well worth the effort. Both personal and professional development are extremely rewarding, and I encourage you to make some time to grow and expand your knowledge.

Here are some tips for including the habit of continuous learning in our busy life.

Read! Reading helps cultivate curiosity, expand imagination and develop a greater appreciation for those who are different from you.

“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”-Albert Einstei

Think! Simply reading the wisdom of others isn’t enough; you must think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling or contemplating over ideas you have read.

Apply! Skill-based continuous learning is useless if it isn’t used. Reading a book on a coding language isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Watching a YouTube segment on painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush. Knowledge must be put it into practice to improve those in the seats.

Taking risk by setting out to do something you don’t know how to do, whether in a personal or business environment is valuable. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging and make you more valuable to your teammates on the bus.

The desire to learn must come from within; few external forces are going to persuade you to do it. And sometimes it may seem a daunting task. But if you set learning goals, plan and take action to keep yourself moving, you will find yourself immersed in true learning.

When you make lifelong learning a priority it helps you enhance the depth and breadth of your knowledge, which can subsequently help provide key insights and opportunities to move business forward.

The more you know and learn, the more you will realize what there is available to know and learn. Start building momentum for greater chances of lifelong achievement and happiness.

Letters From Lisa – June/July 2022

It has been said, your business is only as great as your people. Having the right people, in the right seats, doing the right things plays a huge role in the overall success of any business operation.

The right people are employees who share your company’s core values and help to support a culture based on those values. The right seat means that an employee is operating within their area of greatest skill and passion within an organization, says Jim Collins in his book, “Good to Great.”

To take that a step further, we don’t just want to be great. We want to WOW!

At BioZyme, we have invested heavily in our team over the last few years to be committed to excellence or more simply put, to be WOWing. We take a simplified approach that is built on the below hierarchy:

Know You

One cannot be WOWing until one looks in the mirror. At BioZyme, we use a cool tool called the Culture Index to help our team know who they and those around them are. The Culture Index is a scientific approach to the “right people, right seats” concept. Culture Index allows leaders to understand the unique needs of each employee in the organization, communicate effectively and inspire peak performance. It allows people to flourish by leveraging their strengths rather than mitigating their weaknesses.

Know Us

Much has been written about shared understanding, a state of organizational nirvana where every person has clarity on the big picture, knows how his or her own puzzle piece fits in and acts accordingly. At BioZyme, we work hard at this using B4 (an internal website focused on the big picture), Yammer (a business version of Facebook for puzzle piece sharing), monthly “big picture” snack & learns, the B4 quarterly newsletter (yes, it is in print), quarterly President “big picture” updates and regular documented team huddles for constant puzzle working. These communication tools help share information from all corners of the company. While the center of the puzzle is often the focus, corners and borders are essential.

Know the Job

Knowing one’s job is an important part of the BioZyme hierarchy. In short, a job description is a written statement that describes the duties, responsibilities and reporting relationships of a particular job. Job descriptions are useful communication tools to tell employees exactly what tasks you expect them to perform. Without such clear communication, employees may not perform to expectation, and then everyone is disappointed. At BioZyme, we review job descriptions regularly. It is a huge task, but it has been well worth it. We have found that most of the challenges we run into on a personnel level come back to the job description being unclear or the person being unsure of what the bullets in their job description mean.

Know Your Work

Performance reviews are awkward. They’re biased. Performance reviews are old fashioned, but they are still one of the most important tasks for an organization to be WOWing. To be effective, performance reviews must be done regularly to recognize and reward. At BioZyme, our Know Your Work initiative translates back to our performance review process. Our reviews are a direct tie back to the job description in an approach we have titled CONNECT. To connect means to join together to provide communication. These communications are held as a conversation that each employee has at least quarterly with their manager. In the process, each role grades themselves on their job description bullets. Their manager does the same and then the two sit down together, review and discuss any scoring differences. In the end, either the job description is updated to be more accurate or there is a discussion to outline what improvements need to be made.

Bottom line – to be WOWing one must know. To know means having the right people, in the right seats, doing the right things so they can play a huge role in the overall success of the business.

Letters From Lisa – May 2022

This month’s focus is on Sure Champ® and Vita Charge®, two product lines that have experienced growth. What has created this success? Supporting young people involved in livestock. I know you are wriggling your nose right now, and thinking this lady is nuts. Nuts since we all know that helping young people doesn’t grow sales or pay bills. While whether I am nuts or not is debatable, my response is not. Economics are not all that matters, even in business.

BioZyme®, under the leadership of Bob Norton, started supporting youth in livestock back in 2007 when it became the title sponsor of both the National Junior Hereford Expo and the National Junior Angus Show. Why did we do this? Because these events and junior programs help create and shape youth that matter. As I was writing this note to all of you, I took a moment and asked Bod why he started making this a focus. His response was pretty simple, “The people in the industry are a lifestyle worth working to sustain. Livestock families are unique and special and extremely important to the welfare of the community, the state and the country.”

Darcy from the blog, Success is Reason Enough, lists the following facts about youth people who show cattle, but in my opinion, it applies to kids who show any animal.

  • They wake up early before school, to feed and care for their animals.
  • They stay up late in the evenings working hair, feeding rations and making sure their steer is rinsed one more time before they head to bed.
  • They know how to respect others.
  • They know how to receive critique, how to ask questions and how to push just a little bit longer.
  • They know how to evaluate their own cattle and others; and how to defend themselves verbally in front of a judge.
  • They know that one little tweak in a showing can be the difference between a championship slap…. or nothing.
  • They know that whatever you placed first or last…. you still need to shake the judge’s hand.
  • They can load up a trailer and set off to a show halfway across the country by themselves, because they know how to care for their livestock and budget their money, so they still have enough for diesel on the way home.
  • They know that those around them are trying to beat them in the ring…. but when they walk out the gate, if a fellow showman needed the proverbial shirt off their back, they’d hand it to them in a heartbeat.

That sounds like the perfect applicant for every position we have at BioZyme. And without this type of workforce in out future, the USA will never reach its full potential.

If you are still asking why we do this, let me reiterate that these young people are our future. More importantly, they are agriculture’s future. And for them, the experience of showing matters. And making kids feel like they matter; well…. it matters to us.

Letters From Lisa – April 2022

Systems and processes are the essential building blocks of our companies. Every facet of our business—on the production floor, in the warehouse or in the office—is part of a system that can be managed or improved. A system is designed to connect all of an organization’s intricate parts and interrelated steps so they can work together for the achievement of success.

There are several reasons to implement a business system.

Improving Top-Line Performance: In short, a business system takes care of your future. It ensures if you know you are meeting your customers’ expectations, which is key to growing a healthy business.

Meeting Customer’s Expectations: If you use a system like a CRM and a systematic approach, your organization will be motivated to analyze, measure, compare and test all the possibilities of what your customers want and don’t want.

Employee Development: The goal of the development system is to enable proper education and opportunities to all employees so they can complete their work more efficiently and effectively.

Reduce Costs and Increase Profits: It has been proven time and again that the implementation of a sound business system helps reduce costs. However, a good business system is intended to reduce costs without taking the shortcuts that often lead to an erosion of profitability by lowering quality expectations or service levels.

Unfortunately, you can’t just go buy a business system, you must build it, and it includes 100 parts: an information system, an IT system, a CRM system, a production system, a drive Lisa nuts system and an etc.,etc., etc. system. The choices are many, and therefore the decisions are many, which is sometimes hard. I am by no means a system expert, but this month we will focus on sharing about the three that I do feel we have done well – the CRM, Inventory and Marketing Project Management. I have always believed that most every challenge in business can be solved if you 1) get the right system in place, 2) then develop the processes to properly use that system and then finally 3) ensure the people involved are in the right seat on the bus and are personally inspired to keep themselves accountable to these system and processes. So, you can see I believe systems are first. Why?

  1. Systems provide consistency: With business systems, you can more easily produce the same products and services with the same level of consistency. Once you have created your systems and developed the processes engaged with the systems, your employees can easily be consistent.
  2. Change is easier to accomplish: Systems make a business predictable. So, when change impacts your business – which may often occur these days – knowing that becomes easier. You will also then better predict how the change should be handled.
  3. Training new employees becomes easier: New hires can be quickly integrated into your business when there is a system and a set of procedures for them to follow, so they know exactly what is expected.
  4. Staff can focus on what they do best: Once business systems are established and implemented, some activities can be performed on “autopilot.” Repetitive activities in your business become routine, so you and your team can focus on activities with higher payoffs.

Systems are what make businesses grow, flow, endure and be sustainable. Businesses that effectively use systems find themselves winning against their competition. I leave you with this thought. If you don’t have the resources or time to pick a “high tech” system don’t ignore this letter of ideas. At BioZyme, we have had to start with a paper “system” MANY times. What I have found is that what is not ok to say is, “I will get a system when I can afford it or once this or that happens.” DO IT now, even if it is using a concrete tablet.

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Letters From Lisa – March 2022

Does passion make you work harder and smarter? I don’t think so. I think passion makes you want to work harder and smarter. But there is way more to working harder and smarter than passion. The real problem with this cliché is that it gets tossed around so casually as an answer to all business problems and yet, it has so little to do with how a business needs to operate.

Many people believe work balance is really the goal and so they changed the phrase to “work smarter, not harder.” What’s the difference?

Luckily someone took the challenge of finding a clear answer… UC Berkeley professor Morten Hansen looked at 200 academic papers, interviewed 120 experts, ran a pilot study on 300 subjects and built a framework which he then tested on 5,000 participants from various industries and backgrounds.

He found seven behaviors that made up 66% of the difference in how people performed. (By comparison, standard metrics like education, age and hours worked were only responsible for 10% combined.) His new book, “Great at Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, and Achieve More” outlines these seven.

We’re going to look at three of my favorites so that we can get hard, smart work done — and maybe even achieve that mythical “work-life balance” unicorn everyone is always talking about.

Do Less — then Obsess
Everyone agrees we need to quit trying to accomplish 9,000 things at once. But when Hansen looked at the data, he found that this was only half the solution. Top performers focus on fewer goals — but they also obsess like crazy over them. This is a really hard one for me. I am very good at obsessing but if I am honest, I obsess over all of the hundreds of opportunities I think BioZyme has. I am going to take this advice to heart and pick three for 2022.

Use “The Learning Loop”
Deliberate practice seems straightforward in sports, music or chess. But how do you do it in the workplace? Hansen offers some clear steps:

  • Pick one and only one skill at a time to develop. It’s “do less and obsess” all over again. Trying to get better at everything at once gets you nowhere. Right now, you want to be better at social media. So, learning QuickBooks will have to wait.
  • Pick one and only one skill at a time to develop. It’s “do less and obsess” all over again. Trying to get better at everything at once gets you nowhere. Right now, you want to be better at social media. So, learning QuickBooks will have to wait.
  • Just like a baseball player might try to improve a specific element of their game (batting, fielding or running), you want to break down what goes into good social media and set a goal. “I’m going to learn Promoboxx to help with my social media
  • Get feedback. After the Facebook post is made, ask people how you did and what you can do to improve it

Follow Passion & Purpose
Top performers didn’t merely “follow their passion.” They also had a sense of purpose in what they did. This combo produced huge results. It boosted energy levels and increased the amount of effort they were able to exert. Hansen found that at least 10% of people in every arena and role examined had passion and purpose.

Purpose is about creating value for others in a way that is personally meaningful to you. Like passion, this is less about the actual tasks you perform and more about how you frame them. Shoveling elephant poop does not seem terribly meaningful. And when looked at in that limited frame, it isn’t. But when you love animals, it can be deeply meaningful — as a study of zookeepers revealed. In a 2009 study of zookeepers, researchers found that some saw cleaning cages and feeding animals as a filthy, meritless job, while others saw it as a moral duty to protect and provide proper care for the animals. Same job, different feelings of purpose.

Summing It Up
If we choose to implement these three behaviors, I think we will all be able to work smarter which will naturally convert to working harder and we will do it all with passion and purpose without even knowing it. Isn’t doing something so naturally you don’t even know you are doing it the real secret to work and life? One last thought. If doing all three of these behaviors is too much for you right now; 23% of the difference Hansen found in how people performed came from one behavior – Do Less then Obsess. Here’s permission to passionately obsess!

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Letters From Lisa – February 2022

When You Fuel Your Passion, Care Comes Naturally

Passion sneaks up on you and whispers in your ear. It moves you to speak, act, move, create.

Passion is what you’re naturally drawn to, what manifests in your life over and over again, what keeps you up at night and spurs you out of bed in the morning.

Passion is simply the work you love to do. You’re deeply committed to doing this work and doing it well. You get a lot of joy out of it, but it will also come with a lot of struggle and effort—and you know the whole time that it’s worth it.

Passion is high emotion AND high devotion.

Passion is what fuels the best work, not money.

Passion is what motivates us to do the things we love. It is that strong desire that allows you to create something extraordinary—the fuel that keeps the fire burning.

The most certain way to fuel your passion is to connect with and bring value, meaning and joy to the lives of others. So, the more you give, the more you get back. At BioZyme®, we like to call this “Care that Comes Full Circle.”

“Care that Comes Full Circle” is a philosophy that believes that if you truly care for someone or something, that care will eventually come full circle back to you. Or in other words, there will be a natural boomerang effect. However, remember that most boomerang manufacturers guarantee that their boomerangs will return if thrown according to the instructions provided.

Perhaps we need instructions as well to ensure our care comes full circle. I believe these instructions would start with telling us to find our passion, fuel it and then watch this special type of care come naturally.

Naturally meaning if we take care of the animals, they will take care of us by ensuring we get to eat or feel unconditional love. Naturally meaning if we take care of our customers, they will remain loyal, which allows us to continue to have the resources to research new technologies for them. Naturally meaning if we take care of our vendors by communicating and staying loyal to them, they will help us during these horrible supply chain shortages and challenges. And last but certainly not least, naturally meaning if we take care of our employees by being understanding, good communicators and supportive they will passionately fuel the care we are after naturally throughout the company.

BioZyme has always been focused on caring about the producer by helping add value so he/she can see and measure improvements in the herd. “We always promoted healthier animals, but it was never really written it down,” said 40-year retired employee Dennis Delaney. “Although we all (employees) have a livestock background and care about animals, the true passion, compassion and love for animals came into BioZyme’s philosophy when Lisa Norton came to work here.”

I greatly appreciate these words from Dennis, but I hope my leadership drives this same type of care not just to the animals, but also to all of you.

I recently watched a movie (yes it was Hallmark) where a boss told a writer that the weakness in her work was that she had a “wall between your head and your heart.” I thought that was a perfect question to end this article. Do you have that wall? That wall makes it very hard to fuel your passion enough that care comes naturally.

Letters From Lisa – January 2022

In business it is easy to get bogged down and to try to work on tons of things. But complexity is potentially the enemy in all that we do.

Now often at the start of a year, we resolve to “fix” things. Luckily a literal and figurative clear-out like that can often help us focus on fewer things more effectively rather than trying to focus on too much at once.

According to Merriam-Webster, keeping it simple means making something easy to understand or do, not going into too much detail, and sticking to the point.

Humans tend to like complexity more than simplicity, especially at work. We often find it hard to believe that simple solutions will actually work. We mistakenly think ‘simple’ is the same as ‘easy’ when they’re actually very different. As we start this new year, let’s work together to keep growing business by trying to keep things simple.

In fact, let’s commit to focus on three things all year:

Know Your Customer

Know Your Checkbook

Tell Everyone

Know Your Customer

Understanding what your customers want collectively and individually is key to growth. Having an in-depth of knowledge – or knowing more than their name, gender and herd size is paramount. As a business, knowing your customers’ kids, hobbies, tastes and interests along with what they watch, listen to and read can be a profitable advantage.

Understanding your customers’ buying behavior is also very important. As a business, you need to comprehend what type of person is most likely to need or want the product or service you provide. These are some of the key questions that you need to ask yourself daily:

  • What is their reason for purchasing your product or service?
  • How often are they going to need to buy that product or utilize the service? If you can be proactive with your outreach efforts around the time you know they will purchase, chances are the customer won’t look elsewhere.
  • Where are they most likely to purchase? If you are a brick-and- mortar business and hear from your customers that they would prefer to order online, then it makes sense to change your business model to include an ecommerce or online ordering component.

Companies that know what their clients want and what they expect can also work on customizing the customer experience to create loyalty and repeat business. Listen to your customers’ feedback and provide sound advice if that’s what they want.

It is crucial to take every advantage to outsmart your competitor. Understanding and building upon your customer knowledge and relationship will put you ahead of the game.

Know Your Checkbook

Keeping accurate records helps keep the doors open. Knowing your records and simply using what they tell you to drive growth makes a business thrive. A business checkbook is often the primary source of record-keeping for many small businesses, according to the Internal Revenue Service. However, for a larger business know your checkbook translates into know your financials. Or in our new simple terms for all of us – know how much money you have and can/should invest in helping the business thrive.

It is ok to ask for help here. It is not ok to never look at your numbers and the money they are generating and also know what they are telling you.

Tell Everyone

The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends, “As a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8% of their revenues to marketing.” This percentage is based on companies that have profits in the 10-12% range.

Whether you run a small business
or a multi-million-dollar corporation, marketing is essential to your profitability and growth. Products and services don’t sell themselves. By ignoring marketing until it’s too late, many small businesses risk hitting a brick wall and quite possibly, failing (just putting it simply).

So, what does tell everyone mean? Simple, tell everyone so everyone tells everyone (Tidbit: you must tell them 7 times before they even hear you). I like to think of the Christian song Pass it On for this concept. If you don’t know the words, it goes like this . . .

“It only takes a spark. To get a fire going. And soon all those around can warm up in its glowing.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if the glowing was your business?

The paper clip. The post-it note. The BioZyme product center. Some of the best ideas in the world are also the simplest. Take some time to give these three simple, focused tactics a try. You might find yourself discovering a fresh lease on life at work. Happy 2022!!

Letters From Lisa – December 2021

Outreach is an effort by individuals in an organization to connect and assist the efforts of other organizations. Outreach can help acquire new customers, re-engage past customers, encourage repeat purchases or upsell opportunities.

It is a well-known fact that companies using outreach as a strategy grow faster since they tend to believe in changing the future using recommended actions not just hoping the future turns out for the better. It is this fact that motivates me to constantly look and see the actions we take at BioZyme® to provide this connection to the amazing organizations that support us in the goal of providing “care that comes full circle” to the animals we have the honor to support.

Looking is a physical act; seeing is a mental process of perception. Seeing involves recognizing or connecting the information the eyes take in to ensure one is creating meaning. So, when I look for outreach at BioZyme what I see that has meaning is really four-fold. It includes our marketing, our dealer center, our outreach support team’s efforts and our ASMs in all that they do in the field. How do each of these try to connect and assist you?

Marketing At BioZyme, marketing’s number one goal is to push consumers to the Dealer Locator at biozymeinc.com so they can find you. Every marketing effort we do is measured on that goal. These metrics are tracked monthly and in a yearly accumulation as you see below.

Dealer Center In a survey of 4,500 consumers via Facebook, it was found that the number one expectation of the stores they visit was knowledge of the products sold in the store. Our dealer center offers many things, but its main purpose is easy access to product education. Through our product center you can get the desired knowledge directly or in a manner you can easily share via quick product videos.

Outreach Support The Outreach Support Center has one goal, touching dealers and users of the BioZyme products to ensure they know we care and are here to help them anyway we can orders, content, access, connectivity. Calculated defined contact pays dividends when the investment goal is growth.

ASMs Our area sales managers’ job description states their job is to sell and service our existing dealer/distributor network and customer base AND to identify and cultivate new partnering and growth opportunities to grow the business of the territory (you).

I think defining outreach as a way to connect and assist is a good focus as we approach Christmas. Isn’t that exactly what God did by sending His Son. He had an earthly Son so we could connect, and He used His eternal life to provide the assistance we need for all the days long if we choose to embrace it.

Merry Christmas!

Letters From Lisa – November 2021

Continuous improvement is defined as an ongoing effort to improve all elements of an organization—processes, tools, products, services, etc. Sometimes those improvements are big, often they are small. In this case, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” doesn’t apply. But what’s most important is that all are frequent. Companies that excel at continuous improvement start with the belief that success comes from:

• Innovating “how” they do what they do (big and small).

• Engaging all employees in sharing knowledge and generating improvement ideas.

• Exploring better ways to deliver to customers and respond to changes in the external environment.

Fostering a continuous improvement culture is rooted in three practices:

  1. Performance transparency starts with making goals public and cascading those goals in a way that is tailored to individuals at all levels of the organization. Progress toward goals must be transparently tracked to give all clear visibility into what is working and what needs work.
  2. Knowledge sharing is critical to scale best practices across (and up and down) organizations.
  3. Employee involvement is a necessity in continuous improvement. Frontline employees are closest to the work, and thus typically have the richest insights on how their work can be done better. Capturing their perspectives is critical.

Core to a continuous improvement mindset is the belief that a steady stream of improvements, diligently executed, will have transformational results. Transformational results are key to all business at BioZyme®. In 2020 we worked diligently through an initiative we called the Courage to Change. Change is always hard, and we had many things identified (both big and small) to work toward considering our emphasis on a continuous improvement mindset.

In order to keep us focused we chose to align our improvement initiative with our corporate goal of safe, accurate product. Throughout this month’s VISION, you will be able to read how we have defined this goal and all the things we have invested in to ensure we can deliver on our definition. Behind the scenes, millions of dollars are being spent to ensure statistical process controls are being used to ensure the initiative is alive and well in all that we do. Our equipment investment in proactively addressing (magnet drawers, feed cleaners, sifters, screens and quality inspections) safe and accurate product has been significant over the last few years, and we continue to increase all of our sampling and testing through high precision in-house analyzing with quick turnaround times so that we can ensure product homogeneity bag to bag and quarter to quarter.

Continuous improvement whether big or small is hard. Why? It involves that word we humans do not like – CHANGE. There are three main reasons people hate change — lack (or perceived lack) of reward, fear of the unknown and loss of status or visibility in the organization. Address these concerns head on so continuous improvement is ingrained in your organization.