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MACS Metrics-Pivot Analysis

Posted on January 3, 2022 at 7:00 AM Comments comments (203)

No, this is not a blog about Agricultural Irrigation . . .


If one peruses business articles, the topic of “Pivoting your Business” can be found with some frequency – especially within the pandemic years. I have read at least a couple of agricultural/farm business-oriented articles on this topic as well. Thinking objectively and independently, I find these articles tend to be incomplete in their analysis of the concept of “Pivoting”. Typically, authors approach the concept of pivoting with the perspective of a firm making (or needing to make) significant changes in their business model, marketing, management, or the like. I submit this concept of pivoting fails to capture all the nuances of “Pause, Ponder and Pivot”.


First, let’s look at the technical definition of “Pivot” (see embedded image). I feel the basketball analogy of pivots and pivoting most appropriately captures the various nuances of pivoting an economic entity. (For reference, an economic entity can be your business-business or your family-business - - a topic I plan to delve into in a future blog post.)


(Quick note: I feel continuously inserting the term “he/she” gets tiresome – in my writings I may use “he” or “she” throughout – unless there is an obvious gender-specific relevance, these terms are intended to be inclusive.)


In basketball, a player runs down the court and stops – he establishes a position at a physical location and point in time. Upon receiving the ball, he chooses a pivot foot/point – he can pivot around that point and dribble in ANY direction – even backwards if that is deemed a preferred alternative in ultimately discovering a superior course. Alternatively, upon assessing the various pivot directions, he may determine the superior route is to continue in the same direction he was originally traveling when arriving at this point. The pivoted direction does not necessarily have to be a radical departure from the original course. It depends (yep, the favorite expression of Ag Econ types). ‘But it really does depend upon the specific circumstances and parameters of his present situation – Pause, Ponder and Pivot – analyze the alternatives; perhaps a coach or teammate (peer) can assist in the determination of course to take.


There are numerous business examples of pivot directions that can be depicted via this basketball analogy. One I want to highlight is the “reversal pivot”. If the path the player was on is impeded to such a degree (e.g. a double team) that attempting to continue would result in a disastrous result (turnover), the preferred course may be to back up/reverse course. Moving back to a position where alternative courses present themselves should not be seen as a failure of arriving at his previous position. Rather, it should be viewed as an astute decision to retrench, reassess, and revise his attack. To quote Thomas Edison, “I haven’t failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”


The start of a new year / production cycle is a natural time to Pause, Ponder and Pivot. It may be that upon objective analysis, the course you are on is adequate/superior; alternatively, it may be that only a slight pivot is deemed necessary. However, it could be that a significant pivot – or complete reversal of course (perhaps only temporary) – is required for success – requiring a significant re-evaluation of the overall game plan.


Plan to plan.


If you would like to discuss (perhaps request some coaching) about your farm business and possible pivots, feel free to contact me via the contact page on my website (https://www.morganagconsulting.com/contact) or via email at [email protected] .

 

MACS Metrics-An Introduction

Posted on January 1, 2022 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (263)

HAPPY NEW YEAR! As the calendar year 2022 begins (New Year, same person, revised foci), I plan multiple pivots – one of which is blogging. (The term “pivot” will be the topic of an upcoming blog.) Beginning now makes me wish I had started years ago; perhaps most of my egregious mistakes would be past. Oh well, you play from “where the monkey drops the ball”. (I will try to remember to relay the story behind that phrase sometime – it is pertinent to business as well as everyday life.)

 

In this initial blog, I will merely introduce myself and my background. Hopefully this information will help in determining whether you should “give two shakes of a rat’s tail” what this “Ag Econ guy” has to say.

 

I will only summarize here. The more dry/detailed narrative can be found on the “About” page of my website https://www.morganagconsulting.com/about. Additionally, my Vitae can be found at https://www.morganagconsulting.com/vitae.

 

Everyone’s time is valuable; I will always try to be succinct. I’m Russell D. Morgan. I was raised on a dairy/tobacco/beef/grain farm in North Middle Tennessee. When I was very young, we even raised/killed our own hogs and chickens. If you haven’t participated in an old-fashioned hog killing on the first cold day of the year or wrung a chicken’s neck and plucked said chicken’s feathers, have you even lived. Ok, you don’t have to answer that.


I earned my BS in Agricultural Economics from the University of TN-Knoxville (almost double-majored in Animal Science as well) with a focus on Dairy Farm Management. I earned my MS in Agricultural Economics from the University of TN-Knoxville with a focus on Farm Mgt/Managerial Economics. I am a Certified Agricultural Consultant through the American Society of Agricultural Consultants (ASAC).

 

I have lived in eight decades. I have worked in the farm business consulting arena 35+ years. Paraphrasing a TV commercial's tag phrase, "I know a thing or two because I've seen a thing or two." That said, NEVER confuse experience with wisdom. Experience is having walked over hot coals and finding they burned your feet; wisdom is knowing how to avoid the path that takes you across those hot coals. I pride myself in being an independent thinker – I hesitate to use the term “critical thinker” anymore as the term’s meaning has seemingly transitioned in recent years. I sometimes differ in opinion with those offered by “Titans in Ag Economic Thought” while always respecting them. I follow no “pack” and actively combat “Group Think” by (what I hope is) objective analysis.

 

Future blogs will primarily focus on:


• Managerial Economics/Farm Business Management

• Farm Business Analysis

• The Ag Economy/Ag Policy

• Farm Peer Groups (Versus Discussion Groups)

• Farm Boards of Trusted Advisors

• Perhaps sundry BS topics sprinkled in throughout.


I welcome feedback, and rational discourse.

 

May your 2022 be filled with good family & animal health, early adequate degree days, timely rains, late frost/snow and excellent prices.

 

 



 


 


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