Sharpening the Saw at NAMA

National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA)

Sharpening the Saw at NAMA

Last week was the National Agri-Marketing Association (NAMA)  Conference in Kansas City. Axiom team members routinely attend the biggest conferences in the industries we serve to stay connected to marketing trends, to keep our skills sharp, and to stay connected to the people in those verticals. This event is one of the biggest and best for any marketer working in agriculture.

For those of you not working in Agriculture, over the past few years, we are experiencing huge shifts in how we do business. Autonomous tractors, robot harvesters, digital agronomy, drones, ESG, carbon markets, and more data than we know what to do with are changing the landscape. So as this pace of change continues, it is paramount that we stay on the cutting edge of innovation and strategy.

In his general session, Kaihan Krippendorff shared tools and frameworks to manage change and unlock your team’s ideas. His 8 P’s of Innovation is a novel and simple way of scoring your business to see if you can be disruptive and outthink your competitors. I appreciated his reminder that if you are not innovating, you’ll be obsolete. His thinking gives us another way of looking at scoring innovation compared to Axiom’s New Product Development Audit which tends to be more comprehensive. 

Another speaker I found insightful was Amy Waninger. She led a small group session on Teamwork across generations. As sales and marketers, we know how important it is to connect with our audience. But in the workplace, it seems we are all very dismissive of other generations. Who has said “Millennials are entitled” or “Boomers are out of touch”?

If that is part of your mindset, then you have forgotten that different generations have massively different experiences, and those experiences result in different ways of connecting and communicating. If you are going to build a cohesive high-functioning team, then you need to move beyond stereotypes and understand each generation’s strengths, adjusting your style to meet theirs can make your communication more effective.

For example, to give a status update to Boomers, it might be best to make a phone call or send a detailed email. For Millennials or Gen Z, asynchronous Slack or MS Teams updates might be best. Better yet, reach out to your teammates and ask them how they best prefer to communicate. You may find you have more in common than you first thought.

Lastly, Amy had a unique take on the idiom “If you do what you have always done you’ll get what?” Most will finish that statement with “what you’ve always got”. Except she reminds us in a fast-moving industry, that isn’t the case. It is more likely that you will get less than you’ve always gotten. As your competition makes improvements and innovates, you and your business will be left behind.

What changes do you need to make to your business? How can Axiom help you innovate and improve your outcomes?

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