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This is crap vs. this is awesome

Progressive Forage Editor Lynn Jaynes Published on 30 August 2019

See if you spot any connections in these three news blips and one commentary:

News No. 1: In a gutsy move, Boris Johnson vowed to ditch rules on GM crops. This was stated on day one of his new job as prime minister of the United Kingdom (UK). (According to the article in Science Business, only one type of genetically modified [GM] crop seed, Monsanto’s 810 corn, has commercial approval in Europe.)

News No. 2: An article ran in a paper in my state saying “Millions went to Idaho after trade war. Farmers say it’s pennies on the dollar.” Comparing the payment to the lost income from the trade war, one farmer was quoted as saying, “It’s not even worth coming to town for.” And the latest Twitter post from the president (at press time) vowed another 10% tariff levied on Chinese goods. While China cannot match U.S. tariffs dollar for dollar, as we know, they can certainly make agriculture feel some pain.

News No. 3: Bloomberg reported on a Minnesota farmer who grows corn and soybeans and is known as MH Millennial Farmer in YouTube circles. He apparently makes “five times more” from his YouTube video blog than he can make on his family farm. In other words, apparently Americans aren’t too concerned whether they will have food, but only where it comes from and how it’s being raised.

Commentary: Organizational psychologist Adam Grant says this is what the creative process looks like:

  1.  This is awesome.
  2. This is tricky.
  3. This is crap.
  4. This might be OK.
  5. This is awesome.

Do you see any connections? The only connection I spot between the UK opening up to GM products, the trade war mitigation payments and a YouTube farmer/blogger making more on his video blog than his farm is what Adam Grant identified: Creativity (and I would add “change”) is pretty darn messy and involves a hefty dose of self-doubt and certainly some risk of failing. The UK opening up to GM products looks like it’s in the “this is awesome” stage, and the trade war looks to be in the “this is crap” stage (currently), and the YouTube farmer is probably in the “this might be OK” stage. But you have to hand it to all three – they’re trying something new.

How often do you try something new? Most of you are going to say you embrace change and are creative. Since other psychologists tell us research reveals most people overstate their assets, let’s test your self-assessment.

According to Grant, your job performance and commitment can be predicted just by knowing what internet browser you use. “There is good evidence that Firefox and Chrome users significantly outperform Internet Explorer and Safari users. They also stay in their jobs 15 percent longer,” he says (and I’m not making this up).

Why? Is one really more technically advantageous than another? No. The difference was that Internet Explorer and Safari come pre-loaded onto computers, and users accepted the default option that was handed to them. If you chose to use Firefox or Chrome, you had to doubt the default and ask if there was a different option, then take the time to download a new browser and modify your default settings.

Granted, if you’re an Internet Explorer or Safari user, you’ve probably stopped reading by now with a firm, “Hogwash … she never knows what she’s talking about.” (Only half of that statement is true – I’ll let you decide which half.)

But to the rest of you who use Firefox or Chrome, you can stop patting yourselves on the back. A few more of you had a son, daughter, grandchild, boss or IT guru who helped you download a new browser and convinced you of its merits – it wasn’t anything you actively pursued. But we’ll give you a reprieve, at least you acquiesced.

The point is: Any business that’s going anywhere is going to go through some bad ideas. So what? Not all cheese sticks to the ceiling. But that’s just it – you won’t know which ones stick if you’re not throwing them up there. It takes a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.

There’s only one thing worse than failing: failing to try.  end mark

Lynn Jaynes
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