There’s a movie on YouTube with a rabbi talking about how lobsters grow. I think we can learn a lot from this. Especially at the moment. A lobster is a soft creature that grows in a rock-hard shell. As it grows, the lobster’s shell gets too small and the animal feels anything but comfortable. So what does it do? It looks for a safe place under a stone, casts off its shell and produces a new one. One that is comfortable and that allows it to grow. Until…obviously, that new shell gets too tight as well, and the process repeats itself. Again and again.
So what if the lobster had gone to a doctor and told her it was in terrible pain, the rabbi wonders. The doctor would have given it painkillers, making it feel better straightaway. So there wouldn’t have been any need to cast off its shell. But then the lobster would never have grown!
The moral of the story is clear: we need times of adversity to grow. Does that go for you, too? It’s obvious that these are times of adversity. In February, everyone was still thinking about growth. A month later, everything came to a grinding halt. ErfGoed also had big plans for 2020. But from one moment to the next, everything was off. All the plans were dropped.
The trick then is to get your organisation moving again. I have seen some wonderful examples of entrepreneurship in recent months in the horticulture sector. Companies that were able to adapt very quickly to the new situation. We had to do that as well. And that certainly wasn’t the first time. It started back when we were still a farm contracting company and did a lot of digging and milling work in the greenhouses. Then substrate came onto the scene. Crop clearance turned out to be the solution.
And in 2008, at the start of the previous crisis, we faced another major challenge: are we going to take leave of our colleagues or are we going to focus on the international markets together? To this day, I am glad that we, as a team, decided to go down the second road. As a result, we survived the previous crisis unscathed.
Flexibility and the drive to adapt quickly are key in times of adversity. Does your company structure allow you to switch quickly, for example to a different crop, market, sales strategy or added value? At ErfGoed, we do everything we can to help you with that. In recent months, for example, we completed successful trials with the cultivation of Phalaenopsis on the ErfGoedFloor! A flexible floor that allows you to switch crops at any time.
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ErfGoed General Manager