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Innovation is often forgotten when it comes to business management. Sure, innovation goes hand-in-hand with research and development, and this typically makes it to the farm by way of new production methods and equipment.

But, how do we know the innovation is good for us? And, can innovation be more than this? I tend to think that innovation can be developed less formally – by experience, learning and sharing best practices. After all, innovation can simply mean doing things different.

Underlying the successful creation or adoption of innovation and innovative ways of farming, is business management. Business management, in fact, is both a catalyst and prerequisite for successful, sustainable innovation. Without healthy business management practices, innovation may fall victim to poor planning including risk mitigation.

We can be innovative within business management as we look for new ways of achieving success – whether it’s labour efficiency and retention, quality improvement, risk mitigation measures, or capturing opportunities in the domestic and global marketplace through niche products or production methods. Innovation is about embracing change and confronting new realities with a competitive advantage. As agriculture and the
global marketplace continue to evolve, the opportunity to innovate presents itself at every turn.

As we enter into 2013, let’s remember, knowledge is power. By sharing best practices and looking for ways to innovate within our business practices, Canadian agriculture and its farmers will continue to thrive on solid, sustainable farm businesses.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the Canadian Farm Manager and are inspired by their innovative business thinking.

Here’s to a prosperous New Year fellow managers, entrepreneurs, and leaders!