In many areas of life we reach plateaus. Whether it’s weight loss, fitness, our spiritual life, our career, our hobbies or many other aspects of our life. We get stuck and feel this may be the best we can do. Dairies definitely aren’t immune to this phenomenon. Whether it is milk production, reproduction, transition, forage quality, udder health or a myriad of other facets related to the management and productivity of a dairy. As in the parts of our daily lives in which we plateau, we need a system to help us “Get to the Next Level.”

In how many aspects of your operation do you look back and realize we have been at this level of performance for a long time. Unfortunately, rising costs for inputs and always-dwindling margins require every business to continue to improve in all phases of management and performance. The saying, “The thinking (or action) that got you here, won’t get you there” applies equal to dairies as it does to any other business. One of my favorite quotes is from Einstein, “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” We have to change our thinking and actions to get to that next level. The most important thing we have to do is, raise our expectations.

The process of busting through ceilings or plateaus is fairly straightforward. There are five steps to the process: defining the problem, searching for solutions, picking a solution, implementing the solution and reviewing the results.

Before we can begin defining the problem we have to find the places where we have plateaued. What parts of your operation have become stagnant? Have you been at the same milk production levels for a few years? Is your repro program improving every year? Find the areas where you need to set new goals. When you reach a new goal, celebrate, and then set a new goal!

Over the next five weeks we will go in depth into each of the five steps to help break through your plateaus. Who knows it might work so well, you will use it to lose that extra 15-pound you’ve been trying to lose!