Don't fight the previous war

Leaders frequently prepare for possible future events solely with the recent past in mind. It's a natural reaction. If there was a problem last year, you're most inclined to want to make sure that mistake doesn't happen again.

Here's the issue with that method of thinking: no two events are the same. With this sort of strategy, you're always playing catch-up, and not truly preparing for other unexpected events to arise. Heffta likens this to the French strategy in preparation for WWII with the creation of the Maginot Line.

The French erected this massive, state-of-the-art fortification based on their trench warfare experience in WWI, expecting any potential upcoming conflicts to be played out in the same fashion. But the German forces in WWII threw the old strategy out the window and simply went around it to mount their attack. They then found a weakness in the French-British secondary line of defense, split the defensive forces, and the German invasion had begun.

Heffta explains how France's hard lesson can translate to your farming operation. The secret lies in moving beyond what you've recently experienced to create new, adaptable strategies and contingency plans for the future. The unexpected doesn't have to be a bad thing. It can mean new opportunities if you're prepared to meet it on its terms. Listen to the interview below to learn more about how to adapt this lesson to your farm.