Getting one’s house in order is something that we should all give more time to than we often do. A little inner reflection can do us all the world of good – how we treat ourselves and how we treat those around us.
Recently, we have seen the price that can be paid by failing to abide by values and high standards, as one of the world’s largest media companies stands accused of gaining information illegally and failing to disclose how that information was gained.
There are wider lessons for us all in whatever sector we work. The truth usually comes out in the end, and it is often better to be honest from the beginning. In those cases where there may have been less than openness, it is usually better to admit to wrongdoing rather than wait to be found out.
Whether in the poultry, or any other industry, it is often worth standing back and reviewing exactly what we might be doing. Do we always behave ethically? Are we straightforward and honest in our communication? Are we really investing as much in our activities as we claim, or do we rely too much on spin and simply revealing what is convenient and suits our needs?
These are interesting questions to ask ourselves and we may not always like the answers. Taking a long and hard look at ourselves can be uncomfortable, but ultimately we all benefit when such exercises are carried out.
But it is not simply our values and our relationships with the outside world that are worth examining, our everyday activities -- more basic activities -- are also worth regular reviews.
Earlier this year, the Poultry Science Association distributed information on how broiler growers could reduce their electricity and fuel costs by simply addressing a few areas on farm.
For example, it recommended that fans, shutters and screens should be kept clean to reduce static pressure that fans are working against, and also suggested routine cleaning and maintenance of evaporative cooling pads. To bring down fuel usage, air leakage should be kept to a minimum, static pressure tests should be carried out, and the choice of circulation fans should be appropriate.
Addressing these more mundane issues may be easier than looking at our behaviors and values, but are also worthwhile and can lead to a more successful business. Ignoring any of the above may lead to short-term gain, but the prospects for the longer term may not be quite so healthy.