Taking chance on change From the Editor: February 2016

Taking a chance on change
January 14, 2016
Written by
February 2016 — In researching the history of the magazine for our December edition, a celebration of our 35 years of growing with you, I was struck by how receptive the industry has been to change.

From largely a manual labour industry when the magazine was launched, greenhouse production has become the most high tech branch of horticulture. We are on the cusp of robotics and year-round production. Yearly yield increases are common, and growers are increasingly embracing biological controls for pest management.

“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything,” said George Bernard Shaw, the noted Nobel Prize and Oscar-winning Irish playwright.

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often,” Sir Winston Churchill once observed.

American journalist Sydney Harris wrote that “Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.”

Just two months into the new year, have you decided on changing anything at your greenhouse or garden centre? Have you purchased new equipment, introduced new varieties, researched niche markets, or attended industry workshops and conferences to learn about the latest innovations?

Greenhouse Canada has changed a great deal over the past 35 years, and the metamorphosis continues at an accelerated pace. The Internet is an increasingly important new tool for us, and we are just testing the waters with webinars and videos. Each print issue for the past several years has been posted as an online digital edition, allowing growers convenient access to past issues and features.

(Have a question about biomass heating? Type your query into the search space on our website homepage and begin your research.)

“If you feel like it’s difficult to change, you will probably have a harder time succeeding,” said business executive Andrea Jung.
“It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be,” observed writer Isaac Asimov. (It was also Asimov who noted that, “People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”)

Change must be well thought out. As veteran consultant Melhem Sawaya is often reminding growers in his Greenhouse Canada features, if you’re thinking about introducing a new variety to your crop mix, trial it carefully in small numbers to be sure it works well in the greenhouse, at retail and in the garden. And once you’re convinced it is a winner, replace a less successful variety with it.

The best ideas for change will come from your employees. Encouraging that kind of feedback – whether at a formal staff meeting or in casual conversation – will pay big dividends in improved efficiencies, profitability and crop yields.

Will this be your year to change things up?

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