2012 March Seedstock EDGE - page 10

Dr. Clint Schwab
CEO, National Swine Registry
NSR Editorial
From the
Ground Up
Cause or Consequence?
What comes first, the success of
the organization – or the success of
the breeder? Is it the strength of the
organization that drives the success of its
members? Or is the ultimate success of
the organization dependent upon how
successful its membership becomes?
is may seem like an odd question at
first. It’s a lot like the circular reference
of ‘the chicken and the egg’. Yet, you’d
be surprised at the number of strong
opinions and business approaches that
exist on either end of that question.
If you’ll bear with me, I’ll attempt to
put this question in the context of the
NSR – and our industry in general. I
think you’ll understand why the issues
surrounding this question have been
on my mind lately. Hopefully, it will
give you an opportunity to self-examine
your current answer, and understand
how a little different perspective can be
an asset to the industry you’re part of.
ere’s definitely a segment of our
membership that feels strongly that the
organization is there for the sole purpose
of initiating (and maintaining) success
in their business. ose in this ‘camp’
tend to believe their membership should
not be far from a success guarantee – and
unfortunately, when things don’t go as
planned, it’s the organization or fellow
members who should take the blame.
Conversely, there’s another sector
who takes a completely independent
approach to their affiliation with the
organization. eir outlook is aimed
at establishing success, whether the
organization exists or not, and they
understand they can’t rely on any other
entity to create that success. However,
this group generally only affiliates them-
selves with the organization when there’s
a risk-free benefit to their business.
For the most part, neither segment
invests a great deal into the organiza-
tion – whether that’s in the form of
time or money. And like many of
you, I’ll be quick to argue that both of
these examples have a flawed approach
and need a change in perspective.
But the truth is – both are right.
While we might enjoy the sentiment
of the first example, in the belief that the
organization has the capacity to directly
affect (or guarantee) the success of its
membership – we know that’s a stretch.
On the other hand, the latter example
exudes a belief that a strong involvement
in the organization has no real benefit to
them and the success of their operation
– and we know that’s a stretch as well.
So, I’ll ask the question again:
What comes first, the success of the
organization – or of the breeder?
We all know the truth. e most
successful relationship between an
organization and its membership must
be in the form of collaboration. e
purebred industry, in itself, is much
too complex and involved for any
one entity to serve as the cause, while
the other realizes the consequence.
rough an effective investment
in the success of your industry, and
with each segment understanding the
strength in the approach of the other,
we create a platform where the influ-
ence of the purebred organization is
larger than the sum of its parts.
ough it’s a slight change in
perspective from both examples, it’s a
collaborative relationship between the
organization and its membership that
harbors the ability to develop and reach a
common vision. It creates the ability to
direct the accomplishments of individu-
als toward organizational objectives –
and essentially provides the fuel for each
member to attain goals much bigger than
perhaps what is achievable individually.
Let me give you a simple ex-
ample. You can see in the following
information that NSR had a good
year in its largest revenue generator,
litter recordings, with the first mea-
sureable increase in eleven years.
Number of Litters Recorded
% Change
11,822 12,610
27,658 29,902
Is this due to the fact that member-
ship was more successful in 2011,
and farrowed a larger number of
purebred litters as a result? Or is it
that NSR created additional resources
for purebred animals that allowed an
increase in herd size, and fostered ad-
ditional purebred litters in 2011?
I’d like to say that the answer lies
somewhere in the middle – and a col-
laborative relationship between the
NSR and its membership initiated the
difference. By working together, success
can be achieved by both the breeders
and the organization simultaneously.
To contact Clint, use your smartphone to scan the code to the left or email him at
March 2012
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