Skipped A Beat


For the past two years, I have been dealing with a nasty hip pain. I worked hard in physical therapy and exercise to heal without surgery. I learned that sometimes we just need to sleep in the bed we made for ourselves.

The Holistic Management decision-making process begins where we are, no matter what state that may be. We start with the state of our lands ecological health, today. We begin with the state of our bank account, today. We begin with the relationships we have with our family, our crew, and our community, today. We begin with the state of our infrastructure on our ranch and in our community, today.

This blog uses my hip pain to demonstrate how we use our holistic context on a daily basis. Every morning we wake up to the reality of our being. Every day our starting point begins here. Acknowledging the truth of our reality defines our ability to move toward our desired quality of life. Every decision we make begins by acknowledging truthfully, where we are, now, and continues with how we are going to get to create our future resource base necessary to achieve our desired future.


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Don't Fence Me In

The American Prairie Reserve and Wild Sky Beef are adding diversity and complexity to the Northern Great Plains. They are looking to free up the movement of animals, increase plant diversity, and be more tolerant of predators. They have the means to incentivize their neighbor ranchers toward this end. I recently was invited to be on a panel at their Living with Wildlife conference and I dropped the ball. This blog is about the message I wish I would have conveyed.

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Logjams - The Sacred or the Obvious

Our highest marginal reaction moment happens, when we find and eliminate a logjam. Make it a point to set time aside at the beginning of your planning cycle, each year, and root out your logjam(s). Often unrecognized for a long time, logjams lurk beneath your consciousness sucking creativity, money, and our social influence. Often, one finds the logjam in the last places we would ever look - the sacred or the obvious. How can we rethink logjams and look at this most potent component of the planning process differently?

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Tony Malmberg Comments

Eric spoke and a firmament opened; that rare epiphany that shifts the reality beneath your feet.

Andrea and I were at our friends 78th birthday party and conversing over slow-cooked elk and good wine.

I don’t remember what drew the revelation from Eric, “We often fail to consider the consequences of risk. Low consequences mean little risk, while significant consequence means great risk."

My good friend and hired man of 20+ years was Shoshone. He would stand and look at a field for what seemed an eternity before changing the irrigation water. He would pause on the lip of a canyon forever before riding down. He told me his culture ingrained in their people that a mistake meant death. That’s risk of high consequence.

The early adopters of a new innovation are taking a risk. Often they do not have enough information to know the consequences of the multiple risks they are taking.

When at the precipice of the tipping point for a new innovation, many risks have been clarified by those who were first. In today’s environment, the world faces high consequences if we don’t empower decisions at the soil surface.

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Tony Malmberg Comments
Would you Change?

Monitoring provides us with information. We can use it, or not. The health of our landscape, reflects our past behavior. We cannot expect different results unless we change our behavior.
My wife got very sick, lost 50 pounds in a few weeks and had no strength. She used walking poles to get across the yard and when she fell, she could not get up without my help. I had to lift her into and out of the bathtub. She did not like that feeling of dependency and worked hard to understand and treat her ailment.
Monitoring her daily nutrition, her leading and lagging indicators, guided her way back to a functional life.
Many of us live on landscapes that are less than functional. But we do not see an urgency to help them stand up. In fact, we inadvertently keep our heel on their throat.

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