I was inspired from hearing (CEO) Sam Allen to visit the John Deere Pavilion — a public showroom for the company’s products and venue to tell the Deere story.  The word that comes to mind to describe it is “massive” — in the literal size of some of their equipment and the scope of what Deere is trying to achieve.  Both were impressive.

John Deere’s mission is to be “committed to those linked to the land.”  As such, they are acutely aware that land is a limited resource and as the population grows, we will be stressed to provide “food, fiber and fuel” with the same land and less water.  It is a daunting challenge, but one that the company is attempting to meet through innovation.

Their products are modern day Jetsons.  Tractors and lawn mowers that run with autonomous tracking (no driver).  Agricultural combines that harvest 20 rows at a time and link via GPS to the vehicle next to it — allowing both to move in perfect synchronicity through the fields.  Forestry equipment that “walks” instead of rolls through forests to preserve the undergrowth.  Tractors that look like jetliner cockpits with computer-controlled applications and real-time monitoring of conditions via field-installed probes that measure moisture, temperature and crop yield.  Technology that provides a previously unthinkable level of precision and efficiency.

Deere defines it as invention + application = innovation.  The entire Pavilion was a testament as to how they live this core value and how the results are helping improve sustainability for future generations.

Where are you stuck in the innovation process: are you without new ideas, are you missing a compelling application, or have you failed to link the two?  John Deere has dedicated its company to innovation on a massive scale to meet the needs of global population growth.  What inspires you to innovate in your organization?

— beth triplett

See person standing outside the cab — they are dwarfed by the machine

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