In his classic work, A Whack on the Side of the Head, Roger Van Och advises that the key to creativity is to look at the same things differently. And when you do, great things happen. There multiple examples. The inventor of Velcro was inspired by examining how the burrs from plants stuck to his clothes. Looking at the plants through a microscope revealed that there were hooks on the end of the burrs that would attach to the looped fibers in clothing. The ah-ha moment was to create a hook and loop alternative to conventional zippers.
At a recent Remodelers Advantage conference, more than 75% of the remodeling company owners in the room indicated that they would be hiring new people within the next six months. This is exciting news because it indicates an optimistic outlook toward the future! Growth! Yes!
The question then is, who to hire? Before you move forward, take a look at your current organizational structure and think about the future. Plan to hire employees that will help you build your bench with an eye to the future.
Bench Strength: The competence and number of employees ready to fill vacant leadership and other positions.
This week another national brick and mortar retail chain declared bankruptcy and reported a rash of store closings. Forever 21 announced that it plans to shutter most of its overseas locations and shut down up to 350 of its 549 U.S. stores. Forever 21's fate continues the trend that is expected to see more than 5,000 brick and mortar retailers cease operations in 2019.
BKBG Affinity Partner Sherwin-Williams announced Naval SW 6244 as its 2020 Color of the Year. Naval offers a rich navy hue that strikes a balance between calm and confident. Naval is where the glamour of Art Deco meets the serenity of a yoga studio, pairing the contemporary desire to treat ourselves with the practice of self-care.
Many BKBG Shareholders are family businesses, and the exit strategy for a number of those firms is to pass on their showrooms to their children or other relatives. But what happens if a child or niece can't cut the mustard? What do you do? Thanksgiving won't be much fun if you believe that you have to terminate one of your children.
At the 2019 BKBG Conference, keynoter Avish Parashar suggested that a shift from saying "yes, but" to saying, "yes, and" has the potential to enhance productivity, perpetuate positivity and unleash brilliance. Authors Roberto Verganti (Overcrowded. Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash With Ideas) and Don Norman (The Design of Everyday Things and Emotional Design) disagree. They claim that creativity is enhanced not by deferring criticism but through criticism.
The reasoning for not using "yes, and" only is that truly exceptional ideas almost always have flaws because they explore new terrain. Norman and Verganti argue that without critical feedback, you can't understand the potential shortcomings and pitfalls of an original idea or concept, and this results in missed opportunities to delve into the idea more deeply. They state, "It's moving forward without progress."
Two iconic retail brands declared bankruptcy last week, and the reported plummeting of Barneys and Dean and DeLuca point to the ongoing paradigm shift in luxury retail. In a recent article in The New York Times, Ginia Bellafante notes that, "during the 1970s and 1980s, the sophisticated shopping experience was not branded in efficiency or self-denial or schemes devised in investment banks. Dean & DeLuca was itself a work of art. This was also true of Barneys, another institution born of the ethos that shopping was an act of self-actualization. Now both institutions find themselves in a financial free-fall."
BKBG 2018 Conference workshop leader Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor) published an interesting take for the successful future of brick and mortar retailers. Manufacturers, especially those who sell premium and luxury products, are beginning to find out that selling their wares on Amazon, direct to the public or through another ecommerce channel has not been a savior. Direct to consumer supply chains require manufacturers to incur costs that historically have been relegated to brick and mortar retailers that include marketing, customer service, shipping, handling and returns. Suddenly, going direct and having new overhead costs have made many manufacturers reconsider the direct to consumer strategy.
We've never been more digitally connected, yet loneliness is at record levels. It's not just in the home where people are lonely, people are also lonely in the workplace. More than 40% of respondents to a 2018 Global Culture survey conducted by O.C. Turner report they don't have a close friend at work. Most people do not believe that their colleagues know "the real me." The study found that 62% of respondents take the time to get to know colleagues personally, and only 53% believe that their peers take the time to get to know them personally.
If the GM Board of Directors unanimously approved a decision on the first vote, the company's legendary Chairman, Alfred Sloan, would never accept the decision. Sloan believed that a board comprised of intelligent, monumentally successful captains of industry could never instantly agree on anything. He required opposing views, believing better quality decisions result from honest disagreement