04 Jan Our world of exponential change
Personally and professionally, 2015 has been a watershed year for me. I left the security of having worked for start-ups, retailers, e-commerce businesses and managing brands over the past, ahem, “few” years to join my good friends in building New Normal Consulting. While we are not exactly Cream or CSN&Y, this is indeed a power trio, and I have been both honored and pushed in altogether new directions. I love it.
We have helped an esteemed list of clients in our short tenure, providing guidance and experience with brand building, supply chain, organizational challenges and new product launches, among other projects. Our clients reflect the unique nature of our industry: Self-starters, outdoor hogs, seasoned veterans, millennials, non-profits with big visions and assorted rogues and rascals. I so appreciate all of our clients and I dare to say, we learn as much from them as they do from us.
Our clients and our broader industry face the New Normal daily, that is, a constantly shifting landscape with new means to communicate, build loyalty, create products our customers love and compete in a crowded marketplace. I am fond of the notion that change has begun to occur exponentially. In my dad’s time, that change was more arithmetic. More change occurred in 2015 than in any year before. Next year will exceed 2015. It’s dizzying.
To compete and manage in this environment, all of us must embrace continual learning, drop our assumptions, try things on that we are uncomfortable with and listen to our customers like never before. We need to take new ideas from places outside our bubbles. We’ve got to recognize and value the perspectives of the youngest folks on our teams: they are wired to the new customer base and understand how younger people want to be spoken to.
But none of this should be foreign to us, don’t you think? After all, we climb new routes, hike the Muir Trail and venture into rural China, expecting change and challenge, feasting on uncertainty and welcoming when our plans do not go as we hoped. What fun is a trip with no surprises?
To all our clients, colleagues and outdoor industry friends, I wish you a prosperous and exciting 2016. Let’s all work smarter and change the face of our industry and embrace the daily New Normal.