Byron's Babbles

Local Is Everywhere

The global pandemic has served as a catalyst to e-commerce (a 39% increase happened last year) and local delivery being here to stay. It is now common practice to build shopping carts into local business websites. This enables us to significantly expand the number of neighbors we get to serve with care, compassion, and a commitment to making these very good times. This past week at the SMART Factory League 2022 Summit, Joachim Hensch reminded us that “local is everywhere.” To further make the point he reminded us that “Coca Cola is everywhere.” Think about it; because of geolocalization, we can connect in ways never possible before. All we have to do is type in, “___________ near me.” Or, I can order whatever I need, to be delivered wherever I need it. Think about all these ways we have to be everywhere:

  • In-person (is now kind of old school)
  • Curbside pickup and messaging
  • Home delivery messaging
  • Text messaging
  • Direct Messaging
  • Live Chat 💬
  • Email 📧
  • Review responses
  • Review requests
  • Phone 📱
  • On-hold phone messaging
  • Virtual meetings
  • Website forms
  • Surveying
  • Social media platforms
  • Post-transactional landing page messaging
  • Call-to-action texting 💬

If we are truly going to operate in a “local is everywhere” mindset then we also need to think “glocalization.” A glocalized product or service is one that is developed and distributed globally but is also adjusted to accommodate the user or consumer in a local market. Cars, for example, need to meet certain regulatory standards or have the steering wheel placed in the correct side for that country. Also, more importantly, cultural adaptations need to be made. In other words, a global product or service, something everyone needs and can get use out of, may be tailored to conform to local laws, customs, or consumer preferences.

Finally, we need to adopt the core value of everything we do being meant to connect people and increase the quality of life in ALL local communities. Our governments need to protect economic and human diversity and we need to do community building by making our towns and cities really fine places to live with accessible goods and services for everybody.

Flirting With Technology

I’ve already done several posts reflecting on my learning from the SMART Factory League 2022 Summit, but I just spent a couple of hours during my flight home studying my notes. That study yielded another seven topics for reflection, further study, and a blog post being written. Something that we discuss this week while in Hamburg, Germany was the fact that we are always flirting with technology. There is always some new device, application, updated application, or increase capability for us to “flirt” with. I loved that way of putting it – “flirting.” Because flirting is not committing. Interestingly, the manufacturing industry and education have the same issue here: we flirt too much without making sure what we are flirting with meets our needs, is usable by our stakeholders, or even adds more burden than value. Therefore, we discussed that when flirting with technology there must be a great deal of experimentation.

This flirtation cannot be a speed date! I see this so many times, where someone in a school likes a particular technology, so that becomes the next thing. Probably the biggest areas I hear this in education are with learning management systems. I hear things like “I’m not sure who picked this, but it really isn’t that useful.” We talked a lot about the stakeholder gaps while discussing change management this week. Clearly there are stakeholder gaps in my example here. I get the fact that there needed to be some quick decisions made during the heat of the global pandemic, but we mustn’t forget the experimentation component to flirting with technology.

This experimentation must include using a model like the Vantage Point Model©. The experimentation must include stakeholder representation from the organization related to philosophy, culture, policy, strategy, tactics, logistics, and tasks. I teach this model in all leadership development work I do. I truly believe and have witnessed it to be true that if all seven stakeholder groups are represented, change has a great chance of success. Additionally, I have seen failure, particularly in the area of technology, when the stakeholders involved with tactics, logistics, or tasks are not included in the experimentation.

The list of seemingly necessary IT capabilities continues to grow, and IT spending continues to consume an increasing percentage of their budgets. No one person, committee, or department should be left to make, often by default, the choices that determine the impact of IT on your organization’s business strategy. Beware of chasing elusive benefits (eg. Information to anyone, anytime, anywhere). Choose goals for technology/digitization that match the strategy of your organization. You cannot do it all at once – do it in sprints. We need to consider how our technology can help give us a centralized global perspective, but also maintain individualization on a regional and local level. Involving all stakeholders is again important to the experimentation here.

Bottom-line: Flirting With Technology = Great Deal of Experimentation.

Separating The Idle From The Industrious

I’m now getting to another prompt for a post that I had on my “to blog about list.” This prompt is from another quote in The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles: “Time is what God uses to separate the idle from the industrious.” I learned from David Marquet that great leaders understand how to control the clock. This quote got me to thinking about this control of the clock. When I looked up being industrious, this is what I found: industrious: applying oneself with energy to study or work; actively and purposefully getting things done; opposite of being idle and accomplishing nothing. The best example of why we need to be industrious is thinking back to being a kid (okay, I still kind of am a kid). The worst days ever were the ones when there was nothing to do. Time seemed to stand still – I wasn’t controlling the clock. When we are idle and purposeless, we are at our unhappiest.

The way to happiness is finding purpose in how we use our time. We are at our best when our time includes industriousness that leads to tangible production. Also, think about that great feeling at the end of a very productive day of working really hard. It’s such a great “tired.” There are a lot of days like this on the farm. This feeling also happens when you are taking the shot where others will not, and doing things that other people may consider difficult. Time passes whether we are controlling the clock or not. The best athletic coaches are the ones who know how to control the clock the best.

My takeaway from the interaction in Towles’ novel was that we need to find purpose to truly be industrious. When we take a moment to really look around to see what is out there, we can find an unlimited number of things that can and should be done for ourselves, for others, and the betterment of the world. Participating in resolving these things can help us not only feel useful and helpful, but actually be useful and helpful.