Last year’s List, Chaos Theory, showed us how, in order to prosper in the evolving marketplace, organizations must demonstrate agility, entrepreneurial thinking, and deeper levels of engagement. In fact, engagement is a concept that all Currie clients have been hearing about for the past two or three years. Some very detailed discussions have occurred at Currie meetings throughout North America diving into Currie’s own “From Chaos to the 4-C’s of Employee Culture” (constructing, crafting, creating and cultivating). Our work has included:
- Constructing bullet-proof hiring practices
- Crafting a highly effective onboarding program
- Creating continuous development plans for each and every employee
- Cultivating an environment of employee engagement.
In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order. Karl Jung
Now let’s talk about where this chaos has positioned us, as distributors of industrial equipment. Things continue to change, including our culture, our processes, our strategic direction, and our philosophies as distributors. Keeping our eyes on the prize, the long-run focus for your enterprise must be towards deep diversification. This model includes multiple locations and multiple product lines. To label these changes, and the emerging differences in our business models, as “trends” describes too lightly the complexity of the future of equipment distribution.
Where did we come from? In the past, an entrepreneurial businessman would choose a product line. The choice may have been guided by geography, or interests, or family history. The specific industry chosen may have been a natural progression, or may have been one that a savvy opportunist could identify as a winner. With that decision made, and as long as the Principal learned the game, and as long as he was in it to win, this guy was poised to make a ton of money. After all, it was all about the brand. In our world now, choosing the right brand, or product line is no longer the silver bullet. Rather, success in the 21st century is determined by the manner of execution of the complex strategies and varied practices that are essential to industrial distribution today.
The books on the 2016 Currie Client Reading List are connected to Philosophy, great thinkers, innovative concepts, and the like. This list is about ancient entrepreneurs, dynamic theorists, and intellectuals who connected notions and concepts in radical ways. This list is about ideas, inducing a new thought process, and designing a fresh approach to what we’ve been doing for decades. And this list is also about making connections between your business and the universe. What do these books, and all of this philosophy, have to do with the business of industrial distribution? Everything.
As Socrates would argue, there is not an answer here, only a question.