The View

Don’t Become the Dinosaur

Welcome to Fall. While many view this time of year as winding down, nearing the end. I do not! Fall is the season of New Beginnings. Think about it: What happened every fall for almost the first two decades of our lives?  New clothes, new books, new teachers, new classes. Everything about Fall to me screams Fresh Start! In fact, September is the month back in 1994 that CoffeeTalk officially launched.

What if we are not launching something new this Fall? Perfect! Instead, this “new beginning” time of year becomes an opportunity for change!

A recent study by SAP revealed one of the biggest concerns of employees everywhere is becoming obsolete or having their positions changed. It does not matter if you are the owner of a small business or an employee at a large corporation, success means you must be expert at reinventing yourself to avoid becoming obsolete.

This is the perfect time to examine both individually and as a business where we are, where we have been, and where we are going. We must engage our customers, empower our employees, and optimize our operations.  Though exceptional business leaders have always known this, the difference today is that the pace of changing technology is so fast that if you do not keep up, you can quickly become a dinosaur – and you will not even know it until it is too late.

How do you go about avoiding obsolescence? 

First, question everything: are policies and procedures still appropriate in today’s changing environment? Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What aspect of their interaction with you feels old fashioned or awkward? What are better ways of doing this?  If you were a start-up and looking at things from a fresh perspective, what would you do to disrupt the industry?

Next, are you prepared to succeed?

• Do you stay up to date with industry news? 

You need to know what is happening in your marketplace to remain on the cutting edge. It does take considerable time to stay on top of the overabundance of information out there. So use tools and technology to your advantage! ctNEWS and ctPRESS are free tools to save you precious time WHILE keeping you at the leading edge of what’s happening.

• Do you connect with experts in your field?

This could be through networking sessions, email, joining a LinkedIn group, or volunteering on a committee. Are you a member of SCAA, NCA, NAMA? Do you participate in committees? Are you using your membership to its fullest?

• Do you attend industry conferences?

Here you will find new ideas, new products, and the opportunity to be with other forward-minded people who can challenge you and keep you flexible and prepared for changes. Coffee Fest Anaheim, is a great opportunity coming up in a few weeks. After that the NCA Fall Coffee Summit in October and NAMA’s Coffee Tea & Water conference in November. Do not miss these incredible opportunities to connect, learn, and thrive!

• Do you engage in life-long learning?

An excellent example of successful “Reinvention” is the SCAA. No longer just a conference and newsletter, SCAA has become the premier educational facility of the global coffee industry. Take a look at their global campus offerings, e-learning, Foundations classes, eExams and other numerous opportunities to stay at the top of your game. And don’t forget the to explore amazing industry educational opportunities from Boot Coffee’s new campus as well!  Education is the key to staying young and avoiding the dinosaur effect!  In fact a recent article in The Atlantic reported that when individuals learn new tasks, they strengthen the part of their brain used in learning the task. Even better, this process makes the neighboring areas of the brain more resilient as well. This means that learning can make what you already know stronger, too.

Here’s to New Beginnings!

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