It’s a world where consumers are in control, and geographic barriers are fluid. Talent trumps conformity, ideas trump knowledge and the competitive playing field has leveled and expanded as a result.
If you’re showing up to work each day thinking your traditional, inwardly focused business practices have things under control, you’re not prepared to survive this new world.
To compete nowadays, you need to get out — out in middle of the chaos where different perspectives, generations, cultures and technologies collide for the co-creation of value and innovation.
Consider one of the reasons why consumers like social media: everybody gets an opinion. Consumer opinions are the marketing equivalent of differentiating.
Even among the competing chatter of millions of people espousing their views over new media, novel opinions go viral and people can really make a name for themselves.
The same can be said for all aspects of business and career: innovative ideas — no longer rank, tradition, knowledge or location — differentiate.
That’s why the more you can get out among your peers over social media, at industry meetings and in professional development settings, the more you can disrupt traditional patterns of thinking and ignite the creativity needed to help you adapt and differentiate amid a marketplace that increasingly knows no limits.
We should take lessons from two speakers who are scheduled to appear at Fresh Summit in October.
Outside the box
One is graffiti artist and entrepreneur Erik Wahl. After an eight-year career as a partner in a corporate firm, he grew frustrated by the lack of innovative thought and corresponding profits he saw in business.
He rediscovered his love for art while powering through his frustration in attempt to determine what to do with his career.
The polar opposite of corporate life, graffiti art gave him freedom to break all the rules.
With an unconstrained mind, he saw an opportunity to combine his worlds of graffiti art and business to differentiate himself as a keynote speaker and businessman like no other.
He now says he “plays in the business world by working through his art,” and he encourages business professionals to rediscover their artist within to foster innovation. He leaves the art he paints during his presentations behind as reminders of breakthrough thinking.
Disruption leads to innovation. That’s the game of modern business. But you can only be a player in the innovation game if you’re prepared to adapt.
Like an artist facing a blank canvas open to the creative possibilities the many different colors can realize, you too must open yourself and your business to the many different colors of influence available in the modern marketplace that can reinvigorate traditional business models and help you thrive among growing competition.
Point of intersection
Frans Johansson, author of “The Medici Effect” and chief executive officer of The Medici Group, argues traditional strategy, planning and analysis simply no longer guarantee strong performance in today’s fast-paced, unpredictable market.
Like Wahl, he also speaks to professionals around the country, but talks instead about how the most ground-breaking ideas grow from collaboration between people with diverse experiences, skills, expertise, perspectives, backgrounds and cultures.
Johannson says it’s at intersections — places where ideas from different fields and cultures meet and collide — where extraordinary new innovations ignite.
This very phenomenon happens repeatedly in our industry at meetings, leadership programs and conferences around the country and the globe.
When varied disciplines, cultures and all segments of the supply chain intersect to discuss such things as food safety, technology, increasing consumption, supply chain efficiencies and global trade, innovation and leadership are fueled.
When you as a member of this industry with a unique perspective purposely place yourself at these intersections, a sustainable edge is gained through participation and exposure to ideas and opportunities with the power to ignite.
Like it or not, it’s business as unusual these days. How prepared are you to adapt and change the game?
Just as the building blocks of social media — identity, conversations, sharing, presence, relationships, reputation and groups — work to ignite and elevate innovation, putting yourself at the intersection of diversity puts these same building blocks to work for you and your operation.
Broadening your perspective stirs creative thinking to expand your company’s reach, accessibility and potential for unprecedented possibilities.
Getting out in the middle of the chaos is quite simply the best preparation for surviving and thriving in this modern business environment.
Kori Tuggle is director of marketing and business development for Ocean Mist Farms, Castroville, Calif. She is responsible for engaging Ocean Mist Farms online with the industry and consumers and is one of the founding members of the Artichoke Aficionado Club, which has 46,000 members.
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