A Season for Change

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November has always been a month in which shifts occur for my business. Many of my clients are still undecided about how the holidays will impact their business, marketers are late in choosing holiday gifts for their customers, and employees in every company are planning their vacations and holiday days. Most people enjoy the change of the seasons, the cooler weather, the magnificent blue skies and spectacular sunsets.

I reflect on late August through mid September as the Season Of Change. September is a month for monumental “shifts”. Katrina’s devastation, 9-11 and the destruction of the World Trade Center and loss of thousands of lives and millions of dollars still ripple throughout the world. My mind flashes to the stumpy ruins in New York, Biloxi, New Orleans.
All of this shows us that change does take place, everywhere. Whether an act of nature, like Katrina, or an attack like 9-11, they all have immense financial effects. The Season Of Change means we have no control over external change. It simply happens.
But we do control internal change, and we can become a change agent for ourselves. I consider mid November through mid December as the Season For Change, a time for being just that.
During the past few weeks I have experienced thought provoking exposure to several industries, where hundreds of people work and millions of dollars are spent to attract and keep customers. The boundaries between work and play used to be vivid and clear. Today, they are neither. I experienced so many shifts that I found myself scrambling to keep up.
I sponsored a golf hole at the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling golf outing. I was on a long drive hole – 495 yards – that permitted me to have a little extra face time with the players. Every player was involved in the gaming industry in some manner. They ranged from suppliers of slot machines, to the software that tracks player spending, to slot and casino executives.
Every one of them talked about “change.” Some talked about Katrina and Rita. Others talked about the recent introduction of server-based slot machines. Almost everyone talked about being on the sidelines, powerless, trying to discern what changes to accept and what to resist. A $90 billion industry struggling with “change.”
One of the most prevalent topics of conversation was the new casinos and resorts being built in Macau. One executive, in charge of construction, told me that the $290 million casino that opened earlier in the year had paid for itself in less than 9 months.
There was a real energy when China was mentioned. Las Vegas did not see competition, but opportunity. Sure, there were concerns about Asia’s impact to the gaming industry, especially to those Las Vegas and California who rely heavily on Asian players, but overall they saw opportunity and were committed to change.
The following day, I met with clients to discuss holiday gift items, and they said that the products must be made in the US. It was their feeling that imports only weakened the economy, and they wanted to support US labor. However, when we compared costs of similar products, the Asian imports were 1/3 the cost of European and 1/6 the cost of US goods.
Just as you guessed, they settled on products from China. In this case, “change” meant money. And they were more concerned with stakeholder reaction to expenses than support of the higher priced US goods.
We, as a country, must learn to compete. We cannot just whine about imports and trying to control them through tariffs and other restrictions. Instead, we must develop better production capabilities, negotiate out of highly restrictive and costly labor agreements, and help our labor force itself to become “change agents.”
Remember when Japan entered the marketplace? They produced cheap, technologically superior goods. Today, Sony, Panasonic, Seiko, Toyota, Nissan and the other familiar Japanese brands no longer are the cheapest or the best. Korea, China, and Vietnam, continue to emerge as price and technology leaders. Shift Happens! Is it a Season For Change?
Following the meetings in Las Vegas, I flew to Toronto to meet with travel industry executives at an international convention. Almost every topic, from the platform, or in the hallways, focused on worldwide change. Tsunami impacts still linger, Katrina and Rita changed the landscape of resort areas, and everyone contemplated the effects of terrorists that target innocent people in non-military locations.
There were funds established that will likely help displaced workers for years to come. I was moved by the acts of kindness, but somehow felt that in some way they were offered as a possible insurance investment in case similar “changes” took place in their areas. In a time when businesses are vilified in the consumer press as dishonest and even cold and heartless, both the gaming industry and the travel industry immediately sprang into action to supply the very commodity that they were criticized for amassing: money.
Every program appears to envision assistance beyond the local funds that have been set up to help local employees. It is a global unification to rebuild areas that have been the target of “change.” I am sure that no one believes that money can replace the lives and livelihoods that have been lost. It is simply human beings helping other human beings.
Which brings me to my recent invitation to consider joining the board of directors of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (http://www.aldf.org). You may have received an email from me requesting your donations for the animal community that was also affected by Katrina and Rita. ALDF has been pushing the U.S. legal system to end the suffering of abused animals. They mobilized staff and dispatched supplies to help animals stranded by Hurricane Katrina. And they defend animal rights. They created a poster that sums up their mission and clarifies the simplicity of their goal. Is your mission clearly defined?
I listened to the day-long reports of animal abuse that has been permitted by various states, and how this small group of dedicated individuals was making a difference in the lives of not just domestic pets but also of animals on farms, zoos, breeding farms, etc. I was moved by the passion of this group to make positive change in the lives of those that cannot speak for themselves. I want to help make a change in the laws that protect the rights of animals. They have rights, don’t they? We can make a difference. It is a Season For Change.
We all react to disasters the size and scale of Tsunami, Katrina, Rita, 9-11, terrorist attacks at hotels, etc. Our first thought is sympathy for those that are directly touched by the crisis, and we try to do what we can. What happens is that we react, but then go about our daily lives. We forget once normalcy re-establishes itself.
We forget that change is taking place, every day, everywhere. We turn our thoughts to more mundane topics and forget that change affects us all. This Thanksgiving be grateful. Send a strong message to those you love, you work with and those you elect to run our cities and governments. It is a Season For Change.
Our world is interconnected. There is only one planet. We can’t leave it and journey to another just yet. Let’s be thankful for what we have and do everything we can to protect it. It is a Season For Change.
This Thanksgiving make a commitment to change. Change the way you deal with the minor problems of life. Change the way you react to your children, your employees, your supervisor and your significant other. Katrina was less than 12 hours. 9-11 was less than two hours. Your lives are much, longer and you can do something about how you live them. It is a Season For Change.
November, 2005

November has always been a month in which shifts occur for my business. Many of my clients are still undecided about how the holidays will impact their business, marketers are late in choosing holiday gifts for their customers, and employees in every company are planning their vacations and holiday days. Most people enjoy the change of the seasons, the cooler weather, the magnificent blue skies and spectacular sunsets.

I reflect on late August through mid September as the Season Of Change. September is a month for monumental “shifts”. Katrina’s devastation, 9-11 and the destruction of the World Trade Center and loss of thousands of lives and millions of dollars still ripple throughout the world. My mind flashes to the stumpy ruins in New York, Biloxi, New Orleans.

All of this shows us that change does take place, everywhere. Whether an act of nature, like Katrina, or an attack like 9-11, they all have immense financial effects. The Season Of Change means we have no control over external change. It simply happens.

But we do control internal change, and we can become a change agent for ourselves. I consider mid November through mid December as the Season For Change, a time for being just that.

During the past few weeks I have experienced thought provoking exposure to several industries, where hundreds of people work and millions of dollars are spent to attract and keep customers. The boundaries between work and play used to be vivid and clear. Today, they are neither. I experienced so many shifts that I found myself scrambling to keep up.

I sponsored a golf hole at the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling golf outing. I was on a long drive hole – 495 yards – that permitted me to have a little extra face time with the players. Every player was involved in the gaming industry in some manner. They ranged from suppliers of slot machines, to the software that tracks player spending, to slot and casino executives.

Every one of them talked about “change.” Some talked about Katrina and Rita. Others talked about the recent introduction of server-based slot machines. Almost everyone talked about being on the sidelines, powerless, trying to discern what changes to accept and what to resist. A $90 billion industry struggling with “change.”

One of the most prevalent topics of conversation was the new casinos and resorts being built in Macau. One executive, in charge of construction, told me that the $290 million casino that opened earlier in the year had paid for itself in less than 9 months.

There was a real energy when China was mentioned. Las Vegas did not see competition, but opportunity. Sure, there were concerns about Asia’s impact to the gaming industry, especially to those Las Vegas and California who rely heavily on Asian players, but overall they saw opportunity and were committed to change.

The following day, I met with clients to discuss holiday gift items, and they said that the products must be made in the US. It was their feeling that imports only weakened the economy, and they wanted to support US labor. However, when we compared costs of similar products, the Asian imports were 1/3 the cost of European and 1/6 the cost of US goods.

Just as you guessed, they settled on products from China. In this case, “change” meant money. And they were more concerned with stakeholder reaction to expenses than support of the higher priced US goods.

We, as a country, must learn to compete. We cannot just whine about imports and trying to control them through tariffs and other restrictions. Instead, we must develop better production capabilities, negotiate out of highly restrictive and costly labor agreements, and help our labor force itself to become “change agents.”

Remember when Japan entered the marketplace? They produced cheap, technologically superior goods. Today, Sony, Panasonic, Seiko, Toyota, Nissan and the other familiar Japanese brands no longer are the cheapest or the best. Korea, China, and Vietnam, continue to emerge as price and technology leaders. Shift Happens! Is it a Season For Change?

Following the meetings in Las Vegas, I flew to Toronto to meet with travel industry executives at an international convention. Almost every topic, from the platform, or in the hallways, focused on worldwide change. Tsunami impacts still linger, Katrina and Rita changed the landscape of resort areas, and everyone contemplated the effects of terrorists that target innocent people in non-military locations.

There were funds established that will likely help displaced workers for years to come. I was moved by the acts of kindness, but somehow felt that in some way they were offered as a possible insurance investment in case similar “changes” took place in their areas. In a time when businesses are vilified in the consumer press as dishonest and even cold and heartless, both the gaming industry and the travel industry immediately sprang into action to supply the very commodity that they were criticized for amassing: money.

Every program appears to envision assistance beyond the local funds that have been set up to help local employees. It is a global unification to rebuild areas that have been the target of “change.” I am sure that no one believes that money can replace the lives and livelihoods that have been lost. It is simply human beings helping other human beings.

Which brings me to my recent invitation to consider joining the board of directors of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (http://www.aldf.org). You may have received an email from me requesting your donations for the animal community that was also affected by Katrina and Rita. ALDF has been pushing the U.S. legal system to end the suffering of abused animals. They mobilized staff and dispatched supplies to help animals stranded by Hurricane Katrina. And they defend animal rights. They created a poster that sums up their mission and clarifies the simplicity of their goal. Is your mission clearly defined?

I listened to the day-long reports of animal abuse that has been permitted by various states, and how this small group of dedicated individuals was making a difference in the lives of not just domestic pets but also of animals on farms, zoos, breeding farms, etc. I was moved by the passion of this group to make positive change in the lives of those that cannot speak for themselves. I want to help make a change in the laws that protect the rights of animals. They have rights, don’t they? We can make a difference. It is a Season For Change.

We all react to disasters the size and scale of Tsunami, Katrina, Rita, 9-11, terrorist attacks at hotels, etc. Our first thought is sympathy for those that are directly touched by the crisis, and we try to do what we can. What happens is that we react, but then go about our daily lives. We forget once normalcy re-establishes itself.

We forget that change is taking place, every day, everywhere. We turn our thoughts to more mundane topics and forget that change affects us all. This Thanksgiving be grateful. Send a strong message to those you love, you work with and those you elect to run our cities and governments. It is a Season For Change.

Our world is interconnected. There is only one planet. We can’t leave it and journey to another just yet. Let’s be thankful for what we have and do everything we can to protect it. It is a Season For Change.

This Thanksgiving make a commitment to change. Change the way you deal with the minor problems of life. Change the way you react to your children, your employees, your supervisor and your significant other. Katrina was less than 12 hours. 9-11 was less than two hours. Your lives are much, longer and you can do something about how you live them. It is a Season For Change.

Photo credit: joiseyshowaa

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