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 reconsidering how to plan their vacations and holiday days. Most people enjoy the change of the seasons, the cooler weather, the magnificent blue skies, and spectacular sunsets but this year is very different. In the past, I would reflect on late August through mid-September as the Season Of Change. September was a month for monumental “shifts”.
All of this shows us that change does take place, everywhere. Whether an act of nature, like the increase of hurricanes and wildfires, or police brutality, 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 SHIFT, a time for being the change that will impact the following year. During the past few months, 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 but find a very conservative consumer due to Covid-19. The boundaries between work and play used to be vivid and clear. Today, they are neither. Like most of you, I experienced so many shifts that I found myself scrambling to keep up.
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?
Almost every topic, from the platform, or in the hallways, focused on worldwide change. Wildfires impacts still linger, the recent hurricanes changed the landscape of resort areas, and everyone contemplated the effects of a few ‘bad’ cops that target innocent people.
There were funds established that will likely help some of those victims. 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 restaurant 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.
We all react to disasters the size and scale COVID-19, wildfires, terrorist attacks, police brutality, political disagreements, and how we are going to repay ourselves for our billions of dollars in lost income. Our first thought is sympathy for those that are directly touched by any 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. Well, the pandemic is long-lasting and the ripple effects are increasing.
We may forget that change is taking place, every day, everywhere. We turn our thoughts to more mundane topics and struggle to 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 as we emerge from the pandemic. Change the way you deal with the problems of life. Change the way you react to your children, your employees, your supervisor, and your significant other and become a change agent for ourselves. And remember to be thankful by doing something great for someone-including yourself.