In addition to the Tip of the Spear event the pre-event activities included an innovators’ workshop hosted by David Osborne, executive OD consultant, trainer, Dale Carnegie Digital. During the interactive workshop attendees were broken up into groups where they explored the biggest challenges facing the industry and their organizations today.
Some of the key disruptive areas retailers, solution provider and analysts pointed to as major challenges were labor, IT resourcing, keeping up with the competition (Amazon), workforce turnover, and being tethered to legacy systems. The group pointed to a lack of financial resources and staffing concerns as the root causes of these challenges.
The event gave attendees the opportunity to compare notes on what keeps them up at night with fellow industry executives while helping to influence and guide Osborne’s mainstage presentation the next day. Osbourne took to the stage in the morning of the opening day of the conference to reveal the results from the prior day’s workshop and to offer some advice on how retailers can meet the challenges head on.
Osborne told the audience that they “can’t just have incremental growth, it is not enough, you will fall behind and die,” offering up the following advice once he peaked their interest:
- Create an experience people want to come back to.
- Find something that helps you stand out.
- People don’t leave their companies, they leave there bosses.
The final point on employee engagement was the crux of Osborne’s discussion, focusing on how retailers can create an environment that retains key team members:
- Learn about your employees: what they do for fun, family situation, career goals and life goals.
- Everyone need praise.
- Give employees the training and resources to be successful.
- Involve employees in the creation of the company vision and mission.
- Implement a sandwich coaching model: praise, correct, praise.
- Create culture of appreciation.