IFE 2022 hosted its first-ever inaugural keynote, presented by the CEO of UnleashWD and Executive Producer of We Supply America, Dirk Beveridge. After traveling over 31,000 miles in his 38-foot RV and 100s of on-the-job interactions with distributors across the US, Dirk was ready to share his industry findings with the IFE 2022 attendees, who were equally as ready to learn from his experiences.
The audience loved the videos and first-hand perspectives from Dirk’s presentation. Here are three top takeaways from Innovate! How to Create Relevancy in the Age of Disruption:
- Modern Distribution Management reports that the backbone of our country, distributors, are supplying America to the tune of $7 trillion – the 3rd largest economic engine on the planet.
- EVERYTHING is being redefined; from how customers buy, the needs of employees, marketing, communication, technology adoption, and how, when and where we work. Dirk phrased this as “The Great Redefinition,” which occurs when external forces, internal forces, people forces collide.
- External forces: Supply chain, COVID, Inflation, Tech, Social change
- Internal forces: Attracting Talent, Succession, Blending generations, Margins
- People forces: Hybrid workforce, Growing diversity, Work life balance, Human toll of COVID
- For distributors to remain relevant, profitable, and sustainable they must be innovative! Dirk took a deep dive into 3 out of the 5 elements of The Innovative Distributor™️:
- Vision – Think of this as your North Star, a future reality that you really believe is possible with committed effort. The challenge for all leaders is getting lost in the fog of uncertainty during disruptive times. The list can seem overwhelming, where do you start? It begins with vision.
- Key Takeaway: Your employees are going to demand a higher level of leadership and a vision for the future.
- Dirk conducted a real time poll and found that 60% in the room during his keynote presentation reported that they were without a clearly defined vision.
- Culture – This is the soul of your business. Has your company culture been nurtured intentionally for long term relevance? False narratives within the distribution industry can greatly sway not only your culture, but also the ability to recruit and retain talent, influence messaging, express value to employees and explain the importance and impact of an employee’s role in the business.
- Key Takeaway: Humanity will play a more important role going forward and leaders are being asked to level set on what is important to their employees.
- Transformative Leadership – Better known as the heartbeat of your business. As everything is being redefined, we must redefine how we lead, and meet people where they are. For example: Less people want to work in a traditional environment that our society has structured as “work”, this requires leaders to reimagine how they lead (remote work, changes to shift times, etc.).
- Key Takeaway: Leadership is at a critical moment of change; evolving from controlling to managing, to leading to the noble calling. Leaders are being asked to support the greater good.
Plain and simple, the world does not and cannot function without fasteners. How are you, as a leader, championing this message and redefining your relevancy in this age of disruption? Dirk’s full presentation is available on the IFE Match app until November 18, 2022.