In February, I was the closing keynote speaker for the American Nursery and Landscape Association. This was a second booking by this group; they had me in previously for a leadership meeting in Vail.
Here’s a clip in which I’m setting the stage for the rapid changes occuring in their industry: in the context of how quickly basic knowledge is evolving, suggesting that “learning is what most adults will do for a living in the twenty first century.”
Does this line of thinking apply to garden store managers/owners? You bet — individuals in the nursery and gardening industry indeed have to be masters of fast knowledge. There is a regular and ongoing release of new products; new store formats; new retail and branding methodologies; not to mention the need to have a lot of innovative strategies as to growing the business during a recession, or managing costs to survive challenging times. It’s all about learning, sharing ideas, and gaining new insight. Continually learning.
If you’ve been reading the press, you know that recently, many meetings and events have been under attack, driven by what has come to be known as the “AIG effect.” Quite a few organizations have cancelled leadership meeting, fearing that it might look bad. Yet any politician or journalist continuing to beat up on the meetings industry should watch the video that “Today’s Garden Center” magazine has put online; it’s a video called “What I Learned at ANLA Management Clinic 2009.”
In it, we’ve got nursery, garden and landscape managers from across the US — small business owners — talking about the things they’ve learned at the conference; the ideas they’re taking away; the specific actions they’re going to pursue from what they’ve learned.
It’s a pretty compelling video, and if anything, it really puts into perspective what these events are all about.