I was interviewed some time last month by FoodProcessing.com – this was related to their discovery of the keynote I did for the Readers Digest / EveryDay with Rachel Ray team food industry summit in New York last fall.
They ran a short article, “March of the New Machines: The Future of Food Processing” — and ran my comment on what I’ve seen in terms of CEO’s who have relentless focus on growth. Many of my recent keynotes — several in Las Vegas, Austin, Miami and New York — have been focused on how to maintain growth strategies during an economic contraction.
Here’s an extract from the interview. Some good food for thought on the need to be RELENTLESS on the future and opportunities.
In a tough economy like this, it’s time to hold the line on spending and to be especially cautious of leading-edge technology. Right?
History’s full of companies that leapt ahead of competitors by increasing spending, especially on innovation, during down times. Jim Carroll, author and innovation consultant, recalled a speaking engagement in which he followed the CEO of a global restaurant chain, who spoke for a brief but powerful 20 minutes.
“For the first minute, he spoke about the global economy and the meltdown. He then spent the next 19 minutes identifying eight growth opportunities and how this organization could do great things if they relentlessly obsessed over them.
“How cool is that?” asks Carroll. “All these other companies are retrenching, pulling back, and here’s a guy who’s saying to his team, ‘Let’s focus on growth.’ ”
He says growth plans and strategic if judicious spending is mandatory for managing during a downturn. Companies that aren’t paralyzed by total spending freezes can get the jump on those competitors who are. And when the economy is back on track a year or whatever from now, Carroll says only then will we be able to point to companies and say which ones lagged and failed and which ones “took risks and did great things.“
The article at FoodProcessing.com itself takes a look at the technologies, production platforms, processes, ideas and methodologies which can provide for innovation in terms of market growth, product development, cost management and other areas. There’s no shortage of opportunity for innovation in the food and consumer product sector – or any other industry.
What is missing right now for many organizations is the COURAGE TO TAKE RISKS and INVEST!
Innovators focus on the future, they focus on growth, and they focus their team on opportunity. That’s a key message, and you’d do well to obsess over it.
- Read March of the New Machines: The Future of Food Processing
- Read the RDA Food & Entertainings Consumer Food Symposium summary (PDF)