The Retail (R)evolution starts here

Human beings are, from an evolutionary perspective, not well-equipped to deal with danger and change. We are not particularly fast or strong. We have no special ability to ward off danger (like thick skins, shooting poison from our fangs or a special camouflage) and all we can rely on are our minds.

But we are failing miserably to use our only evolutionary protective mechanism.

Knowledge has been democratised and education is being de-institutionalised. The last barrier to fall is the idea that teachers/trainers hold the ‘keys to the kingdom’. When they abandon formal assessment, and the industrial notion that knowledge can be certified, then real progress will happen.

  • People no longer believe what journalists tell them
  • People no longer buy what you sell them.
  • People no longer go where you lead them.
  • People no longer learn what you teach them.

This means there the death of the journo, the salesmen/marketers – and also the leaders and teachers who physically, psychologically and intellectually see themselves as rightfully ‘owning’ the front of the class.

As usual, at the edge of change, chaos rules. The world is evolving into something that we are not ready for and do not have the answers for. Will people be willing to give up ‘qualifications’? Increasingly they will. It has never been a prerequisite to success and now (thanks to the internet) we all know it – and fact many of these people are our heroes. The cachet of a paper seal has evaporated. Recently Peter Thiel (PayPal founder) paid 20 young people $100K to quit college.)

We have seen the nascent trend of a ‘non-training-approach’ to learning. It is still struggling to define itself, and if it does not hang itself in a forest of jargon, we are onto something: integrating the knowledge of doing with the act of passing it along in the process of working.

As you may expect, we have a technology that enables people to learn socially (from each other). There is a technology platform for everything! The uptake is slower than expected. Organisations (HR) want to ‘control’ theses interactions with a set syllabus, but little do they realise that the conversations are happening anyway: people are talking and learning from each other as they always have; but now they have the tools to bypass the traditional gatekeepers and access the relevant knowledge from a source and a time and pace that suits them.

Which brings us to the Retail Revolution.

As you well know, many retailers are struggling – maybe including you. And if you want to successfully evolve, we have to start using our brains – in particularly our collective minds.

In every business there are frustrated employees who KNOW the answer and who may even be willing to share it with you. The reasons why they don’t are obvious:

  1. They don’t like or trust you
  2. They are disengaged and passive
  3. They don’t feel empowered to share and contribute
  4. They are unskilled/ feel unequipped
  5. There is no opportunity/ mechanism to share and contribute
  6. You don’t ask
The confronting truth about all if this is that YOU are to blame if these symptoms pervade your business. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but there really is no one else to blame.

Our only evolutionary advantage is our brains. If we don’t use those to proactively adapt to these evolutionary pressures, we will become extinct because the forces of change cannot be held at bay, we can only adapt.

Every successful organisation comes about because of the collective minds within that organisation applying themselves to the tasks at hand. The journey of success for your organisation starts when you get all those minds working together towards a common goal.

And for you to start down that path, you should let go of the idea that you and only you have the answers or are supposed to have all the answers.

‘Crowdsource’ your solutions from the people that have the most at stake – your employees and I guarantee that, if you have recruited well, you will be mightily surprised.

Have fun.

Dennis Price

Future-proof your business with Ganador

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