If you\’re not preparing for the next 5-10 years, you\’re going to go the way of the fax machine.
Rapidly changing consumer behavior and expectations, anytime-anywhere connectivity, and technology that knows what shoppers want before they do, will all continue to define the future of retail. And while you may not perceive it day to day, the pace of change is only accelerating.
The time to be working on these inevitable changes is now, which raises the question: What is the single most important thing you should be doing to make sure you\’re one of the winners as retail continues to evolve? The answer might seem simple and obvious but it never ceases to amaze me how often people get it wrong.
Invest in Yourself and Your Team
You should be investing in your personal development and that of your people.
I get that this isn\’t as easy as it sounds–if you\’re part of retail\’s old guard, the prospect of re-learning all facets of retailing, including the transformative power of technology, is daunting. It\’s much easier to make excuses and stay in denial. And, yes, on top of such angst, you have a day job that you cannot ignore. But anything short of focusing first and foremost on your knowledge, skills and organizational culture as well as those of your team, will lead to failure. Strategy, technology and everything else you might invest in will be meaningless without the knowledge of how to implement all of it.
So I wasn\’t surprised that Anil Aggarwal and Zia Daniell Wigder from Shoptalk zeroed in on this logic in my latest interview with them in the lead-up to Shoptalk — now just over four weeks away.
This week, Shoptalk released its final 2019 agenda, and it\’s obvious that Shoptalk takes learning and development very seriously–Anil and Zia have once again compiled a dizzying array of senior executive speakers and an agenda that includes profound insights and learnings about every function in the value chain, from creation to consumption. Of its more than 250 speakers, 46 percent are CEOs, 22 percent are other C-level officers and 27 percent are EVP to VP-level executives. Additionally, 34 percent of Shoptalk speakers are women and 16 percent of speakers are from outside the U.S.
The Shoptalk agenda from its first year, has exponentially expanded in depth and breadth each year. And, now in its fourth year, it takes you on a journey of discovery as well as providing you with the critical updates you need in order to be current.
Shoptalk\’s Annual Retail Education Certificate — A Game Changer
But Aggarwal and Wigder have gone one step further in leading the retail industry when it comes to learning and development. Starting with this year\’s Shoptalk, they\’re introducing the Shoptalk Annual Retail Education Certificate. This Certificate distinguishes recipients for their commitment to improving their knowledge at a time when retail industry professionals are significantly divided in their grasp of digital innovation.
As the old world transitions to the new, this is not only incredibly timely; it\’s game-changing.
Any Shoptalk attendee can qualify for the Annual Retail Education Certificate, which will be awarded each year to every individual who completes at least 10 credits of approved continuing education and learning opportunities at Shoptalk.
Credits are earned onsite during the event for attending sessions, but also for engaging in many of the new programs that Shoptalk has recently introduced, including programs for peer collaboration and that allow retailers and brands to get smart on tech vendors in extremely efficient 15-minute meetings, of which Shoptalk will hold approximately 10,000 this year.
The specific ways to earn credits towards your Annual Retail Education Certificate are:
- Track Sessions: 1.0 credit per session
- Main Stage Session: 0.5 credit per session
- Tabletalks: 1.0 credit per Tabletalk (retailers and brands only)
- Techtalks: 0.5 credit per hour (10 Tabletalks)
- Hosted Retailers & Brands Program: 0.5 credits per hour (4 meetings) (retailers and brands only)
The Annual Retail Education Certificate is yet another reason to get yourself and your teams to Shoptalk.
As I\’ve said before, if you\’re waiting for the future to arrive, you are already history. So, get to Shoptalk and attend those classroom sessions, and get a Certificate toward success.