Thoughts on Millennials and Corporate Memory
I must be getting really old and cranky. I can remember way back in the 60’s, my mind has not failed yet. I was in college and we were told as a caring society we should stop cutting down trees and we should become a paperless society. In fact, once, during an interview with a catalog company I told them we would have to start looking for an alternative to paper catalogs. As stupid as that was, I still got the job, they obviously saw something I did not know was there. But here it is 2016, the world for me is a strange and different place and I still like to pick up a letter, the newspaper, or a book and read it. Part of the time I do use a Nook. There is something so comfortable about paper with words that you hold in your hands. Humans have been writing on things for a long time. Cave men wrote on stone walls and we can try to understand them today.
Tom Curry was the best mentor I ever had. He and I used to go to lunch almost every day and he would talk casually about his experiences in business and tell me how he had done things to solve problems. I learned a lot of things without ever knowing I was learning them. I learned about how people and things worked, how customers reacted to various stimuli and what made them upset and most importantly what not to do. Of course I asked a lot of questions and discussed a lot of my plans. Tom almost never said no, but he would dig a story up from his past and talk about it until I understood that my plans were not the best new thing on the block. Not all my plans were bad, some were dropped, some even worked, but they were all made better because they were touched by Corporate Memory.
I have made mistakes in the past. The worst ones were the ones I refused to admit. You cannot hide from a mistake. Almost always things can be made better by admitting an error in judgment, correcting course and moving on. You can actually gain a certain degree of respect from the admission.
I guess what I am trying to say is I am not a Millennial; I did not grow up with a phone, tablet and computer appendages. I think book stores and libraries are wonderful places. I would rather play cards with my friends than my computer. There are more people like me in the quilting industry than there are Millennials. I contact my customers with catalogs and emails so I am changing. Most of the time an email lasts for a few seconds and a catalog lasts until it is destroyed. There may be a time when our society becomes paperless. It is not today or tomorrow, and I doubt seriously it will be in my lifetime. I was wrong back in the 60’s.
If you are new in our industry you should find your Corporate Memory and learn from it.
I never consider it a mistake or moving backward to give my customers what they want, because they always reward me for the consideration.