Chris Anderson delivered an inspiring and thought-provoking message on Navigating and Winning in a Dynamic Business Environment through a series of analogies and life experiences that have helped shape his own path to CEO of HPG. Chris broke it down into different forces he sees that impact business and the promotional product industry and how those have translated during the pandemic and will continue to have an impact in the future. An impactful personal story he told recalled visiting two different major retail chains noting the vast differences between the two when it came to cost management. One company's effort to control costs was to visibly mark on something as seemingly insignificant as a cardboard box the cost associated of not reusing. Not surprisingly, that company is now one of the largest retailers in the world. In the other example, the company that had extravagant and expensive displays of success at their headquarters, including a coy pond, a marble walkway and a waterfall in the lobby, filed for bankruptcy and has been forced to close the majority of its stores. While repeated mistakes become costs long-term, one-time mistakes are seen as an investment at HPG and as a sign of a company that is growing and learning as they go. This anecdote serves as a true cautionary tale for those who are not focused on controlling costs as a means of investing in the future of their company, no matter how good financials look at the time. Chris makes the point that if you can recommit to doing your best, even if you know business is down or you're not sure how to proceed in today's world, then you can sleep a little easier at night knowing you're doing all that you can. He outlined some advice that he stands by always, but especially in uncertain times as a way committing to always doing the best work possible:
If you say you're going to so something, do it.
Don't make assumptions.
Don't take things personally.
Moving forward in the promotional product industry, he recognizes that promotional products will never be looked at the same way again. The questions will always be raised if you're given a product if that product is antimicrobial or sanitized, or responsibly sourced and packaged, etc. Chris sees advancements in technology, like our software capabilities at Facilisgroup, being the wave of the future when it comes to the virtual experience of ordering online with ease and having the standards of products already verified. Chris's insight and inspiration provides fuel for moving forward and excelling in this challenging business environment. Utilizing effective cost management, making advancements in technology and staying true to your word are tried and true principles for both employers and employees to strive for. His anecdotes of life lessons lived and learned over the years are not only relevant in today's rapidly-evolving landscape, but important for the future of business, especially in the promotional product industry.