By Scott Costa, Publisher, tED magazine
It’s been an interesting 90 days, don’t you think?
I don’t have to say this, but we are living and working through a crisis this supply chain and our economy has never faced before, and hopefully will never face again. We are making decisions one day, then new data appears, and we have to make a completely opposite decision the next day. We are working in places we never thought we would work (like our kitchen tables), and, as of right now, we aren’t really sure when we will meet face-to-face again to “do business”.
Many of our co-workers are risking their health to come to work to keep “business as usual” a possibility. We are doing everything we can to protect each other from getting sick. We are looking for any signs of when we can return to “normal”, while wondering if “normal” is really where we need to be.
Communication has been new, different, and, in some cases, embarrassing and frustrating. We couldn’t get our camera or sound to work on video meetings 90 days ago. I can personally admit that I have sent an e-mail to the wrong person on multiple occasions, which has led to the popular response that looks like this:
Those 90 days feel more like 18 months sometimes.
From day 1, NAED has been working with distributors and manufacturers to help them through the crisis. It started with small group meetings based on job titles, which quickly grew into multiple larger group meetings. The association listened while you talked about your concerns and asked your questions.
Today, the association continues to act on those meetings.
You might not know this, but NAED created a community forum to get you answers you need as quickly as possible. The conversations in the forum mainly revolve around education programs offered by NAED, and the forum will provide you with an answer within a short period of time. Do not hesitate to log in and use it.
In May, NAED moved its National Meeting from an in-person event in Philadelphia to a virtual meeting for anyone who wanted to attend. Two great things happened as a result. First, keynote speaker Tom Ridge, the former governor of Pennsylvania and the first head of the Homeland Security Department, stuck with us and delivered a new speech that was catered toward leadership during times of crisis. And second, NAED scrambled over a short period of time to get economists, analysts, experts, and moderator Dirk Beveridge to provide nearly a thousand attendees the latest information they needed about the impact of COVID-19. You can still watch all of the sessions by clicking here.
With so many of you working from home and needing information, NAED started producing timely webcasts and webinars to help guide your decisions. Again, experts in government affairs, remote sales training, economics, and stress management were all a part of the more than 12 webcasts produced in the last 90 days. They are all archived and you can still view them whenever you want.
During this crisis, it’s always a good idea to have the latest research available. NAED’s research department with Erika TenEyck and Erin Prinster launched a six-week program to provide some best practices at the height of the economic crisis. And, while you are starting to reopen, NAED compiled the guidance created by OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control to help you keep employees and customers as safe as possible. Both are available by clicking here.
NAED is also offering a “Business Continuity Bundle” in its Learning Center. From now until June 30, you can you take courses and watch more than 80 features on managing virtual teams, managing in a crisis, adapting to change, collaboration, and managing risk. The great part about the bundle is that the courses are free until the end of the month.
The Member Engagement Team at NAED has been in constant contact with our distributor and manufacturer members. The team of Julie King, Christena Johnson, Jennifer McKinney, Colin Dowd, and Gail Reynoso have been calling our members on a regular basis to check in and make sure all of their needs are being met.
tED magazine has continued to provide daily coverage of all events related to our supply chain on tedmag.com and our lighting website “lightED”, and we will continue to do that. Our ongoing relationships with members of the supply chain and the Associated Press has allowed us to gather a tremendous amount of news and provide it for you online every weekday.
The magazine itself has made a major change, going to a digital-only format for the past two months. With so many of our members working from home, we believe it is important to make sure you are getting the news and analysis, and you we can’t do that if the magazine is sitting in an empty office. You can click here to access the June issue of tED, plus you can sign up to receive the digital edition for free every month, or hit the “Issue Library” button to check out past issues from the last 8 years.
You have all been busy in a different way over the past 90 days. Most people believe that’s not going to change for the next 90 days. But, if you need something, it’s nice to know the people at NAED are working to make you those needs are met.