By Scott Costa, Publisher, tED magazine/tedmag.com
Here is the situation I always dread.
You send a person or a group of people to a conference. When they come back, you ask how it went. The answer: a resounding “OK.”
We can do better than “OK.” In fact, I can write about NAED conferences, workshops, and bootcamps because they are better than “OK.” For this year’s NAED LEAD conference, we are shooting way past “OK” and we are going to start a new generation of influential members of NAED.
We have always thought that each class of the “30 Under 35” has been an amazing group of talent, creativity, and innovation. The past 120 honorees, and the next 30, are exactly how we describe them when they are called the “Best and Brightest” in this supply chain.
But we also feel like they are still an untapped resource when it comes to best practices in this industry. Are we using technology to its full potential? How can we improve recruiting and retention? What can we streamline and cost-cut in some of our bulky practices? It’s time we let a fresh set of eyes look at the issues that our industry is facing, and find out what ideas will really work.
That’s why at this summer’s NAED LEAD Conference we are holding a 5-year reunion with all of the 150 “30 Under 35” winners. For the first time, we will have many of the 150 top young minds in the industry together to begin our discussion on how to shape the future of our supply chain.
This gives me the chance to say that I am changing my opinion on conferences. At this year’s LEAD Conference, we already have a great line-up of events and speakers for the attendees. I am certain the people you send will have a better review than just “OK” when they return home. But this is about a lot more than just the two days at a conference. This is about what we are going to do over the following 363 days after the conference. This group of young, current and future executives is going to keep the conversations and ideas flowing throughout the year, so when we meet at the 2017 NAED LEAD Conference we will be simply continuing our efforts instead of re-starting them.
The advice I would give is simple. Get in on the ground floor of this. If you have a young employee that you believe is worthy of a “30 Under 35,” don’t wait to put in your nomination. It only takes about 10 minutes. And, if you have a young employee that you are not nominating, you can still send as many people as you want to the NAED LEAD Conference so they can understand what it takes to be a future leader, and so they can become a part of this new group of leaders.
Throughout the year, we will use teleconferences, webinars, conference calls, and social media to stay in touch with the group we are forming at the NAED LEAD Conference. We will “talk” about those best practices, and they will pass along those ideas to their supervisors. We aren’t going to be stealing trade secrets. We’re talking about what attracts people like them to want to work at distributorships, how you can find a new app or program to streamline communications with customers, or how to get more people in your company to embrace change.
Like it or not, these are the people who will become the decision makers in this industry sooner than you think. Some already are. That makes the 2016 NAED LEAD Conference essential for your young employees.
To nominate someone for the “30 Under 35” awards, go to www.tedmag.com/30under35.
Registration for the NAED LEAD Conference will open at the end of March.
Tagged with tED