Joe Greeley here, with Nimlok Minnesota

Here’s what’s on my mind – I wear the same damn thing every day.

I don’t know about you, but some days the status quo is just fine – change is really, really hard. I just get into a routine, I don’t really want to do a whole lot different.  However, more often than not, I like challenging the status quo.  I need something different, I need something interesting. I need something that’s going to really capture my attention for that day.

When I come to work each day, though, I wear the same damn thing. Not literally! Not like day to day – but I wear the same thing. I wear boots (urban boots), jeans, polo shirt, and in the winter I add a quarter zip sweater.  That’s it! Not much change. The color changes a little bit in each one of those, but no stripes, no patterns, and heaven forbid no paisleys. Now some days my staff thinks I do wear literally the same thing day to day, but I assure you I don’t – I change. When I find something I like, I buy a whole bunch of them.  I’m fairly consistent that way – status quo, I guess you could call it.

Now not so long ago, though, I was challenged to do, and start doing, social media for Nimlok.  My first reaction was kind of like changing to paisleys. Ick! What, are you out of your mind? Why would I do that? I don’t have a Facebook page.  I don’t snap-a-gram, or chat-o-gram, or whatever those things are. I don’t get it! It scares me – the whole social side. It’s eery – that’s for young people – why would we do that?

Well, we had to challenge ourselves a little bit and look at it a little bit closer.  We also realized as we looked at it closer, it is a valuable tool and if used correctly, and consistently, and we had some discipline to it, it could help us grow our business.  Who knew?  We’ve been doing vlogs for six months now. We’ve really challenged the status quo to get familiar with it.

Now when it comes to our clients, and it comes to the show floor, too often we hear, “Hey, we really want to do something different, we really want the ‘wow’ factor, we really are looking for new ideas.” However, sometimes when they’re suggested we fall back into our comfort zones. I get it – it’s normal to do.  My challenge today though, is to challenge you, your company, and your staff to step out of that comfort zone more often.  Now, you might be thinking, “You know what Joe, we’re doing really, really well. We do great at the shows, we got great leads, great engagement.”  Wonderful! Fantastic!  But what I want to challenge you to do, though, is talk to your entire staff and figure out what you could be doing better.  And what I mean by staff – talk to sales, talk to marketing, talk to customer service, talk to the people that are going to be working the actual exhibit on the show floor. What could we be tweaking, doing slightly different, to keep getting better?  Let’s not just go through the motions, even though they’re working well. What could we be doing even better?  Maybe it’s a small tweak. Sometimes small tweaks can create big change and better results.

Put on the future lens.  I want you to think about it looking more into the future. History is great, and the past is great. We can learn from it – marvelous – but we want to always be thinking forward too. What can we be doing next? Think about driving your car. I drive my car through the windshield, not through the rearview mirror. I’m always looking forward.

Now, on the other side, some things aren’t going so well. Some things are broke, it’s not great, shows haven’t been that wonderful….why? How come? Are you really, really, putting in effort to change things?  Are you really challenging the status quo, or are you going, “Well, it’s the same old thing, we’ve always done it this way, we’ve always gone this way.”  You know what?  That’s BS.  You’re spending a lot of time, money and effort.  You need to really think about what you can do to fix this, what could you be doing different. Sometimes I get it though, it gets a bit paralyzing, you’re not sure what to do. Well, maybe it’s not the right people, maybe it’s not the right show.

Call us! Give us a shout! We’d be happy to talk to you for ten, fifteen minutes, an hour, whatever it takes.  If you’re just looking for ideas – no problem!

Here’s one thing you may want to consider to get you out of the status quo, even if things are going really, really well. Look at some other industries. Very often we hear, “Well, this is what we do in agriculture,” or “This is what we do in manufacturing,” or “This is what we do in health care.” That’s great, but it can get a little stymied, a little stuck in just that thought process.  If you’re in health care, go see agriculture, and vice versa.  Check out what they’re doing. See how they’re engaging.  See what their exhibits look like. How are they attracting people?  You’ll learn wonderful new things – different ideas, different engagements, all types of new things.

So I will leave you with this today.  This is one of my favorite all-time quotes. Retired Army General Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki has this wonderful quote, “If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”  I couldn’t agree more, incredibly powerful.

I should really get going, and probably go buy some paisley shirts

That’s what was on my mind – let us know how we can help.