Ask a Questions Get Answers
May weather in Chicago is unpredictable and yet always welcome for any resident who went through record snow fall and low temperatures. The question lingering in the minds of most
locals is “how fast will the snow melt”? It was a pleasure to pull up to Hyatt Lodge on the McDonald’s Oakbrook campus and see this view within in yards of the “RJO Next Gen 2014” meeting. I can not speak for anyone but myself but I believe RJO selected a great facility for creating new ideas and challenging yourself to think beyond what you are capable.
During the training exercises there were a great many questions asked. It is my hope that many questions were also answered. Based on the participant surveys not only were many questions answered but even more questions were created. It has been my experience that an open minded participant creates more questions then they will ever have answers because they have been engaged
and motivated. While facilitating the exercises I witnessed great focus and commitment by all of the participants. It is interaction between participants that we hoped the most effective training would occur. Once again based on survey feedback participants confirm that they want more time with their peers to discuss business issues and this inaugural meeting seemed to meet that need.
It was very rewarding to see peers, one might say competitors, exchange ideas and challenge one another creatively. An example of this was seeing Stuller and RDI executives support participants as they exchanged business ideas and strategy. I believe it is important to note that this type of learning is a powerful motivator because it is sincerely and freely offered. The participants used these insights to dig deeper and challenge themselves because colleagues (Stuller & RDI) they trust gave them personal examples.
Examples of their work showed the creativity and genuine approach that was motivated by their peers and the sponsors. Participant shared desires to investigate many issues deeply as well as hold on to the traditions that created the legacy found in their local business. That being said many participants are looking for more training in areas that help them manage technology as they manage staff and improve sales. Given the time to reflect many participant found the confidence to share their feelings about being overwhelmed and concerned about being prepared.
Questions Define Opportunity
One of the most rewarding outcomes of this training process was seeing participant embrace the challenge of gaining new knowledge in areas that stretch them up to and outside their comfort zone.
There are moments when the training process pushed participants to ask many questions and yet never to the point of frustration. This experience is a credit to each participant who worked past their frustration by asking questions and staying positive. This does not mean the training process should not be altered or changed. In fact it is an endorsement for moving forward with changes that continue to challenge participants to ask questions while giving them the resources to discover answers.
This first group of Next Generation RJO associates represents a great collection of curious and dedicated professionals. There passion for the retail jewelry industry is matched only by their love for family and doing what is right.
I compliment them on their first steps discovering “Why?” they are retail jewelers and more importantly what resources are needed to meet future business and life challenges.
By Lowell Wightman, Facilitator for the 1st RJO Next Gen Training Retreat