CHICAGO — Because employee expectations and the nature of business are constantly evolving, owners of laundry service businesses need to recognize these changes and adapt to the times. Otherwise, they will constantly struggle to fill their labor needs and the atmosphere of their company will suffer.
This was Dirk Beveridge’s message during his webinar, “Reimagining Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World,” hosted by the University of Innovative Distribution (UID). The webinar was made available to Textile Care Allied Trades Association (TCATA) members through partnership with UID.
Beveridge founded the strategy firm UnleashWD, and has been a consultant to a wide range of companies to strengthen their sales and leadership strategies.
During the webinar, Beveridge shared some of the findings he’s gathered from surveys and from visiting dozens of different companies each of the last two summers, speaking with hundreds of workers and leaders in the process. These findings, he believes, can be applied to almost any industry because the forces at play are universal.
The experience gathered from these tours, Beveridge says, can’t help but give someone a diverse perspective into the reality of the modern workplace.
“I guarantee you if you do that, as I have,” he says, “you will come back a different person after hearing all those stories, and you start thinking about business and leadership differently.”
Using the information he gathered, Beveridge started to build a new worldview into the evolution of business.
“As I left those two summer tours, I had two fundamental premises,” he says. “The first premise is that the very nature of leadership is changing more rapidly than most of us realize. The second premise I had is that humanity is going to play a larger role in how we lead in a post-pandemic world.”
THE GREAT REDEFINITION
For many small and mid-sized businesses, the ability to find people to work has been a huge obstacle in the aftermath of the pandemic — so much so that there’s a term for this tightening of the labor market: the Great Resignation.
While it’s still a challenge, Beveridge believes that leaders who look more deeply into the issue can find answers.
“I don’t think the Great Resignation is the overall focus of what we, as leaders, need to be talking about,” he says. “It’s a real issue, but I believe that, at a higher level, and even as perhaps a more important issue for leaders, we need to think of this as what I’m calling the Great Redefinition.”
Three great forces make up this redefinition, Beveridge says, and they are colliding in an unprecedented way. These are external forces, internal forces, and people forces. Understanding these factors is key to seeing the big picture of the economic realities as they exist.
“We, as leaders, need to be aware of these forces,” he says. “How they are impacting our business and how they’re impacting our people, so that we can, in fact, rethink how we lead our organizations going forward.”
“The external forces are the ‘megatrends’ — the global trends that you and I have zero control over,” Beveridge says. “These are the forces that are changing the way we live, the way we work, and the way we play.”
These trends include supply chain issues, inflation, changing labor markets, new technology, social changes, consolidation in various industries, changing customer expectations and lingering COVID forces.
These external forces are not just acting on one segment or industry. They go well beyond that. These forces affect the entire national — and global — economy.
“These are the trends that we can have no impact on, but they impact us,” Beveridge says, “because those external forces move into our markets, they move into our companies. And they generate the internal forces.”
Check back Thursday for Part 2!
Have a question or comment? E-mail our editor Bruce Beggs at [email protected] .