REISummit

Tom Peter's Reimagine Summit group blog, December 2004

Friday, December 24, 2004

Exporting Reimagination

I just returned from 8 days in Europe following my attendance at the weekend Reimagine Summit in Manchester. The trip was planned well before the Summit or even the invitation, with a goal of setting up new and market-diversifying sales representation, along with visiting two key suppliers.

The Summit gave me the gift of looking at this trip through a different lens on the world, reimagining the things we could do with/through our new sales associations/relationships. The Summit allowed me to more clearly see our reimagined business and resulted in a sort of an epiphany, our core business would be/should be gone in the next 5 years. My gut feeling/planning has been leading me in new directions already, the Summit/Tom Peters confirmed it. The renewed energy/enthusiasm gained from the Summit allowed me to set the stage for greater opportunities in new markets, giving me the confidence to go "where no man has gone before", at least in my little, (not so high tech but very design focused) industry.

The reception to our new offerings of products, (coordinating leathers, fabrics, carpets) was tremendous and right on target. Why aren't the big guys doing it? (Robert Allen Fabrics and Kravett and others?) We are offering/providing value added in the way we market design solutions for a total design package, they are not. Our customers, in all our markets, are looking for new ideas and help in making their lives/jobs easier. I have tried for three years to get Robert Allen to see it, they didn't/don't, so screw them, I'll do it.

A real neat outcome/discussion occurred with my Dutch supplier. They are already the most progressive of the Europeans I work with, not stuck in the past or tied up with Euro-traditions. He knows of Tom Peters, so I gave him the Reimagine story. I am also sending him and his chief sales guy copies of Reimagine and I suggested he look at a Leap 2005 plan for his business. If I can help him reimagine his business in new ways, the synergy we discussed working together, cross-selling each others products around the world, like he ships to Dubia his products that I sell, at price points at which I can't produce, but under my label and invoice, while he sells my branded design leathers to his traditional furniture customers, who are looking for something with a greater design element, we both win. We provide a single solution to our customers and grow each of our businesses. In my world, that's cool.

I'd be interested in hearing from any other low tech manufacturing businesses who are trying to reimagine their future. If any of you folks have any contacts, please let me know.

Thanks to all for a great time in Manchester and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

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