Sad Day

So here we are on PI day, and a lot of sad news.

Possibly the smartest guy on earth passed away, Stephen Hawking.  76 years, and an inspiration on so many levels. Amazing guy, amazing story, and sad to see him pass.

Then Toys R Us announced they are the latest victim of the Retail Apocalypse – Closing all stores.  Cant make money selling toys to kids is a brutal end.

Both stories in a way reinforce the message in my head: The only way to survive is to offer something no one else is.   You cant compete on someone else’s terms, only on your own – and be the BEST at your yours.
Hawking did what he did his way – and will be forever remembered as a genius, not a victim, or a sad tragic figure, or some kind of handicap-related stereotype.  I would assume he could have just retreated, but he didn’t and he did breakthrough work.
Toys R Us never really found their WHY people should shop there, so they simply didn’t enough.

You cant compete on Price Only with Walmart or Amazon.  You cant win a convenience war, or a E-Com war all in a vacuum.
I still look back to Best Buy vs, Circuit City.  One thrived, one closed.  The difference was not product, price, locations – they were pretty similar.  They were separated by the WHY people shop.

Who wins and who loses, who survives, and who disappears all come down to simple basic choices, I hope.  Choose wisely. As if your life depends on it.

-That Planning Guy
PS- ShopTalk next week!  Looking forward to seeing some old friends in my city!


Pricing Strategy

My usual grocery store sells my favorite energy drink as $2.50 each.  A 4 pack is $7.99. 8 pack is $14.99

This week’s  sale (and often is) was 2/$3.00. Isn’t the idea of promotions to drive SOME form of incremental gains? This promotion drove down both units and basket size.  Nice.

I wise man said  “we all know only 50% of promotions work, but we don’t know which 50%.”  (Wise is a gross understatement, by the way. Possibly one of the smartest people in the universe, and a Chief Science Officer of a company just full of genius-level scientists)

So to my grocery friends- if you would like to run your promotion ideas past me, I would be happy to vet them and crunch the #’s for you in my spare time.  Stop doing things that throw away money. Just stop.

To the rest of you, another good quote from the week:  Never miss the opportunity to take advantage of a crisis.  When someone leaves money on the floor, be sure to pick it up.

I love the smell of money in the morning.

-That Planning Guy

Never stop learning

This week we are being trained on Power BI- and I am looking forward to this on a lot of levels.

First and formost, I get to be a #datanerd for an entire week.  Build models, mold data, make analytics, visualiztions, make data sing and dance. Cant stress enough what a great escape from day to day that will be.

But even better, I actually get to learn. I realized a few years ago  that I spend a lot of my time teaching, educating, mentoring, role-modeling, and lot of other buzzwords that are synonoms for giving back and passing on expereince.  But I spend very little time focussed on my learning.  And I miss it.  Its hard to be a servant leader and selfish at the same time!

When you are young in your career, you think you know a lot more than you do, so you almost resist learning opportunities, and resent them when forced upon you.  But now I actually clamor for such opportunities,  to learn and broaded for the sake of learning.  Locked in a room, surrounded by  smart people, absorbing information. Awesome.

I’ll give a review next week on Power BI and the coolness thereof, and I have VERY high expectations, but for now, I am eager to be a student for a bit.  Open mind, juiced up laptop, fast WiFi, and a wookie-mug of coffee.  Giddieup.

But I am still,
-That Planning GUy

Servant Leader

I’m been thinking lately about what makes leaders great. About what great leaders I have had, and what not great leaders look like (and we’ve all had)

A big buzzword lately has been servant leader, but what does that actually mean?

Easy research ( Google!) Boils down to these 9 traits: emotional healing, creating value for the community, conceptual skills, empowering, helping subordinates grow and succeed, putting subordinates first, behaving ethically, relationships, and servanthood.

Interesting. Perhaps better defined by what it isn’t? Controlling. Micro-managing. Stifling. Critical. Aloof. Closed. Self-serving. Territorial.

What kind of leader ARE YOU? And, more importantly, what kind can you become?

I have been blessed with several great leaders, which can be synonymous with Mentors. I hope I have learned and modeled behavior to emulate their styles. And I can recognize both kinds in others a lot easier than I used to.

Food for thought, #datanerds

– That Planning Guy

NRF Update

Amazing show again. Saw a lot of new tech, enhancements of some existing. And a lot of old friends.

First HUGE congrats to my MI9 friends on your JustEnough acquisition.  I was shocked.  Great merger. Awesome synergies. 

With Aptos scooping up TXT, JE being brought into MI9, that just leaves AntUsa as the only real independent “planning” . (Jury out on Anaplan, and Logility is really a logistic/supply chain co)

And— AntUsa’s latest offering looked outstanding. Planning Robot.  Nice touch to the UI.

Revionics meetings were fruitful  I hope. Microsoft meetings showed a great deal of vision for the future. 

And the Incisiv events are always a room full of innovators. And booze.  Oh the booze. 

A few fun discussions to follow up on, and few followup meetings after the  current project is finished and the stage is set for an EPIC 2018. Just have to survive the giant ice storm coming to Biloxi tomorrow.

In 2018, I will remain,

– That Planning Guy

New Years Day

What will the new year bring? Does the universe know the calendar has changed? What is different today than yesterday? Expectations and promise of a new day is what changes.

The worst day off the year is tomorrow morning at the gym- all the people resolving to make change arriving early and working hard. But within a week, dwindling, and a month, status quo.

Success is perseverance, and commitment- without following an arbitrary date to start. 

Bring it every day, and do your honest best, and good things come. Patience is NOT really a virtue, perseverance is. 

I said in a previous post, goals are achieved by effort X time. Send like a good time to start.

What WILL the new year bring? CHANGE.  (The only constant) 2018 will be a pivotal year in a lot of ways. 

Don’t be in the sidelines- lead the change. Be the change. DRIVE. Transform. OWN the experience. 

More to come—

That Planning Guy