Friday, November 04, 2005

GIE ... DO try this at home

As Ron mentioned yesterday, the Landscape Management team is busy here in Orlando at Green Industry Expo. We're testing equipment, meeting readers and looking out for new products and business ideas. First on my list yesterday was a popular event called the Breakfast of Champions. No Wheaties, but lots of ideas. The way this event works is that conference attendees show up at the crack of dawn for a chance to share breakfast at any one of nearly 50 tables. Each table is led by a "champion," who leads the discussion on a specialty topic.

People told me to arrive by 6:30 if I wanted to get a good table for the 7 a.m. breakfast. Huh? So I was a little late at 6:45 and by then it was a zoo.

And now I know why. This was a fantastic opportunity for participants to knock ideas around, ask questions and even commiserate. My table focused on strategic planning and we had participants from landscape, design/build, construction and lawn care companies big and small chatting about how to make a plan, when to make it, who to put in charge of the plan, etc. etc. Nobody held back.

Sure, it's easy to share ideas with people from across the country who you'll never compete with, but why not put this planning idea to work within your company? Set up a time to meet over a meal with a set topic in mind (could be strategic planning, could be route management, could be purchasing, anything) and just throw ideas around. I'd like to try it at our company too, so watch out Ron and Mike!

— Stephanie Ricca

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