2021: The Year For Connectivity


Looking Outside

If 2020 was a year of introspection, why can’t 2021 be the year for connectivity and looking beyond?

Over the past year or so, we’ve seen countless examples of just how interconnected our industry is, from collaborations between customers and suppliers to navigating the log-jams of supply chain logistics holding up shipments coming from Asia and closer to home.

Design Thinking

In these times, it’s often helpful to look outside to see how other companies and industries are answering the questions that are on the mind of leadership right now. Known as design thinking, this innovative problem-solving process is rooted in a distinct set of skills that was initially used within the design community. The concept of design thinking found reach among a larger audience after a 2008 Harvard Business Review article titled “Design Thinking” by Tim Brown, CEO, and president of IDEO, a design company.

The concepts of design thinking enable a view of how other industries are doing things and a willingness to apply these concepts in new applications. For example, using design skills to help patients navigate a complex health system or using a checklist of steps to ensure better outcomes for a surgical procedure, or safely piloting a plane.

Learning Through Collaboration

Within the industry, we’ve seen our own examples of how the use of cross-functional teams can minimize the impact of sanitation. During an iba presentation earlier this year, BEMA member Karl Thorson of General Mills demonstrated how “less cleaning” can further optimize the sanitation process – leading to cost savings, increased capacity, and lower food safety risk.

At BEMA’s upcoming Convention Workforce Edition, we will be sharing these design thinking concepts in a keynote address from Duncan Wardle, former head of innovation and creativity at Disney. Known for his ability to demystify design thinking, Duncan will demonstrate how the industry can capture the unlikely connections that will lead to fresh thinking and disruptive ideas.

The importance of this mindset continues to grow in importance, encouraging leaders to let go of the old in order to embrace new thinking and updated technologies – many of which have already found positive applications in other industries.

Moving forward, these collaborative and innovative design thinking skills have the potential to become a key part of our industry’s toolkit, encouraging new ways of thinking about problems and solutions to innovate and drive positive growth.

Enhancing Engagement and Value

We’re incredibly excited to share these concepts and more at our upcoming Convention 2021 and the virtual Workforce Edition. These dual offerings will allow us to engage our current and active members as well as interact with the employees and peers of those members, enhancing our goal of member-focused engagement and value.

Each in-person Convention 2021 attendee will receive a coupon code enabling them to make the Workforce Edition available to their associates, allowing each to share the benefits of BEMA membership throughout an organization.

Stay Tuned for Details

Between now and then, watch for upcoming announcements about Convention 2021 and the Workforce Edition through our dedicated Convention e-blasts and on the BEMA brand social channels.

On behalf of our entire staff, we can’t wait to see you in-person or virtually next month. If you have questions about Convention 2021 in Marco Island, please contact Kelly Allen, kallen@bema.org, or Emily Bowers, ebowers@bema.org for questions about the Workforce Edition.

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