Thursday, January 27, 2022

Ten Take-Aways from Dairy Forum 2022…for personal, professional and industry growth.

 It was wonderful to see so many of you at Dairy Forum 2022 to learn what is NEW, NOW and NEXT for dairy. This year’s program was all about reconnecting, inspiring and sharing knowledge and insights to push our industry forward toward bigger and better things. 

I attended many sessions and am sharing 10 messages I collected that resonated with me. I hope they positively impact you personally and professionally. 

1. The United States is poised to become the world’s dominant supplier of dairy products. This is possible because of all of us, according to Michael Dykes, president and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association.

“We are leading on sustainability, health and wellness, technology and innovation, attracting and retaining the best workforce, and growing our markets in the United States and abroad,” said Michael Dykes, president and CEO, International Dairy Foods Association. “While serious headwinds continue, the outlook for our industry is bright, thanks to your ability to embrace innovation, invest in growth and remain unified.” 

Hear Dykes’ big take-aways on the U.S. dairy industry in a 7-minute video HERE.

2. Our industry’s products are as varied as the consumer’s tastes and those tastes are changing rapidly, according to Christina Adams, partner, McKinsey & Company. It is a good time to take items out of your portfolio. Simplify it, then focus on innovation and put in new products. 

3. Trends are stupid and too late, according to Keith Schroeder, CEO, High Road Craft Ice Cream Inc. Most dairy industry business models are broken, as they focus on the commodity side of things and this fails to attract disruptive top talent to innovate. 

4. Millennials don’t want to be a head count. They want their head to count, according to Jim Donald, chairman of Albertson’s and former CEO of Starbucks, Pathmark Supermarkets and Extended Stay Hotels. Make them feel valued and provide them a sense of belonging. 

5. About 75% of millennials use social and environmental commitments to decide where they want to work, according to Ludovic Meilhac, partner, McKinsey & Company. 

6. Diversity is when you have more than one person in the room. Inclusion is the condition where “insider-ness” is maximized and “outsider-ness” is minimized. Inclusion is not the absence of exclusion; it is the intentional and deliberate acts undertaken to ensure others have a sense of belonging, according to Steve Robbins, diversity, inclusion and cultural competency expert. 

7. To be a modern food brand, you have to meet consumers where they are. You want to show up every day, according to Tressie Lieberman, vice president of digital and off-premise at Chipotle. Make the consumer feel known and valued. “Win today (the sale) and create the future.”

8. It’s time to focus on the future of food, not the past, according to Yin Woon Rani, CEO, Milk Processor Education Program.

9. If consumers are willing to change, they expect you (the industry) to change, according to Ludovic Meilhac, partner, McKinsey & Company.

10. Anything is possible, just count 5-4-3-2-1, according to Mel Robbins, expert on leadership and defeating doubt, award-winning CNN commentator and best-selling author. Her “5 Second Rule” helps to get you out of the place between knowledge and action, which she calls the “knowledge-action” gap. It’s the place where you know what to do but can’t seem to make yourself do it.

You can learn more by watching her 45-minute Ted Talks. Here’s the LINK.

Together we can discover what is NEW, highlight what is NOW and co-create what is NEXT for dairy!

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