By: Carol Abel, Vice President of Education Program Development, Food Marketing Institute
How do you really get to KNOW an industry like food retail? You can work in it, but that might only give you one point of view about the industry. You can read about food retail, but you’d need to read a lot to understand both the history and present-day challenges facing the industry. What if you could LEARN FROM the industry? I’m not suggesting having an existential conversation with “the industry,” but something akin to picking the brain of seasoned industry experts.
During the Future Leaders eXperience later this month, nearly 400 participants will take part in the Food Retail Learning Map Experience – an interactive module that features a giant map full of visual landmarks symbolizing different facets of food retail. Along with the map, a series of cards containing a mix of industry facts and quizzes will prompt participants to discuss and share viewpoints on issues that are impacting the food retail industry today. Probing questions will help attendees understand challenges, opportunities and trends impacting food retail strategy, with the goal of brainstorming potential solutions to share with peers.
This map experience, developed by FMI in collaboration with Root Inc., is a little like sitting down with each FMI subject matter expert and diving into the latest issues facing their programmatic area—from sustainability to food safety to industry collaboration—and learning about industry history and trends from our seasoned staff librarian all at once. By the end, you KNOW the food retail industry.
“The map experience gives participants a different way to engage with their people than just going to a conference,” said Dave Croci, director of leadership development at Root Inc., FMI’s partner in creating and developing the Future Leaders program. “It helps teach individuals the mindsets they need to lead successfully and the skills they need to deliver the results.”
The Food Retail Learning Map Experience, part of both the three-day Future Leaders eXperience and the Future Leaders Direct program, is just one way food retail is arming itself with the tools it needs for the real work ahead in executing against new strategies. A unique feature of the learning map is that it is a module that food retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers can bring to their in-house curriculum as an orientation or training tool.