By: Leslie G. Sarasin, President and CEO, FMI

Omnichannel Supply ChainThe journey of FMI’s newly announced rebrand took us into some new learnings about the services we offer that you find most valuable and helpful. Our path of self-discovery and adventure to redefine ourselves has revealed our need to unlearn some things, question everything and stop doing things the same ways simply because “that’s the way we’ve always done them.”  

As futurist Alvin Toffler – whose books Future Shock and The Third Wave published back in the 70s and 80s accurately predicted the cultural upheaval and implications of this fast-paced information age we are now living in – once observed, “In the future, the illiterate will not be those who cannot read, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”

Most everyone I speak with – from food industry leaders to high-ranking regulatory officials and even some of my mom friends – agree that grocery stores and supermarkets and their supplier partners have experienced more change in the past decade than they did in the previous half-century. There are still things we must do, in the words of Toffler, to remain literate in this age.

Of course, the trick to navigating this new landscape is being smart about what you need to learn, what you must unlearn and then what you need to relearn. And the key to effective leadership during this era of evolution is first, knowing the degree to which you need to do each, and second, being prepared to adapt your plan at the drop of a hat on the basis of new intelligence.

At the 2020 Midwinter Executive Conference, I discussed four key areas that I believe the food industry is in varying stages of development: Omnichannel supply chain; marketing in a digital world; emerging technology; and making the distinction between omnichannel and omnishopper. 

We will share videos over the next few weeks on FMI’s YouTube channel as an opportunity for you to hear more about these concepts and evaluate what you need to learn, unlearn and relearn to thrive in this dynamic marketplace. As the Food Industry Association, FMI strives to be your trusted resource, providing the critical intel you need to be the very best leader you can be.

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