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Traditional vs Contemporary



I don't watch television often, but when I do I enjoy watching "House Hunters" on

HGTV. I like to see the different styles of homes being toured and guessing which one the potential homeowner will choose.


Many times, when the buyers are a couple, they have opposite taste, such as a traditional colonial or craftsman designed home vs a modern-contemporary home.


This process always requires compromise. It's the same way at work. Some people are more traditional in their approach and others challenge the status quo by introducing modern or new ways of thinking and performing certain tasks.


So what's the best way? It's not an either this or that, but rather this AND that. There's a lot to learn from traditional operations and new methodologies. For example, when it comes to sales, businesses have been transformed through the use of social media, intuitive software programs that can anticipate the buyer's needs based on past purchases and online scrolling.


However, keeping and engaging shoppers still requires the human connection. This connection might be in person, by phone or virtually. Just knowing that a real person is speaking to you builds a sense of trust and confidence that your question will be answered or your issue will be resolved.


As a Goodwill Industries CEO for over 20 years, I've spoken to many customers about the things that they love about shopping at Goodwill. The things that most people have told me is that they enjoy the "thrill of the hunt;" in that you never know what treasurers you'll find at the Goodwill store. They also talk about the friendly customer service. This approach is what I call traditional retail. Customers, also appreciate the fact that their purchases help Goodwill to help people in the community. We also incorporate modern touches like point of sale systems or other software solutions to track sales and monitor workforce management, as well a using social media to market our stores and our mission.


So when you're evaluating the structure of your organization, you may find value in keeping some traditional methods while incorporating some modern strategies.

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