RILA’s Asset Protection Conference was recently convened in Orlando. I sat through all the general sessions and as many breakout sessions as possible. As the magazine’s official “tweeter,” I was on the lookout for content to share with our industry followers. Here’s a sample of some of what I thought interesting, expanded here without the restriction of 140 characters.
The opening keynote was from Charles Baldwin, chief administrative officer @Cabelas, who spoke about the growing role of LP in retail. “The value that AP professionals bring to cybersecurity is partnership, preparation, and a different mindset than IT.” On leadership he succinctly said, “When put in charge, take charge.”
Jamie Clarke, a professional adventurer as well as outdoor equipment retailer from Calgary @JC_Climbs, gave an energetic, humorous talk about the lessons learned from both failed and successful trips to the summit of Mt. Everest that he now applies to his business. “A simple elegant solution becomes magical with the collective execution of the team.” And “The other side of fear is freedom.”
Speaking on the future of consumerism, Doug Stephens @RetailProphet, offered his insights into the challenge of our rapidly changing retail landscape. He said, “Retail is becoming phy-igital with the combination of customers’ in-store experience with their mobile devices.” He believes that brick-and-mortar stores are not going away, but changing to meet consumer demands.
In a panel discussion on the future of LP, three seasoned executives offered some interesting thoughts. One said, “Plant seeds. Don’t be afraid to offer your ideas. Go for the yes, but expect the no. No may simply mean not now.” Another encouraged the audience to “Embrace change. Learn about new technologies. Tap into people who know. Jump all in and have fun with it.” And, “Expand your sphere of influence. Go talk to those in your organization you never talk to.” I especially liked this analogy: “LP executives tend to focus on the black and white. Don’t remain black and white, but create the gray.”
In another executive panel, the participants were asked about the value of centralized versus decentralized LP organizations. One panelist summarized his preference for decentralization by saying, “Local decisions are better decisions.” This panel also advocated for communicating and training that fits the corporate culture offering Lululemon as an example (see “Asteya and the Attitude of Gratittude” in the January-February 2013 edition).
In a follow-up to last year’s presentation on active shooter, Jeremiah Hart led a panel discussion of active-shooter training videos produced by several retailers in the past year. One of the interesting topics centered on the theme “Run. Hide. Fight.” Giving employees “permission to defend themselves as a last resort” generated a good dealing of discussion. Hart’s expertise on this subject was the subject of our article in the July-August 2014 edition titled “Active Shooter: Is Having a Plan Enough?”
Finally, it was great to hear US Army Brigadier General (retired) Becky Halstead present her thoughts on what she calls “Steadfast Leadership” (see “The First Person You Must Lead Is You” in the September-October 2014 issue). She made numerous memorable points, including “Leadership is the fusion of heart and mind, character, and competence. It’s okay to show emotion, just don’t be emotional.” And “Effective leaders get out from behind their desks and circulate, communicate, and connect.”
The magazine’s EyeOnLP team was the exclusive video provider for daily recaps of the sessions and activities. Go to EyeOnLP.com to see the recaps as well as videos featuring many of the individuals mentioned above. You can also search #RILAap on Twitter to see tweets about the conference.
Next stop is the NRF Protect! Conference in Long Beach, California, June 23 – 26. I hope to see you there.
Editor and Publisher