Why?

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated National Small Business Week. The majority of our members are either small or micro-businesses.

I am sure you can imagine the challenge we have of serving the various type and size of businesses. Not only that, but the businesses also vary in their lifecycle stage. These two challenges have been on my mind and that of the board for some time. In late March, Lori Taylor of 3Stream and I met and created a customer journey map. Here is the picture of that work in progress.

Journ

 

The process was insightful and energizing. I want to share more about the process and our findings in future blogs. Today, I want to talk about “why”.

One of the reasons I love what we did is that we returned to the “why”.

“Why?” is a powerful question that can bring out the best in us by rekindling our passion and commitment. I try and revisit this often to be sure I am right tasking and that my priorities are in line with my goals. If I find myself stuck or frustrated for any length of time, I know that I need to go back to the “why”.  This process reminds me I have the power to choose my conduct, my perspective, my actions to create positive change or react in defeat and fear. It is the well from which I draw my optimism.

If you haven’t read Simon Sinek’s book, Start With Why, I highly suggest you do so. This is a link to his Ted Talk that got over 22 million views:

http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

Real Diaper Industry Association (RDIA), is dedicated to making reusable cloth diapers the primary choice for families.   Why? Because we know that they are the healthier choice for our babies and our environment.   We believe that by providing services and opportunities through business education, industry research, and collaboration, we create a sustainable future for cloth diapering.

Our strength lies in our ability to work together to create positive changes in the industry. By strengthening one another, we find ourselves better equipped to greet the challenges that are thrown our way.   Working together requires cooperation, honesty, trust, transparency, but most of all positive action.

There is so much negativity thrown around. It is used as a weapon, to activate fear and mistrust; to find fault and lay blame. There will always be those who disagree and believe there is a better way. Heck, I believe there is always a better way, it just takes work to get to it. It is constant work. What was best at one time, doesn’t always continue to work in the long term.

What I don’t believe in is giving up – taking your marbles home or changing friends because they don’t agree with you or things aren’t happening when and how you think they should. While the immediate result of this behavior can appear positive and energizing, it is short lived. This approach to problem solving is wasteful, divisive and results in confusing messages.   Already thin resources are wasted. I hate waste.

I love community. I love the work involved in creating smart solutions to challenges, especially when those who disagree work together. I love the process as much as the solutions themselves. The key is agreeing to work together.

You are important. Your needs, wants and priorities for your business are important. I don’t have all the answers, none of us individually do. Together however, I know that we can raise each other up, provide struggling businesses the resources they desperately need and together create a sustainable future for cloth diapers.

Joining in the work is simple. It starts by completing a short survey. Your answers to these questions will not only help us capture industry data, but will help us better understand the current issues, challenges and opportunities cloth diaper businesses face while informing our advocacy and planning process. Share the survey with other cloth diaper businesses (Facebook, Twitter, Newsletters). The more responses received, the more useful the results will be!  Please note, that this is an industry survey, not a consumer survey.  RDA (our sister organization) is doing a consumer survey.

Complete the Cloth Diaper Industry Survey

You can also contact me directly or talk with, Michelle Dominguez, RDIA Program Director or any of the RDIA board members.

 

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