We fielded several inquiries the past few months about how to become a HomeWorld “Player,” the annual designation assigned to people to watch in the housewares industry (see the 2014 Players profiles in the August 19, 2013, issue).
Truth is, there has been no formal application or specified criteria for HomeWorld Players consideration since the special feature was launched in the summer of 2006.
Campaigning on behalf of industry executives for inclusion among the Players is understandable. However, HomeWorld Players are selected based on independent assessments by our editorial team. We evaluate dozens of people expected to be in the news in the coming months for the lasting imprint they could leave on their organizations and, in many cases, the broader housewares marketplace.
Being named a HomeWorld Player is not so much an honor for past accomplishment as it is recognition of elevated responsibility and still-to-be-measured influence within the industry.
The annual list of HomeWorld Players is subject to healthy debate. There were many other deserving candidates for every individual that made this year’s list. It takes plenty of discussion, dissension and concession to whittle down to the final list each year.
Moment In Time
That list is intended as something of an industry cross-section at a given moment in time. The HomeWorld team strives for balance among the Players selections: executives from established brands and large companies; entrepreneurs from upstart, smaller businesses; individuals from a diverse category spectrum; representatives of industry affiliates, such as trade show management and entertainment licensing; and, of course, leaders on the front lines of major retail merchandising and operational developments.
That is the beauty of the housewares industry. It is where a surging inventor of silicone lids virtually unknown two years ago can share the spotlight with the seventh-generation chief executive of a family cutlery business founded 200 years ago.
Work To Be Done
It is where a Hoboken-NJ-based baker-turned-reality TV star gets to become the face and name of potentially hundreds of millions of dollars worth of kitchenware.
It is where an iconic merchandising executive gets the opportunity to help fortify the turnaround of his latest employer while giving the former employer that felt the need to replace him cause for concern.
It is where marketers consistently test the theory that you can’t initiate change and growth without accepting risk and accountability.
Instead of “congratulations,” perhaps “good luck” is the more appropriate sentiment for those selected as a HomeWorld Player. For each Player, there is still plenty of work to be done.
The desire among industry executives to be included among the annual HomeWorld Players is understandable.
The real opportunity, though, is not to focus on what it takes to be a HomeWorld Player. Keep your eye on what it will take to keep your organization in the game.
You might find your name among the list of HomeWorld Players. You might not. Either way, you can still win big.