What do a coffeemaker company executive, a big-box senior merchant, a trade finance specialist, a trade show operator, a gourmet hardware retailer, a celebrity chef and a former supermodel have in common?
They are all among the 2013 “Players,” HomeWorld’s annual nod to the people to watch in housewares during the coming year (coverage begins on page 10 of the August 20, 2012, issue).
Why are they worth watching?
They all are driving forces behind initiatives that not only should profoundly impact their respective businesses in 2013, but also could alter a broader competitive landscape.
Selection as a HomeWorld Player is not about what already has been accomplished. While the people on this year’s list have achieved high marks in business for myriad reasons, their inclusion is about the potential of their latest directives.
It is never easy to single out what amounts to a few more than a baker’s dozen of executives who have a hand in shaping the industry. The discussion among HomeWorld editors about whom to include can get lively at times. And some of this year’s selections certainly will be met with skepticism by industry observers. For every selection there are many more who could have been included.
That’s why this is not only about the individuals selected. It is about how their individual objectives could reflect the objectives of the housewares industry as a whole. And how their strategies, successful or not, could help contribute to a blueprint for the industry’s progress during this challenging era.
Indeed, there can be much to learn from the way these leaders conduct themselves and their businesses. The HomeWorld Players profiled in this edition face unique circumstances. And they offer distinct perspectives and methods on how to confront those situations.
A closer look underscores a common ground among the challenges and opportunities they confront: a quest for their organizations, if not necessarily themselves, to separate from the pack with original ideas and decisive action.
While most don’t actively lobby for the type of individual recognition making a magazine’s annual people-to-watch list affords, each HomeWorld Player can’t afford to be bashful when it comes to embracing the accountability of their decisions in today’s less-forgiving marketplace.
It will be interesting to check back in a few months to see how the 2013 HomeWorld Players and their businesses have performed. We then should get a more precise measure of the worthiness of their inclusion among this exclusive group.
For now, the spotlight is on the potential for each of the 2013 HomeWorld Players to make a difference that could reverberate well beyond the walls of his or her respective operation.
When it comes to the demands on business in today’s uneven economic climate, all of the HomeWorld Players— from the coffee company executive to the trade finance specialist to the former supermodel— actually have much more in common than you initially might think.
Tracking their progress should be well worth the watch.