A New Start
Only recently have I adopted the tradition of settingresolutions. But I really like it. Resolutions not only set a tone for the yearto come, but they also help establish a starting point — this is where itbegins; this is the new year. It’s like getting another chance to geteverything right. You start over with a clean slate and all the bestintentions. I’m not saying I always keep my resolutions, but theself-reflection is helpful, and it’s nice to set goals — both personal andprofessional.
Which brings me to my real point: professional goals. Inpreparation for writing this month, I took a look back at what I had written inlast year’s January column. “Growing Resolutions” was the title, andit outlined what I believed were the top 10 resolutions we should adopt as anindustry.
10. Be more efficient.
9. Try beneficials.
8. Update facilities.
7. Experiment with new products and techniques.
6. Market, market, market.
5. Read more GPN (a little joke).
4. Get out to more industry events.
3. Think “outside the box.”
2. Be an industry advocate.
1. Just say no to price cuts.
My first thought was what a good idea; I’ll make anotherlist of industry resolutions — set some priorities, air some grievances. Itsounded like a good idea until I actually tried to think of 10 new resolutions.I couldn’t do it. I realized that just as my personal list always includeseating less take-out and exercising more, our industry list is always going toinclude being more efficient, increasing marketing efforts and fighting pricecuts. And I think that’s the way it should be. Efficiency isn’t something thatyou achieve and then move on; it’s a long-term goal that you have to constantlywork at — employees come and go and have to be trained; new technologyredefines capabilities and increases workflow; improved genetics facilitatestandardization. All of these factors come together to constantly redefine whatit means to be efficient, and so achieving that new definition becomes arecurring goal.
Making an Effort
People often get discouraged by making the same resolutionsyear after year. Last year I vowed to be less grumpy, more outgoing, perkier.Well guess what’s on my list again this year? Not because my resolve slippedand I failed but because I can always do better. That’s how I feel about ourindustry resolutions — we can always do better — that’s why I don’t think weneed to set new resolutions this year.
I’ve seen wonderful things happen this past year infloriculture. Growers in the Northeast worked together to fight waterrestrictions and market their product during an awful drought. Following thedeath of one of our industry’s biggest advocates, Paul Ecke, Jr., you couldalmost see the sense of responsibility growing inside people as they steppedforward to fill the void he left. And what about our industry’s stewardship ofa nation that still mourns September 11? Growers, nurseries and florists donatedtime and product for memorials, and America In Bloom encouraged cities,counties and communities to make their surroundings more beautiful. This is ourindustry working toward its resolutions.
A Last Word
I have almost reached the end of my allotted space and haveyet to mention a couple of new business items that were put on my list. Thefirst is our expanded poinsettia coverage. Did you think we couldn’t do morethan devoting our February issue to new cultivars, recommendations and trialresults? Well we have. We know that our February issue reaches most of youafter the breeders’ mid-January early order deadline, but because of trialdates and printing requirements, we’re not able to make the January issue. Sogo to www.onhort.com around the middle of January for a preview of the newcultivars. All of the trial data will not be ready, but at least you can haveJim Barrett and Allen Hammer’s opinions about the new cultivars before you haveto place your order.
The only other thing I want to say is Happy New Year. Fromthe staff of GPN — Brandi, Bridget, Carrie, Catherine, Ed, Jean, Kelley, Tamiand Tim — we wish you and yours a prosperous new year that fulfills all ofyour wishes.