The Professional Beauty Association (PBA) hosted the first day of virtual programming on Wednesday, September 2nd, for its annual Executive Summit, which explored “The Road to Reinvention: How inventive thinking can drive success in turbulent times.” The summit, which was a pivot in format from the usual in-person annual event to a virtual endeavor due to Covid-19 restrictions, featured an informative keynote on the mindset of reinventors by New York Times' bestselling author Josh Linkner, followed by an in-depth discussion with Kecia Steelman, chief store operations officer, and president of International Ulta Beauty, on how Ulta is driving transformation for growth.
Linkner shared how finding new paths for success using digestible, actionable creative solutions will continue to become more important, and impactful, than ever before. He shared that by “democratizing innovation and creativity, little habits every day can lead to big things,” and if we all “aim for a 5% creative upgrade,” we can get ready to see a disproportionately large share of results. By recalibrating our approach to reinvention, big change can lie ahead. He further went on to share his invaluable core mindsets of reinventors, which are easy to implement into your daily workplace to help spark change and ultimately, reinvention:
Start before you're ready. The everyday innovators don’t wait for permission; they get going and take the initiative realizing everything isn't perfect, but will course-correct along the way. Don’t wait for the ideal situation, just do it.
Break it to fix it. Sometimes, you have to break away from the way everyone has always done it to make progress. Linkner shared two key practical applications to help dive further into this idea:
- The World’s First: Every idea brainstorm meeting should start with the “world’s first” idea to push creative boundaries and come up with break it to fix it ideas.
- The Judo Flip: Linkner explained his concept of the Judo flip as follows: “When trying to solve a problem, think to yourself, ‘How have I always done it?’ List out how you’ve done it in the past. List out how others in the industry have done it. Then ask yourself, ‘What’s the polar opposite?’” For example, if you’ve always brought in your most experienced execs to create new ideas or troubleshoot, do the exact opposite: bring in the least experienced. “Flipping it upside down to yield a different, better result,” explains Linkner.
Get Scrappy. Linkner encourages a mindset of doing more with less--use your imagination and grit to approach challenges, instead of just money. Linkner explains, “The truth is the real DNA of innovation, it has nothing to do with outside resources and everything to do with grit, determination, tenacity and resilience."
Reach for Weird. “Too often we gravitate towards the obvious, simple approaches we’ve reached for in the past. Instead, reach out of the box and think weird. We can all unlock this dormant resource that can make incredible gains for us all,” shared Linkner. He encourages thinking about the most bizarre way you can approach a challenge instead of the obvious one, because sometimes, those ideas actually yield the best outcomes.
Fall Seven Times, Stand Eight. When you get knocked down how can you use creativity to come back even better? Getting knocked down can get you back in the game ever stronger and better than before. Linkner explains, “Mistakes are the pathways to discovery.” Stop relying on old patterns and don’t be afraid to make mistakes trying something new.
Following Linkner’s keynote, Kecia Steelman of Ulta Beauty provided dialogue on how the country’s largest beauty retailer is driving transformation for growth, which was moderated by Zack Rieken, PBA manufacturer council chair and Living Proof CEO. Many of Steelman’s insights mirror Linkner’s reinvention mindsets -- echoing the very concepts which Steelman shares that have been a key to success at Ulta Beauty.
Executives who attended the virtual summit represented the best in class in the professional beauty industry today including L’Oreal, Henkel, Drybar, SalonCentric, Olaplex, Moroccanoil, Kevin.Murphy, Coty, Great Clips, The Kirschner Group, Kao, Joico, Wahl, Ulta, and more. Following the presentation, the PBA opened up virtual panel discussion rooms to further dive into Linkner’s five mindsets and create networking opportunities across the board.
On October 7th, at 11 am PST/2 pm EST, the PBA will present the second part of its virtual executive summit “Consumer Trend Insights: Behaviors in Beauty,” presented by Denise Herich co-founder and managing partner, The Benchmarking Company, and an industry panel comprised of Yene Damtew, Aesthetics Salon Owner; Bertrand Fontaine, president of SalonCentric - A Division of L’Oreal USA; Stefan Mund, Regional Head Henkel Beauty Care Professional North America; and Christina Russell, CEO of Sola Salon Studios & The Woodhouse Day Spas.
Register now at https://www.probeauty.org/events-programs/execs for the October 7th virtual event, and access today’s on demand through October 6th.
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