Benchmarks: Find Your Game-Changer

Parrot Flower Power
Parrot Flower Power

Every January, the internationally renowned Consumer Electronics Show takes place in Las Vegas, Nev., with more than 3,500 exhibitors parading the latest gadgets and advancements in electronics and technology past thousands of attendees. Exhibits range from the lighthearted Beer Pong playing robot to the more serious wearable head injury sensor, and everything in between.

One intriguing product featured at the event was the Parrot Flower Power, a small plant sensor that when stuck in a flower pot monitors water, sunlight and temperature levels, along with soil electrical conductivity. When needed, it alerts your smartphone or tablet, telling you down to the day when to water, even when to repot. It gave me pause as I pondered the implications of that, not only for my neglected houseplants, but also how it might change growing if it was ever implemented on a wide-scale commercial greenhouse level. That type of innovation could be a game-changer.

Changing the game is what Plantpeddler, the operation featured in our cover story “Innovation Breeds Opportunity,” is all about. The team refuses to accept the status quo. They hunt for ways to do something in a new way, to attack things on a different level. If trying something new leads to fresh opportunities, they are all over it. If it instead leads to failure, they consider themselves a little bit smarter than before. It’s the very definition of innovate — to fearlessly try something in a new way. And this philosophy has paid off big for Plantpeddler.

Sometimes the game-changer comes along with changing dynamics in the industry, with some growers moving on to navigate new territory and others benefiting from staying behind. Our 2014 Poinsettia Survey made this very apparent. Watch the results in the 2014 State of the Poinsettia Market whitepaper, coming soon to GreenhouseGrower.com.

In “Marijuana’s Trajectory And Ascent To Horticultural Crop Status,” Peter Konjoian, president of Konjoian’s Horticulture Education Services, talks about another potential industry game-changer — marijuana — but not in ways you might think. Learn why he thinks the shift from hush-hush operations to a full-blown legalized marijuana industry will transform the crop in his Flowers to Food column.

Jim Paluch, president of JP Horizons and founder of Come Alive Outside, in my mind, discusses the biggest game-changer of all — our attitudes. He says as an industry we are very good at talking about what we do and how we do it, but we have almost completely lost touch with talking about why our work is important. His GROW perspective article, “What Is It You Do Again?” shares lots of great ideas for changing your mindset.

Whatever it may be, find your game-changer. If your innovation creates new opportunities, run with them. If you fail miserably, learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t shrink away from exploring new possibilities, and persist until you find what works for you. Then push hard to make something happen. You won’t be sorry.

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