Being a GS1 staff has many benefits and learning every day, is the most important one. The knowledge, experience, and expertise behind GS1 standards are a complete university course and I always loved to be a student in this class.
I’ve learned many lessons from my 9+ years of working with GS1 and these are the significant ones:
1- Be the standardizer in your industry and this makes you the boss in that field. Yes, it’s completely true that when you develop the standards in your business and you dominate your niche, all other parties have to obey your rules and comply with your standards and guidelines. This is what exactly GS1 does because the organization has developed the most used standards in the supply chain.
2- Create a platform instead of a product. Peter Thiel, the writer of “Zero to One” says your idea must be 10 times better than your competitors’ to become a paradigm changer and be known as proprietary technology. And believe me when I say platforms are more than 10 times better than products. To know whether this is true or not, just have a look at the revenue of “Google Play Store” in comparison with the best apps on it! Again GS1 has tried to be the Operating System of global business by creating an ecosystem of standards and it has been successful.
3- Think globally but start locally. All great ideas which become a unicorn company, start small and locally, because being small lets you make mistakes, learn fast and become the leader in your local market. Then, you can scale your idea out of your zone and cross borders! Barcodes were first invented to answer USA market needs and now they are globally recognized and used more than 6 billion times a day all over the world.
4- See one vision, speak one voice, act as one organization. GS1 is a big family consist of global office, member organizations, members, solution providers, partners and etc. That might be interesting to you to know that all thousands of people who work for or work with GS1 believe that they are a big family and they should try hard for the sake of their family. All GS1 staff in 112 member organizations share their knowledge together and help their colleagues all around the world to find solutions for their problems. This has become possible because of the great strategy of the company, great global branding, great standardization of documents and solutions, and great innovations like MO-MO Sharing.
5- Work hard, party big. Hard work always pays off and if you do not try your best now, you will pay the consequences when you have no time to compensate. I saw many big opportunities in front of our company nose that we lost them because we did not act fast, we did not decide fast and we did not work hard enough. In contrast, whenever we tried hard to take a project out of our competitor’s mouth! or to achieve a goal, we were gifted by the most amazing results. I have learned that any act has its related results and the result of being lazy, is a big regret.
6- Practice makes you master. I always told my colleagues in GS1 Iran that we need more practice and we need to do more to get the experience and expertise in our job. And that was true. It is proved that people learn better by doing than just by reading. So, I have learned that I should practice my lessons by doing real projects.
That was my story of learning. what have you learned from your career?