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Seize the Opportunity
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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One of our students presented to the class about how a young girl took initiative and a school assignment seriously, and ended up changing the way a business operates.

In Britain, a 10-year old girl was given the school assignment to write a formal letter to a business or organization of  her choice. The girl decided to write the local mall, voicing her displeasure at how slow some people walk, versus those who are trying to get somewhere.

Preach, child.

The result? The mall actually took her suggestion to heart, and is now experimenting with a "fast lane," asking people who stroll to walk in one lane, and those who walk fast in another.

So the topic of this article revolves around both the girl and the mall.

First, the girl. Major props to the young lady who decided to use her school assignment to tackle something that really bothered her. That is exactly the type of initiative our kids these days need to have. The problems and challenges our youth will face will be daunting; using structured activities like these can really improve their thinking ability, especially in the marketing and advertising industry. Think of the challenges that customer service ideas like this young lady had could solve.

Second, the mall authorities. The humility it takes for grown men and women to listen to a young person voice a problem they have is truly tough to nurture. But it is true; sometimes children (or those new to the environment) can see things in a way that provides a totally new perspective. Being able to lower one's guard to listen to perspectives like these is good for advertising, for customer service, and for business.

Granted, this idea doesn't guarantee that it's going to work. It could fail as easily as it could succeed. The point is that a new idea was offered, and a business decided to test it out. A new idea wasn't thrown away because "it's never been done before" or "the person needs to learn the ropes before helping" and the other nonsense managers and the like use in order to stick to the status quo.

A nice pick-me-up story for the weekend. Cheers!

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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