The Best It’s Ever Been, Every Year: The Goal for IPC, Part 1


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Matties: Like you said, it's online, and it's technology. That's a lot different than what we do.

Mitchell: I walked into a meeting, one on one, and I was sharing some thoughts with one of my employees, and she's playing on her phone while I'm talking to her. That was my impression. She wasn't playing on her phone, she was taking notes. But I wanted to know that she was taking notes, as opposed to her texting somebody in the middle of our discussion.

Matties: I was in a meeting today and the exact same thing was happening. "What are you doing? Pay attention."

Mitchell: They're probably paying more attention than people who aren't doing it. So, there's some adjustment that’s required, and there are some weaknesses as well in the business place with some of the millennials that we've seen and studies have shown, so we're looking to bring education about that as well. To sit there and say, "Hey, if you're a millennial and you're coming to work for this company you might need some cultural adaptations." Instead, one might say, "If you're going to do this, you might want to communicate what you're doing or these types of actions might get you fired. And you might not care, but if you do care you might want to be aware."

Matties: I think the employers need to adjust, too. Because you can't do it this way because we've always done it that way.

Mitchell: That's right, because we're all getting older. People are retiring.

Matties: These are our replacements, and we need to embrace that. If we don't have a succession plan…

Mitchell: That's why I shared that stat. In 2020, 50% of all the leaders will be millennials. That's the leaders; that's not the workforce. There’s even more there. The other thing you need to think about is the demographics are different. More women are entering the workplace than men. I mean, in this industry, that's a big change. Our industry tends to be diverse culturally, it's not so diverse by gender. That's another change. So people need to figure out not only millennials in the workplace, but women in the workplace, and what they need and what they're looking for as well. If they want to have the best people, you're going to be hiring female millennials. So we're looking to provide things which will educate people and help them. If you're a business owner and you want to attract the best talent and that person is a female millennial, can you offer something that's even going to attract them to your workplace? If you don't, guess what? You're not going hire the best talent. Those are all opportunities.

Matties: You've had a lot success here in China, but what about America? What sort of growth are you seeing there?

Mitchell: IPC is having a great year this year in growth, membership is up. We're up to more than 4,300 total member sites now, and I think the U.S. is up 100 or 200 this year.

Matties: What do you attribute that to? Because over here you had Phil, you had a lot going on...

Mitchell: It all comes down to the value and communication.

Matties: It's about communicating the value.

Mitchell: Yes. We still need to get better at that. We still have members who join based on a standard being released. That's where education comes back into it. Education is a constant need, so we're looking to provide that as well.

Matties: And then what about Europe?

Mitchell: For Europe, we’re very excited. As you know, we opened the office two years ago. We're hiring two more people there: a standards expert and a government relations expert. With those hires, IPC continues to meet local language requirements, in local time zones. We're also looking to do customer service there locally, as well. Because when people have an issue they should be able to call and get services within their own time zone, in their own language.

We're a global organization. I mean, it makes me smile when people say, "Oh, you're a U.S. organization." Yeah, I guess. So is Coca-Cola, but they're everywhere. That's my goal. I want to be the Coca-Cola of the electronics industry.

Matties: It sounds like you're on your way. But you're laying down new value that hadn't been out there for your members.

Mitchell: And if there's other value that we're not seeing, we keep trying to ask the members. If people reading this (I know your readership is huge) have ideas about value that IPC could or you feel should be providing, we want to know about it.

For the second part of this interview, click here.

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