Happy New Year! My mind is still trying to adjust to the reality that we are in 2017. For me, 2016 went by faster than ever, and it was also one of my busiest. I was blessed to be able to travel frequently to Asia, Europe and South America. Although I did not physically make it to Africa and Australia, I did work on projects on those continents from here in the United States. I am blessed and grateful for these amazing opportunities.
My new year is already loaded with new opportunities. Primarily, no matter how you feel about our new president, there are perspectives about his election that I believe are important for us to understand. All of us are wondering how he will respond to a host of situations that he must contend with. I believe that we will see the new president disrupt politics and push toward a new paradigm of government. I am OK with a disruption of the status quo in Washington, although many of you may disagree. No matter our viewpoints, there is a bigger picture to consider.
Disruption is nothing new for many businesses and organizations. In fact, market disruption is a core operating principal of many companies around the world, including those here in the United States. For example, Apple, Intel and Cisco are among the companies that thrive on market disruption. These companies release a product and then only a short time later release another new product in order to ensure market dominance that hinders competitors from gaining market share. Our industry is seeing a lot of these same trends, as well. I believe that our new president will operate, to some degree, in this fashion. I am ready for a new order that breaks up the stagnation our government has fallen into over the past decade or more.
I am far from all knowing about the workings of politics. However, as I work and travel around the world, and I look at our nation from a zoomed-out perspective, I see that we are a horribly dysfunctional and divided nation. And, I know firsthand that many nations no longer see the United States as the shining “city on the hill.” I pray that we improve this image and that those around the world can believe in us again.
Regardless of my worldview and how I believe the president might lead the nation, we who work in the House of Worship (HOW) market should understand a very important reality: A significant group that helped elect the new president is the Christian community. That does not mean that they embrace his flaws, but they voted for him over the Democratic candidate. So, regardless of what you or I may think about the new president, our clients, for the most part, embrace his leadership.
That leads us to a fundamental question: “What does the Trump presidency mean for the HOW market?” I don’t have statistics to support my claim, but I have spoken with more than 100 Christian leaders who are feeling good about the new president. They believe that he will defend people of faith. In addition, they believe that the economy will become stronger under his leadership. These conditions led leaders of faith to tell me that they feel better about spending money on new systems and system upgrades in their houses of worship. If true, this is good news for our industry.
I believe that we must understand this point. However, I don’t recommend that you talk politics when you have your face-to-face meetings with HOW leaders. Instead, discuss lighting, sound and video additions and upgrades. Lighting, in particular, seems to be the buzz for the New Year. I don’t understand the root of this trend, but in the weeks since the election, calls came in, almost entirely seeking significant lighting upgrades, meaning that HOW leaders want new lighting consoles and lots of moving lights.
The purchasing trends of HOW leaders, and the leadership of our new president, are yet to be seen. But I believe that 2017 will be a spectacular year for those of us who will to embrace these changes with an open mind and offer willing hands to serve to HOW market. That is what I believe. Please tell me what you believe.
Happy New Year!