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I have a question

Tags: Air Cargo   Questions   New ideas

Oliver Evans on Friday, February 21, 2014 10:50 AM

Much has been said (in recent times, and, I suspect, ever since the dawn of our industry) about the need for innovation in the air cargo industry, about the many obstacles we face, about how we might be losing the battle for talent to other, seemingly more attractive industries.

Now, this is a BIG issue, which must and will be addressed by our industry bodies and the leaders of our trade, for we alone have the leverage and influence to change anything, right?
Yes, of course, you will say.

And I say that we will not create the change our industry so desperately needs without correcting one engrained habit which is the root cause of the problem: a habit that we hardly recognise. I am speaking of our fundamental lack of curiosity.

Lack of curiosity? Take any industry event, conference or panel session and you will see what I mean. While attendance is usually high, participation of the audience – our participation! – often involves nothing more than the simple fact of being there, the occasional nod, the all-too-frequent and not-too-discreet tap-tapping on an iPhone, and polite applause.

And I ask myself: Why is nobody ever asking questions? Why are we sitting there, not like the men and women who actually can change the air cargo industry, but rather like consumers who bought a ticket and now expect to be entertained? Why are we so complacent and passive when there is such an overwhelming need for discussing, challenging, reinventing our ways?

If there is one sure way to change air cargo, it is by asking curious, challenging, sometimes provocative questions. Questions that spark new discussions, spawn new ideas and – in rare but magic moments – trigger an inspiring ping-pong between participants: they suddenly embark on a whole new line of thought simply because they no longer sit on their respective little segment of knowledge, but actually dare to share and combine thoughts in a lively discussion.

That is where innovation starts. That is where the seed of a more progressive, more digital, more environmentally sound air cargo industry will be sown.

So next time we meet, let´s be questioners, and searchers, rather than mere attendees or visitors. And let´s ask these curious questions we all need to hear.

Thank you for tuning in.


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Published by PeteWalter on Monday, April 14, 2014 9:34 AM
Hi Oliver I am rather late on commenting on this blog -as I have only just come across it. I agree whole heartedly with your concern that so few attendees at these events seem willing to get involved. I am usually the first one to raise a question -as I often feel sorry for the speaker. He or she has spent many man hours preparing their presentations and there is nothing more deflating than to finish and get not a single question. Yet shortly afterwards many will come up to the speaker and have all sorts of questions. I think people are often intimidated and most are very frightened of speaking in public. It is particularly tough for people who's native tongue is not English. I know you are famous for speaking many languages (ook Nederlands hoorde ik :-) ) but language is certainly a factor. I sometimes suffer from a slight stammer but I have not allowed it to stop me from asking relevant questions. Thanks for another interesting blog. You probably do not remember me but we have often met at the various trade shows in the past 12 years. Kind regards Peter Watlter

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