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Leadership 2.0 Blogs From The Front Row: Lauren Dabney, HR Fleet And Safety Coordinator, The Parts House

This week, in partnership with the University of the Aftermarket, we offer you a front row seat into the Leadership 2.0 experience thanks to participants in this year’s session. Leadership 2.0 is a two-week, residential aftermarket-focused education program hosted by The University of the Aftermarket at Northwood University. In the final blog of the week from Leadership 2.0, we hear from Lauren Dabney, HR fleet and safety coordinator, The Parts House.

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Leadership 2.0 - Lauren DabneyThis week, in partnership with the University of the Aftermarket, we offer you a front row seat into the Leadership 2.0 experience thanks to participants in this year’s session. Leadership 2.0 is a two-week, residential aftermarket-focused education program hosted by The University of the Aftermarket at Northwood University. The program is designed to develop the leadership and business skills of the next generation of visionary industry professionals. In today’s blog from the front row of Leadership 2.0, we hear from Lauren Dabney, HR fleet and safety coordinator, The Parts House.

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Blog 5

Thursday marked the final day of the 2015-‘16 Leadership 2.0 program. What an amazing ride this has been! From starting out in August, timid and quiet among a sea of unknown automotive professionals, to joking, laughing and sharing incredible insights with peers, Leadership 2.0 has been a truly amazing experience. The relationships formed here will continue to develop over our careers, and the knowledge gained will serve to better ourselves personally, as well as professionally.

Brian Cruickshank, director of the University of the Aftermarket, kicked off the day with a blast from the past. He opened up the floor with predictions the Leadership 2.0 class of 1995 had made about the year 2015. While some of the predictions were humorous to us today, (such as the concept that industry professionals would be using satellites to beam parts orders to suppliers), it was incredible how many predictions the class of ‘95 got correct. This just goes to show what can be accomplished when you gather the minds of some of the aftermarket’s top, developing leaders.

To continue this tradition, the eight 2015-‘16 Leadership 2.0 teams presented both predictions about future disruptions to the aftermarket industry, as well as insights and recommendations about current, pressing trends. Team “Training Wheels” illustrated what technician training is available today, why it’s important, and ways to encourage technician involvement, despite the ever-present “lack of time” excuse. Team “Bench Strength” offered a clear solution to the dilemma of succession planning in all levels of the industry; the idea is to create an aftermarket partnership program, or co-op, comprised of different organizations in the value chain, who will cross-train new, as well as seasoned, leaders. The “Standards of Mayhem” Team discussed the issues faced during long communication lag times between professional repair shops and manufacturers, particularly when discussing the potential failure of an installed part.

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“The Search Engines” Team spoke about the implications of e-tailing, and how to handle the challenges of consumers who purchase parts online, and bring them to repair shops for installation; a key focus was on recapturing lost profits due to a reduction in parts sales. Team “iSynch” engaged us with an exciting look into the very near future of telematics and embedded software, and discussed both the challenges and solutions to the integration of vehicles to the internet. Team “B.A.N.G.” urged us to look beyond millennials, and anticipate a not-so-distant future where the majority of our labor force will be comprised of both Generation Z and millennials. Team “Joe6PAC” brought down the house with a court of law rap, and urged the industry to form a non-connected political action committee (PAC) to protect and defend the interests of the aftermarket, without the funding constraints of a normal PAC.

Team “FixNation” brought it home with a lively “TV” interview, where they identified the current disruptive technology trends (namely cell phone usage) occurring in other industries, and analyzed the imminent shifts to the automotive aftermarket, complete with a recommended solution. Awesome job, “FixNation” on winning the competition!

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In all, Leadership 2.0 has been a phenomenal program, and is sure to have lasting impacts on all of the attendees’ lives. From the incredible presenters to the talented industry professionals, the program was a complete success. Congratulations to the class of 2015-‘16! 

Editor’s note: Lauren is a member of “FixNation,” voted this year’s best team project.

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