This week brought a significant milestone for Cox Automotive, the car business and me.
On Wednesday, I was part of a group that cut the ribbon to officially open the new Cox Automotive Solutions Lab at Northwood University in Midland, MI.
This lab is pretty special.
First, it reflects the commitment of the Cox family, and Cox Automotive, to the future of the car business. Cox leaders recognize that we have a responsibility to help prepare the next generation of dealership owners and managers for what will be a fast-changing, ever-more complex retail environment in the years ahead.
Second, the lab will be a proving ground that gives students the opportunity to put theory—like Velocity Method of Management principles—into practice. In the lab, students will sharpen their understanding of what it takes to run a dealership, and make money, in today’s margin-compressed market. They will gain important skills, like how to use technology and tools to mine insights about the market and their businesses to maximize efficiencies and profitability.
In short, the lab will help students hit the ground running as they work in their dealerships, and carry the responsibility of effectively managing their family/organizational fortunes.
I’m proud to be part of an organization like Cox Automotive that gives back to the industry that feeds it. My hat’s off to the people at Cox Automotive and Northwood University who came up with the idea of the solutions lab, and applied themselves to bringing it to life.
While at Northwood, I had the honor and privilege to give an academic year kick-off speech to students. I’ll be honest. I worried about what I’d say. Among the 800 faculty and students at the convocation, only some aspire to retail automotive careers.
I landed on three principles that I’ve come to view as key ingredients for a meaningful, productive life. A few folks suggested I publicly share a video of the speech. Here it is: