Thoughts from Dale Steenbergen –
If you are asking yourself who in the world is Marie Laveau you probably aren’t alone. Marie Laveau was the VooDoo Queen of New Orleans for decades in the 1800s. You might think of voodoo rituals as events with a handful of folks who are a couple cards short of a full Tarot card deck. When it comes to Marie Laveau you would be sadly mistaken. Imagine the rich and famous on the banks of Lake Ponchitrain seeking advice and help with marriage, love, lawsuits, sickness, and about any other problem. Marie Laveau died around 1881, but folks visit her grave to this day to receive her blessing.
Our world today has changed dramatically from just a few years ago. As Tom Donahue of the US Chamber of Commerce believes, jobs are chasing people around all over this country. A far cry from the rising unemployment we saw only a few short years ago during the financial crisis. Historically, employment numbers have ebbed and flowed, but it is a reality for business that we are going to have to do more with fewer people.
Certainly, there are ways to do that with the use of technology and streamlining processes, but it’s not easy. The easy way is to listen to those who tell you we just need more bars and entertainment venues; the problem will be solved. We can fix the education system and our problems will roll away. If you believe either of those, you might as well slap your chicken foot around your neck, fill up your gris gris bag, and hope for the best. The generational math just puts us at a workforce shortage for about the next 30 years. Certainly, we can help our situation with a better education system and quality of life. Let’s be careful here because most of what we talk about to improve quality of life will have little to no impact. Bars, restaurants, and concerts are all being challenged with competition from Netflix and video gaming, so our actions related to quality of life have to be strategic. Don’t believe me, go do a little research and tell me what you find. Quality of Life talks more about access to healthcare, affordable childcare, and access to transportation – to name a few.
Be ready to do more with less people! It is so important that as a business owner you are aware of this challenge. I know it’s a painful reality, but it is reality, nonetheless. If you still can’t seem to muster up the courage to accept the continued workforce shortage challenge, you can always try your luck at visiting Marie Laveau’s grave marking your “X” while walking around the tomb, knocking several times, and then leaving her a gift like a bottle of rum. Better yet, just stay home and knock down that bottle of rum. You will get the same results and you will save some money. If you aren’t willing to adjust to the new reality, you are going to need that money to pay the bills.
The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1907 and is more than 1,000 members strong. Using guiding core competencies, the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce demonstrates leadership by advocating for business at all levels of government and promoting our community to make the region a better place to live, work, and do business. The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is also active in the Wyoming Business & Industry Federation, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Visit cheyennechamber.org for more information.