You need to calm downSeptember 05, 19
Earlier this week I called a trusted, respected diamond dealer and industry leader in New York I have worked with in various capacities in the past. I needed some industry insights, as well as some advice, and he was happy to give it, along with some of his fine dry humor.
"I see you have a penchant for music," he said, referring to the titles of my earlier Memos. "But why don't you leave the Eagles aside for once and adopt the title of Taylor Swift's last hit song for this week's Memo?"
I admit, I had to ask him what that title was because I would not know how to identify a Taylor Swift song, as I have never listened to her music - consciously, that is.
"The title is 'You Need to Calm Down,'" he said. "Here in the US, it is difficult to escape from the song as it is being broadcast all the time across many stations."
We then continued to talk about the matters of the day and discussed, among other things, how the industry is coping with change. During our conversation, I noted that the diamond industry's difficulty to cope is because they never have had to cope with change before.
Until now, the diamond industry and trade has operated on a horizontal axis. It hasn't needed to look up or down. It was taken care of by the producers who sold rough, and so on down the pipeline. Also, the industry has not had to worry too much about marketing, financing or other threats, such as gem-quality synthetics. "In other words, they were comfortable in their beds, with a comfy mattress and nice warm duvet," I explained. "And then, the horizontal axis started turning, slowly but surely 90 degrees, and now it is a vertical axis, and all those industry members who were so comfy are now hanging on by a thread. The mattress is gone, the duvet is gone, and they feel have been left out in the cold!"
My advisor laughed. "I've never thought of it that way. Be ready to be criticized for this harsh description if you choose to write this in one of your editorials. But then, you have been criticized before, so you know how that feels!"
Right. Maybe I need to dial it back sometimes and calm down.
Back to Taylor Swift. I did listen to the song and realized I had heard it before. Not quite my taste, but I do remember hearing a broadcaster explain in a radio program that the song is about how people attack her, and how they need to calm down, with the song also being about tolerance and diversity.
Well, I can certainly sign on to that message. We all can. In our industry, it means that we need to learn how to cope with change, embrace it and grow with it.
I know, easier said than done.
Before I forget, there are some gems in the September edition of IDEX Magazine that will be released on Monday, September 8. Don't miss Rami Baron's memo about why change is so hard, alongside Ken Gassman's cover story article on how to solve the puzzle for diamantaires, and, last but not least, Victoria McKay's profile, where she talks about women's equality empowerment in the jewelry industry.