I Declined An Offer For My Dream Job. Here’s Why…

I Declined An Offer For My Dream Job. Here’s Why… Between September and October, 2018 I was contacted by a company that I – as a consumer – love! The role they were seeking to fill was fabulous and I was really excited, energized, and flattered that they contacted me to discuss this opportunity. This company is a “luxury & tech” driven organization that operates in home care, personal care/beauty, and environmental care space. They have been around for approximately 27 years. The role had been vacant for eight months and according to the executives in the organization, the field was struggling with selling and product knowledge – especially to consumers falling outside the economic description of a “deep-resource” customer. After speaking withRead More

Prioritize Productivity

Prioritize Productivity Often times I will have a conversation with an executive and almost without exception they will bring up how they are working to make their team more efficient. How they seek to hire leaders who are scrum masters. They require Lean Six Sigma proficiency and certification of their senior and executive level candidates. These are amazing competencies and certifications to learn, have, and know but when it comes to strategy and strategic execution, nothing trumps productivity. Especially in today’s world, when so many organizations are hungry and clawing for growth, senior and executives leaders must bring a productivity mindset to the business, the people they lead, and place accountability around this value. . Company leadership is usually very eager to shareRead More

Be A Bold & Inspiring Leader

Bold & Inspiring Leadership The other day I wrote an article that outlined Price’s Law Theory which states that “the square root of the number of people in a domain do 50% of the work.” To put this in a simple to understand formula – if you have 100 people in a workplace, 10 of these people produce 50% of the total results while the remaining 50% of the work is shared among 90 people. In a company with 200 employees – 14 of these people produce 50% of the total results leaving 186 people to share the other 50%. And for most companies and leadership – that is totally acceptable. Objectively, however, it is profoundly unacceptable – especially in today’s quickly evolvingRead More

Who Is Doing The Work And Why It’s Important To Know

Who Is Doing The Work And Why It’s Important To Know Derek John de Solla Price was an information scientist, who is credited as the father of scientometrics. He is the genesis and brains behind the “Price’s Law” Theory. Now, usually when I am learning anything that even remotely resembles mathematics or science I feel a tremendous level of anxiety but I find this particular topic relevant, mostly accurate, and profoundly interesting. Mr. Price had a lot of theories about wealth, literature, and productivity. The theory that caught my eye is specifically related to workplace productivity. In this area, Price’s Law states that “the square root of the number of people in a domain do 50% of the work.” What does this actuallyRead More

For Fabulous Leaders These Things Are Second Nature

For Truly Fabulous Leaders These Things Are Second Nature I recently shared a story about a toxic leader that was allowed to wreak havoc on their people and – ultimately – the customer experience [and profitability] for approximately five years inside a retail organization. The style of “leadership” that was present in this manager was “Transactional Leadership” [or Management-By-Exception], this is where the leader focuses primarily on what is going wrong, rather than encouraging positive behaviors and contribution and recognizing strong performance. This is a very antiquated, awkward, tone-deaf, and unfortunate management style that was/is endorsed in this droll workplace that values compliance and hours worked by employees over innovation, creativity, and customer experience. In today’s world, with so much information about theRead More

The Dangers & Signs Of A Bad Boss

The Dangers & Signs Of A Bad Boss A few years back I worked for a truly toxic, broken retailer. Their people promotion criteria was extremely flawed and – objectively – bizarre. Their store staffing model was awful and counter to any acceptable level of customer experience delivery. Their executive leadership and senior-level leadership was, frankly, pernicious. They hired and retained people that severely lacked integrity or any sort of moral center. There were no organizational values. There was no vision other than some blurry “intersection of something and something” phrase. However, like in any fractured environment, there were a few really great people who I was [and am] always happy to help and support after I separated with the organization. According toRead More

The Retail (R)Evolution

The Retail (R)Evolution About 15 years ago I met and became friends with a semi-well-known Academy Award nominated producer/director. When he first approached me, his opening line was that he wouldn’t put me in movies because I was “too funny looking”. It was a great opening line and – let’s face it – fair enough. I didn’t know who he was when he introduced himself – even though he co-produced one of my absolute favorite movies of all time. What I did know is that after grabbing a cup of tea with him, he was funny and he was indeed one of the most interesting people I’d ever have the pleasure of spending a significant time with. During the initial getting-to-know-you phase ofRead More

What The Reports Aren’t Reporting

What The Reports Aren’t Reporting Yesterday was probably my most difficult travel day in my 20 year history of international and domestic travel. I spent a fabulous week in Romania last week visiting with a really innovative organization and executive leadership team and experiencing their beautiful country and fabulous people. Yesterday, I was excited to fly from Bucharest to London with a scheduled 40 minute stop in Munich. What was supposed to be an easy four and a half hour flight turned into a 14 hour travel day due to mechanical issues with our airplane. We were asked to depart our plane in Munich while they worked through the mechanical issues and/or another plane arrived. So, given my extra free time, whilst notRead More

The High Cost Of Not Developing Your People

The High Cost Of Not Developing Your People US companies spent more than $70 billion [internationally, $130 billion was spent] last year on learning and development. Unfortunately still, the majority of training that takes place is mandated at a specific time, in a stuffy conference room or via the intranet with a boring and ill-prepared instructor/speaker stumbling through poorly designed and miserably tedious PowerPoint slides. Even with the amount of money spent in the US on learning and development, the average employee only has approximately 1% of their week to dedicate to their learning & development. Taking a deeper look into training among various size organizations, the team at Shift Disruptive E-Learning found that organization’s with fewer than 100 employees provide an averageRead More

Why Your Employees Aren’t Advocating Your Retail Brand

Why Your Employees Aren’t Advocating Your Retail Brand According to the “Employees Rising” study from Weber Shandwick, social encouragement has an outsized impact on employer advocacy among employees. For example, employees with socially-encouraging employers are significantly more likely to help boost sales than employees whose employers aren’t socially encouraging (72% vs. 48%, respectively). Makes sense. The study goes on to say that: “One in five employees (21%) is estimated to be an employee activist, and another 33% have high potential to be employee activists. As the movement grows at an increasing speed, employers have an enormous opportunity to engage and capitalize on these powerful advocates, or risk missing out on an important group of supporters and, at worst, fail to curtail detractors whoRead More

Branding & Today’s Retail Customer Experience

Branding & Today’s Retail Customer Experience “Retail is a customer business. You’re trying to take care of the customer—solve something for the customer. And there’s no way to learn that in the classroom or in the corner office…” – Erik Nordstrom, Co-President, Nordstrom Inc. Nordstrom is known for delivering exceptional service. Erik Nordstrom, despite being part of the family that owns the company, worked his way up inside the family’s organization and had experience in various departments in the business. This experience helped him understand the retail business on a granular level first, thus enabling him to perform better in a variety of leadership roles inside the Nordstrom organization as his responsibilities grew. As retail leaders, even the ones in the home office,Read More

The Retail Disconnect

The Retail Disconnect Sometimes during the course of reading or researching a topic I think is relevant to our industry I come across really interesting and important statistics. The challenging part is seeing that this information is so available to us but we are (a) lacking the ability to identify these challenges could apply to our organization or (b) recognizing that they do, but we are unable to create an effective plan and currently do not have the leadership capability to elevate the results in the company in learning & development and bottom line impact through customer experience. These gaps are definitely an opportunity for most retail organizations and we need a strategy around them to improve and deliver needed development to bringRead More

Elements Of Great Retail Customer Experience Program

Elements Of A Great Retail Customer Experience Program In retail we have no shortage of “Steps Of Customer Service”. Unfortunately, most of these steps are so completely shallow and pedantic that all that results is, mostly, uninspired and anonymous service from the cashier role which is, frequently, the only interaction. Customer Experience needs to be included as part of the organizational culture in order for it to be taken seriously. Everything we do should be aligned with delivering a better, more personalized, energizing, engaging, and interactive experience to our customers. This needs to be a commitment that is embraced and followed from the top down in retail organizations. In the past week here is some of the recent retail news: True Religion PacSunRead More

‘Constructing Happy’ In The Retail Workplace

‘Constructing Happy’ In The Retail Workplace [For Employees & Customers] A great workplace culture. Delivering best in company results. Creating a customer experience that drives brand loyalty and growth. None of it is easy. It takes a lot of time, tears, martini’s, and hard work. But I can say this…it is significantly easier to invest the time and energy into building excellence through guidance, communication, and support – than it is to maintain a “good enough” team, deliver mediocre levels of service, and constantly excuse why you can’t maintain consistent numbers or levels of performance. I read yesterday that another retailer, PacSun, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Creating a great workplace and a great place to shop – a store, district,Read More

Inspiring Your Part-Time Team Members

Inspiring Your Part-Time Team Members According to the Hay Group, median turnover rates for part-time retail workers averages approximately 67% in 2015. As most retailers know we rely heavily on part-time employees in our stores to protect scheduling. Depending on the retail organization part-time workers make up a lot of the scheduling (outside store leadership) flexibility. Because most retailers hire sales in at part-time, I have met some great talent that has to hold two or three jobs to make end’s meet. These are also the people who will leave quickly if they are given a better opportunity, more pay, more hour elsewhere – hence the high-turnover. The issue is that these workers are no different than your full-time employees in terms ofRead More