Retail Executive

SEP-OCT 2017

Retail Executive is the trusted advisor to top retail executives from the industry’s most profitable retailers. We help retail executives succeed in their job role and grow their business via exclusive, actionable, peer-driven content.

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Disrupt Or Be Disrupted: Leadership In The Digital Age their digital strategy. And only one in five felt their HR function was helping them to transform, ranking them even lower than finance. Ouch. The message is clear. Invest NOW to bridge the skill gaps by adding and pro- moting disruptive thinkers, leaders, and strategists. 2. CREATE AN AGILE CULTURE FOCUSED ON CONSUMER EXPERIENCE Product superiority on its own no longer sells. The con- sumer experience sells, and social media validates it. Your culture must become organic, adaptable, and data-driven with a decisive penchant for cutting through the chaos. As leaders, you and your team must consistently break the rules with the ability to explain why. If you don't have these kinds of leaders, make the change NOW. 3. CRYSTALLIZE BRAND AND CORE COMPETENCIES Know the primary components that comprise your brand equity, or risk a very costly demise. It's that sim- ple. Procter & Gamble, once the gold standard for con- sumer goods marketing, has publicly struggled in recent years. Only after a thorough evaluation of their entire portfolio did they realize that 80 percent of their gross margin came from 11 of their 1,250 product lines. Don't make the same costly mistake. Real-time course correc- tion of your brand is a must in today's digital age. 4. STRATEGIZE TOWARD VISION, NOT FEAR OF EXTINCTION Research validates that leaders who focus on employ- ee strengths create organizations that are eight times more productive and engaged. The same holds true for organizations regarding your vision. When companies operate from a "Vision Statement," they create more positive cultures, sparking room for innovation and cre- ativity. Your vision also serves as your lighthouse as you navigate today's increasingly more turbulent waters. Frequent calibration and course correction are more important than ever. 5. LEAD WITH A SENSE OF URGENCY, NOT A SENSE OF DESPERATION There is a fine line here, and it harkens back to knowing and leveraging your vision. There will always be a com- petitor doing something faster, better, or cheaper. As your company's leadership, it's up to you to distinguish when — and if — it matters. Do you really need to add mattress- es to your product portfolio because others have? Stay true to your vision and your core competencies, surround yourself with disrupters, and balance your data fortress with highly visible EQ (emotional intelli- gence) decision making. Think — and act — like a survi- vor, and you will be the disrupter versus the disrupted. R THE IMPERATIVE OF DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP If you have any doubt that your business requires dis- ruptive leadership, consider Kodak, Blockbuster, or BlackBerry. Or the 40 percent of Fortune 500 compa- nies in 2000 that no longer existed by 2010. Then think Amazon which quintupled its North American sales from $16 billion to $80 billion in a mere six years. Dis- ruptive leadership made the difference. Here are five ways the most dynamic leaders embrace disruption and equip their organizations to innovate in today's data-driven retailer marketplace. 1. CREATE CATALYTIC ROLES AND CLOSE SKILL GAPS Data is driving retail and creating monumental power shifts — and skill gaps — within organizations. Chief Digital Officers are not only the new norm, they reign supreme, spawning the need for other such catalytic roles as Chief Data Officer, Chief Growth Officer, and Chief Analytics Officer. But the sheer pace of change has created a skills gap, which is stopping many organizations in advancing their digital strategies. According to Russell Reynolds Associates' annual survey of C-level executives, only half of executives felt they had the right people defining R U B I H O is a well-regarded strategic and organizational consultant, celebrated author, and founder and architect of the Strategic & Organizational Consultant (SAOL™) methodology and certification program. With a disruptive leadership style, Rubi has logged over 30,000 consulting hours "in the trenches" with companies and their leaders. His direct and candid approach to consulting and issue resolution has earned him the trusted respect of CEOs and their staff, changing the way organizations are led. Rubi's personal story is also one of triumph, having escaped Saigon the day before it fell. Here are five ways the most dynamic leaders embrace disruption and equip their organizations to innovate in today's data-driven retailer marketplace. R U B I H O Founder and President, The Rubi Ho Group LEADERSHIP LESSONS Insights By R. Ho DISRUPT OR BE DISRUPTED: LEADERSHIP IN THE DIGITAL AGE RETAILEXECUTIVE.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017 42

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