Borders files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Local and regional booksellers continue to consolidate stores or close their doors all together. For many, it’s already too late to change direction on a rudderless ship that has been left in the wake of the rapid decline in hard copy book sales. One national retailer, on the other hand, is using a change in strategy to help weather the storm.
It had been a few weeks since I’d last visited my local Barnes & Noble. As I walked through the front door over the weekend, the first thing I noticed was a fully staffed Nook station located no more than 10 feet inside the store–strategically placed so it would be almost impossible to miss. In addition to the fancy NOOK color, they also had an extensive assortment of NOOK accessories. Complementing the kiosk, their in-store displays and signage also do a good job of highlighting a mix of both their print and digital book offerings.
But eReaders are only one aspect of their strategic shift.
You’re humming along at work. You’ve received positive feedback from coworkers and upper management commending you on the quality of your contributions to the team. Everything seems to be going great. Then one day, without any previous discussions or hints, your boss catches you outside of your cubicle and mentions he wants you to meet with an executive coach.
Your heart immediately starts to race. Is this a good thing? A bad thing? Your boss doesn’t help matters by not giving you much if any background and having the discussion (albeit brief) smack dab in the middle of a sea of cubicles as your coworkers listen in on your conversation.
If you’re the employee, how do you handle the conversation?
You’ve been jockeying for it for a long time. You’ve completed all of the leadership training your company has to offer, incorporated every nugget of feedback you’ve ever received from performance reviews, and carefully observed other leaders in the company–all in an effort to make sure your transition goes as smoothly as possible. But 30 days into the move, you’ve completely alienated coworkers causing them to shut down, talk venomously about you behind your back, or consider hiring a hit man. What happened?
Have you ever started a new job and felt like the company wasn’t expecting you? After multiple rounds of interviews, site visits, and phone calls, you arrive on your first day eager to make a good first impression and your coworkers, and even your manager, are too busy working on their own projects to say much more than hello. Granted, in some cases they might be under a tight deadline or left scrambling to get your email account set up and make sure your office or cube has been cleaned, but that’s a small consolation when, as a brand spanking new employee, you’re hoping to feel welcomed.
Published October 19, 2010
innovation , leadership
Tags: Best Buy Co. Inc., customer experience, design, ECOtality Inc., Fast Company, innovation, leadership, management, Redbox Automated Retail LLC, Target Corporation, technology, Wal-Mart Stores
When is the last time you walked into Target, Walmart, Kmart or (insert name of any major retailer here) to find they completely overhauled the footprint of their store? We’re not talking one or two departments or switching out grills and patio furniture for artificial Christmas trees and those subtle inflatable holiday lawn ornaments but rather gutting the store and going with an entirely new layout. That’s what I found when I visited my local Best Buy over the weekend.
When I walked through the second of two sliding glass doors, said my customary hello to the security guard/greeter, and finally looked around I was blown away. Nothing (and I mean nothing) was the same as it was the last time I went shopping there. I actually found myself trying to determine how long it had been since my last visit–the construction project was that substantial.
Best Buy has long been known for experimenting with floor plans at various concept stores throughout the United States and they continue to push the envelope even though Circuit City, their biggest competitor, has gone the way of the dodo bird.