4 Dec 2017, 10:40 — 5 min read
There is a lot we know about what innovative companies do, perhaps way too much to go into here. But it’s readily apparent that most traditional retailers have ignored the call of innovation and are paying the price right now. While no one has the gift of prophecy — and most would likely agree that few could have imagined the degree and speed of disruption we are experiencing — there are plenty of things that should have been obvious years ago to anyone paying attention. Here are just a few that were being actively discussed at the retailers I worked with at least five year ago and, in some cases, over a decade ago:
If I told you I was going to successfully run a marathon next year without doing any training you would tell me that I was crazy and wouldn’t be surprised in the least if I failed miserably. Yet, apparently most Boards and CEOs thought that somehow all this innovation would magically appear without a strategy and the resources to make it happen. Hope is not a strategy and counting on a time machine to go back and fix things doesn’t seem all that workable either. It’s easy to blame Amazon for the problems of most retailers, but that would be wrong. Most of the wounds are self-inflicted.
For quite a few retailers, the bullet has already been fired, it’s just that the full impact has not been realised yet. Unfortunately, they are in a dive from which they will never recover. Dead brand walking. Others stand at the precipice, where their fate is not yet sealed, but the pressures to radically transform grow stronger by the day. The answer will not be to try to out-Amazon Amazon, to finish second in a race to the bottom. The answer lies in striving to be more intensely relevant and remarkable, to get out of the stands and into the arena, to understand that it is far more risky to hold on to the status quo than to embrace radical experimentation and transformation.
As the Chinese proverb says “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.”
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Article contributed by Steve Dennis for STOrai Magazine
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