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Posts Tagged ‘Best Buy’

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Earlier this month, one time successful big-box retail store Best Buy posted a $1.7 billion quarterly loss and announced the closure of 50 stores nationwide. Following the news Best Buy’s CEO Brian Dunn resigned due to what the company referred to as “an unspecified personal conduct issue.” This news made many question if Best Buy has a future as a 21st century retailer.

Here are 5 reasons why Best buy is stuck at a crossroad:

1. Changing business environment: Best Buy’s business has stagnated due to changing macro-economic forces, accompanied by a shift in consumer preferences.

2. Not enough choice: Shoppers today can typically find more choices online from Amazon and other online retailers than they can find at Best Buy. Frequently the online retailers have lower prices too.

3. Jack-of-all-trades, master of none: When it comes to tech products Best Buy essentially offers a little of everything. Given this strategy, the store’s sales representatives struggle to gain specialized knowledge on products sold. If you want to buy a cell phone it is likely that you could get your questions answered in more detail from a cell phone provider’s store sales representatives than you could at Best Buy.

4. The rise of mobile technology is transforming comparison-shopping: Years ago shoppers would go from store to store comparing prices. Giving their size the big-box stores typically won. Today people can compare prices far faster and easier online at any time in any place.

5. Failure to adapt fast enough: Best Buy has made changes to react to the environment such as acquiring online music subscription service Napster in 2008 (later sold in 2011) and online movie subscription company Cinema Now in 2010. However, such changes have not been fast or successful enough to guarantee the company’s continued success. As a result Best Buy is still somewhat dependent on products that have since been digitized such as CDs and DVDs.

Another area where Best Buy has failed to adapt is their store layout of checkouts and security guards at the door. Such a layout is outdated and un-customer friendly. By contrast at Apple’s retail stores, customers can check out wherever they are in the store and can test new products if a wait is necessary.

So what do you think? How can Best Buy avoid the fate of other big-box retailers such as Borders, Linens ‘n Things and Circuit City? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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In my last post I gave an overview of a revolutionary work environment concept called the Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) pioneered by consulting group Culture RX. Today I wanted to finish my 2-part ROWE mini series by summing up the organizational benefits of ROWE:

  1. Leaders are forced to clearly define expectations: So often in the workplace employees are unclear about their manager’s expectations. ROWE requires competent, strong leaders who can clearly communicate their expectations to their employees.
  2. Improved communication: ROWE resulted in employees at the Best Buy headquarters learning to communicate more effectively, working together in new ways, in order to plan around one another’s schedules.
  3. Greater cross training: Employees working in organizations where ROWE is in place, are more willing and able to learn additional skills, in order to fill in for coworkers when needed.
  4. Greater engagement and productivity: With ROWE employees are more engaged, less distracted and more productive.
  5. Healthier employees: With ROWE employees no longer have to race to get to the office at 8. Employees can attend doctors’ appointments without feeling guilty, take care of their health and catch up on sleep when they need to. ROWE provides enough flexibility to eliminate situations such as the example of an employee faking a sick day shown in the video below: 
  6. Elimination of under performers: ROWE weeds out poor performers, resulting in an increase in involuntary turnover during the transition stage. Mediocre, incompetent, time-wasting employees will not be able to survive in this kind of environment. However, why would your organization want to keep these employees anyway?
  7. Empowerment: ROWE creates an environment of trust where employees are treated as adults accountable for getting work done on their own schedule. Employees in ROWE environments are also empowered from knowing that their superiors trust them to get the job done.
  8. Greater talent retention and acquisition: After migrating to ROWE Best Buy’s strategic sourcing and procurement team boosted employee retention by 27%. The work-life balance that ROWE offers can greater help organizations to attract and retain the best talent.

The video below adds to the reasons I’ve listed above by enabling you to see organizations’ experiences and results achieved with ROWE:

For more information on ROWE visit Culture RX’s websiteblog and read Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson’s book: ‘Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution.’

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Back in February I wrote a blog post about companies that offer their employees unlimited paid vacation time. The unlimited paid vacation time concept is a part of a greater concept called Results-Only Work Environment, which I intend to explore further in this post and in a follow-up post tomorrow.

Many of us have experienced working with individuals who while they may seldom leave their desks and may even be the first to arrive and last to leave, don’t seem to accomplish much work. While most organizations pay great rhetoric to the importance of employee results, many traditional organizations fall into the trap of rewarding face time over results. As this video mocks:

 

 

Pioneered by consulting group Culture RX and in practice at Best Buy’s Minneapolis headquarters, a Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) is a management philosophy focused on employee results over presence. With ROWE employees are free to come and go as they please and do whatever they want, so long as work gets done and deadlines are met.  As the authors of the book ‘Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It: The Results-Only Revolution’ Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson explain:

 

 

For a ROWE to be achieved there should be unlimited paid vacation time, no mandatory meetings, no schedules and employees should have the freedom to come and go as they please without judgment from their coworkers and managers on how their day is spent.

ROWE enables organizations to create an environment of trust, which quickly helps to differentiate the employees that are getting work done from those that aren’t. This concept is most suited to knowledge work environments, which are task and project focused. It is unlikely to work in a service environment.

Here are a couple of examples of how employees can use ROWE:

Example 1: Jane works from 8-12 in the morning before spending the afternoon enjoying the nice weather at the park, before logging back in to her computer to work from home in the evening.

Example 2: Joe completes an entire month of work in 2 weeks and apart from checking in with work by e-mail or cell phone, enjoys the rest of the month with his kids who are on break from school.

So what do you think of this concept? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and look out for my next blog post on the benefits of ROWE tomorrow.

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