Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog

Archive for March, 2015

A Human Weakness: Sitting Back and Enjoying Success!

The retailer Tommy Hilfiger was launched in the early 1990’s and by the mid 1990’s is was a huge success. The press often called its oversized jeans and uniquely styled jackets the “teen uniform of the era.” Hilfiger claimed “All the preppies, all the cool kids, the surfers, the skateboarders – everyone was wearing it.”

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How to Avoid Dumb Ideas!

For years, Target had its eye on expanding into Canada. In fact, it may have been too anxious. The CEO at the time saw an opportunity to make a big entry into the country. Specifically, in 2011 Target bought the store leases, 124 of them, of the now defunct discount chain, Zellers, for $1.8 billion. On the surface, the deal looked brilliant, giving Target an immediate cross-country presence and it avoided the expense of building its own stores.

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Avoiding Reality: A Losing Strategy!

The CEO of Tesla Motors recently reported that in the fourth quarter of 2014 the company lost -$0.13 per share versus analyst’s consensus of a profit of +$0.31 per share. In the quarter Tesla delivered 9, 834 vehicles, well below what analysts had estimated. Most disappointing, Tesla sold only 120 cars in China in the last month of the fiscal year which was a shock given that Tesla had predicted sales in China would equal those in the U.S. by 2015.

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Beware: Busyness Can Suffocate Innovation!

Amazon has been a phenomenal success. The string of innovation started with enabling consumers to buy books online and to not only get good prices but to be able to see reviews of the books by people who have already read them. Amazon expanded that initial experience of online book selling into becoming the premier online retailer, offering an incredibly wide variety of goods. Then, again surprising consumers, Amazon launched the Kindle and created the category of electronic books. The key characteristic of these innovations was that there was nothing like them in the marketplace, and they had genuine consumer appeal.

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