Why does behaviour change fail?

The Lead: Selling Lord & Taylor, Americans Lost at Sea Rescued

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

Selling the Flagship Lord & Taylor Store to Cut Debt

Hudson’s Bay Co. is selling its iconic Lord & Taylor building in Manhattan, and Rhone Capital LLC will buy $500 million of its convertible shares. Hudson’s Bay’s stock increased upon the announcement of the sale, and the sale will help cut debt and strengthen its balance sheet.

Our View: A good leader must make timely strategic decisions such as knowing when it makes sense to sell parts of their business. Good reasons to sell a part or parts of your business are when the sale reduces risks, enables expansion, or enables access to resources that add value. Further Reading

Americans Lost at Sea for Months are Rescued by the Navy

This spring Jennifer Appel and Tasha Fuiaba left Hawaii for Tahiti by boat, but when their engine failed in a Pacific Ocean storm, they moved off course and issued daily distress calls. After five months of being lost at sea, a Taiwanese fishing boat discovered them and contacted the U.S. Coast Guard at Guam. Appel credits their survival at sea to their water purifiers and more than a year’s supply of food.

Our View: The key to arriving at your desired destination is being flexible and prepared. Making continual course corrections is an important part of any journey. Leaders must have a clear destination, goal, or outcome in mind but be flexible on the path to achievement. Be adaptable and open to new situations, inputs, and ideas. Finally, look for the positive and learning opportunity in every setback or difficulty. Further Reading

CVS Bid to Purchase Aetna

Healthcare consolidation between insurers and pharmacies is increasingly popular as the government and large corporations seek to lower climbing medical costs. CVS Health Corp bid over $66 billion to acquire U.S. health insurer Aetna Inc. whose business spans from employer healthcare to government plans nationwide.

Our View: Leaders consolidate their businesses for variety of reasons ranging from keeping up with competition to optimizing their economic decisions. Considering a merger, acquisition, or sale requires a strong understanding of the financial and operational realities of blending two sets of systems and philosophies and the many stakeholders impacted such as customers, employees, and investors. Consolidation can present an opportunity to grow market share, reduce overall operating costs, and even improve customer service. Further Reading

Startup to Disrupt Custom Furniture

Nidhi Kapur founded Maiden Home Inc., a furniture startup. Similar to the pioneers of e-commerce disruptions of the past, Kapur found an out-of-touch industry and built a website that bypasses the middlemen and saves people money. With her website, she is able to skip the catalogs, marketing, and production that her competitors reply on, and she can deliver a custom piece of furniture made by skilled craftsmen in six weeks.

 Our View: Four industries that are surprisingly being disrupted by e-commerce are the music industry, the death industry, the alcohol industry, and the grocery industry. E-commerce adds a range of conveniences and saves people money in a wide variety of ways: everything from reducing prices on funeral caskets, concert tickets, and groceries, including wines that are shipped directly from wineries. Since there isn’t one single industry that is exempt from being disrupted, business leaders should be asking themselves how e-commerce could disrupt their industry. Further Reading

Expedia Stops Price Matching

The online booking firm Expedia Inc. has announced that its Expedia-branded websites worldwide eliminated its industrywide practice of price matching. In the past, consumers often complained that Expedia’s price-matching offers had too many restrictions with claims being rejected too frequently. Expedia Inc. spokeswoman Sarah Gavin shared more about the change saying, “our marketplace, as well as the broader landscape, has evolved so much that there are so many easier ways to save than there were when this was invented. Our customers now have their hands on the savings steering wheel themselves. They don’t need the old booster seat anymore.”

Our View: Clearly communicating a policy change can be just as important, if not more important, than the change itself. Effective external communication can be categorized into five steps:

  1. Recognize how the change will affect your customers.
  2. Create clear, consistent messaging regarding the change.
  3. Designate someone to lead the communication.
  4. Decide how and when to communicate.
  5. Facilitate customers’ adaptation to the change.

Further Reading


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