As you likely heard, Thomas Cook, the 178-year-old British tour company, has closed its doors. And an American video game, consumer electronics and gaming merchandise retailer, Game Stop Corp., is closing 200 of its stores.
What are the leadership lessons in these two significant events?
According to this article, Thomas Cook experienced these three problems:
#1: The internet effect – Industry bookings have shifted to online; however, Thomas Cook has always relied on physical stores and telephone assistance bookings.
#2: Declining interest in package tours – Travel consumers want and can get more flexible vacation options (at competitive pricing) because of the digital space. They simply have more options than ever.
#3: Operating an airline is expensive – Apparently Thomas Cook purchased an airline to go along with its tour company. Yet being two different businesses caused expensive operating and competitive problems.
According to this article, Game Stop experienced an increase in online and digital sales resulting in underperforming brick-and-mortar locations. This required closing 200 stores. Sounds similar to the Thomas Cook experience, doesn’t it?
Regardless of your industry, adopt a strategy of leveraging technology to enhance your competitive position.
Heeding these cases, pay close attention to how technology can make or break your organization today and tomorrow.
Leadership Tip #2
Be increasingly more strategic and intentional in planning and operating your business.
As you plan to grow your business, ensure your strategic initiatives are aligned to achieve your growth objectives. Forget about personal interests and/or pet projects. Make your decisions by gathering input from multiple sources, then think and act accordingly.
And when providing customers with added value, understand what they really need/want and figure out how to give it to them. Giving them what you want (maybe because you’ve always done it that way) is a recipe for future disaster.
The words of Eleanor Roosevelt keep ringing in my head: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”