If you haven’t heard of or read about the Tesco PLC business success story, you probably should. Former Tesco CEO Sir Terry Leahy shared several management lessons at a SAS thought leadership conference in early 2012. At this year’s The Premier Business Leadership Series in Orlando, he’ll present more lessons learned while growing one of the largest global retailers.
I asked him a few questions to whet our appetites before the event. Here’s his take on savvy retail customers, a data-driven culture and what you can learn from competitors.
Tell me about the retail customer today versus 5-10 years ago. How is mobile, technology and consumer savviness changing the way retailers market?
Leahy: E-commerce is now up to 15-20 percent market penetration. Mobile is around 4-5 percent penetration but growing at 50 percent per annum. These developments are causing profound shifts in the retailer business model. The recession and mobile technology have made the consumer much more transactional and savvy. However this trend may reverse over time as consumers prefer trusting relationships.
What kind of cultural shifts need to happen for an organization to truly become data-driven?
Leahy: The CEO has to lead the focus on data. The organisation’s decision making structure has to be rebuilt based around data.
You’ve spoken about the tremendous insights organizations can glean from competitors. Can you expand on that?
Leahy: Competitors force you to do your best work for the customer. Learn how they look at your customer, it provides a fresh perspective and a new impetus. The trick is not to copy competitors but to learn from them.
Be sure to watch Leahy elaborate on these and other management best practices in Orlando.