The Bezos Interview; Retail’s Other Shoe; A Dearth of Depth; Econ Recon: The Robot Hoax

Saturday, November 11 was Veterans Day

“Nobody wants to fight.  Somebody had better know how.”

From a 1960’s Marine Corps recruiting poster

The Bezos Interview

There is an insatiable desire to learn what successful CEOs do that drives their success. Usually it has to do with strategy, business models and building a great culture. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ secret may be in his interview process. The one question he asks is one you can ask too; just be sure you ask it right. 

Retail’s Other Shoe

You know that an event has gained momentum when it becomes a proper noun. Meet the “Retail Apocalypse” which now has its own Wikipedia entry. To be sure, many of retail’s woes are attributed to the remarkable growth of Amazon. (See my comment from a few issues back re Scott Galloway’s excellent book The Four: The Hidden DNA of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google or watch the 45 min video summary of the book.)

While Amazon is a huge factor, there are other headwinds to the retail sector that are just as scary and just as unavoidable as Amazon.  For a look at the other shoe to waiting drop in the retail sector find out why “America’s ‘Retail Apocalypse is Really Just Beginning.”

A Dearth of Depth

All the hand wringing about managing Millennials today may have missed a more important trend: namely that the much larger size of the older Baby Boomer cohort means a much smaller leadership pool for companies of all sizes to draw from when the Boomers want to retire. If you’re a Boomer, you may have to hang around until the Millennials are ready to lead or there are enough for you to finally head for the beach.  Learn a little more about the “evaporating pool of officer ready talent”. 

Econ Recon: The Robot Hoax

Leadership visionary Warren Bennis once wrote that “The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.”

Many employees feel that day is already here, but Dr. Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics disagrees. The problem isn’t too many robots; it’s too few of the right kind of employee. Learn more in the latest ITR Blog entry.

Also, CEOs remain optimistic! Check out the latest  WSJ/Vistage Confidence Index:

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