What Business Leaders Can Learn From Wal-Mart

Topic: What Business Leaders Can Learn From Wal-Mart

 

Chip Conley: Well, I wrote that having to post about, should the government outsource its operations to Wal-Mart. I wrote it on April fools. I wrote it on April first. But actually there was a certain tongue and cheek that I meant it there, in a sense that, one of the altruisms about the White House today and Obama’s very ambitious goals is it’s big. There’s a lot to be done. Whether it’s in the environment, or healthcare, these are huge initiatives and what I was really pointing to there is beyond all the rhetoric and all of the finger pointing. I was one of those people who is slamming Wal-Mart and I have written in some of my books, slam Wal-Mart in some of my books.

But if you look at some of the transformation that company has gone through in the last three or four years, not just the stuff that’s about marketing but some of the intrinsic things they’re doing in terms of how they’re providing more health care to their own people, but they’re providing more cheap health care to their customers in the store. What they’ve done in the environmental level in terms of some of the new standards that they’ve created for themselves in terms of how they source products and how they actually package products. They forced companies like GE and Procter and Gamble to change their packaging of products to make it more green. So you have to look at them and say they’re starting to shift they’ve got such a bid footprint as a company that as they shift, they have big impacts out there. What I meant in that post was… I’m a huge fan of Barrack Obama and I want him to be successful, and I want him to do all of the things that he’s trying to do right now but in order to do all of that quickly and logistically well, why don’t we learn some lessons from Wal-Mart because Wal-Mart is the biggest logistical company in the world and they’re really good at it.

So I don’t think we should become, maybe we should buy Wal-Mart, maybe instead of buying AIG or instead of becoming a shareholder of all these bad bags, maybe we should become a shareholder of Wal-Mart. And then somehow collaborate with them in how they can actually take some of these big ideas and make them successful quickly.

 

Recorded on: April 14, 2009

 

Hotelier Chip Conley reflects on a recent article he wrote in praise of Wal-Mart.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

4 reasons Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for universal basic income

In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.

(Photo by J. Wilds/Keystone/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
  • The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
  • Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Why I wear my life on my skin

For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.

Videos
  • In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
  • This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
  • Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
Keep reading Show less