Is your companionship innovating? A Whole Foods case study.
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Individuals like Elon Musk and Steve Jobs are often worshipped as employers of minds, but according to Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, it typically takes numerous people iterating and taking chances for a company to be truly innovative.
Using Whole Foods as a case study, Mackey shares a story of how a table experiment at one of his California markets evolved into a successful feature and spread to other locations.
By uttering units the freedom to try( and neglect) without being micro-managed, organizations can create a culture that allows innovation to happen , not one that tries to force it to happen.
John Mackey is the CEO and co-founder of Whole Foods Market, co-founder of the nonprofit Conscious Capitalism, Inc ., and co-author of Conscious Capitalism. He has devoted his life to selling natural and organic foods and construct a better business model.
John Mackey’s latest bible Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business: https :// amzn.to/ 3f0aknX
JOHN MACKEY: It’s kind of a illusion that most inventions exist by some genius, Steve Jobs or Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos, that these people are larger than life geniuses and all the innovations at Tesla came from Elon Musk and Steve Jobs personally fabricated the Macintosh and the iPod and iPhone and iPad and all that stuff. And certainly the entrepreneur is, it can be the media, promotes them to a higher standard, and they certainly are important in terms of require leader and hopefully self-conscious leadership to the team. But almost all the best inventions are done collaboratively. They’re always part of a larger group that play off of each other. And I can tell you at Whole Food that we’ve had a lot of inventive artistic suggestions. You known better 10 years ago or so we had a accumulate in Santa Rosa, California. It opened the very first bar at Whole Meat Market. It opened in the middle of the wine part. They just took part of the wine-coloured region and they lay in some sounds and they lay in some big screen TVs and they kinda went off the gap, So we had this little beer wine bar in the middle of the accumulate. And if they’d had to ask permission for that, “theyre saying”, John, what do you think about this idea? I said , nobody’s gonna go to a saloon in a food market, it’s a unspeakable opinion, don’t do it, waste of money. But they didn’t have to ask permission, so they were able to try it, right. And guess what? It was tremendously successful, and that bar started selling more brew every week than we were selling in seafood in the place for awhile. It was incredible. And then other accumulates would understand what they were doing and they start copying it, only they wouldn’t copy it precisely. They would iterate on it to make it different and better and some of those experiments didn’t work by the way, and we had to throw them out, but the other ones did work.
I’ll give you an example how at Rift, the original brew and wine-coloured bar in that storage was really set up for guys. It was predominantly brew and less wine-colored, but they had wine and it had sports on the big screen TVs, and it kinda had its’ masculine attitude. So we kinda thought that was what it was about. But an interesting thing happened as these principles progressed and went to see other supermarkets. We started noticing that a huge amount of women would show up in the afternoons when they get off work and they are complying with their friends and they would drink white wine. And it was like, the women are showing up, why are they showing up now? We made this was a guy thing. They are demonstrating up because this was a really safe place. We don’t have a bunch of creepings that might follow you out to your vehicle. It’s Whole Foods Market, it’s a big market, it’s very safe. You don’t, and so they’d meet their friends and then of course when you have a lot of women showing up, then you start having more guys is an indication and you start to get a bit of a scene there. And the next thing you are familiar with, they’re playing live music and would computed more food to it. And so that is collaborative innovation in a food store with one store trying one thing and then it iterating in different, and understand as you go along and you learn what works. And one thing we learned is it won’t work that well if you don’t have menu with it, parties exactly won’t come in to have a drink. They wanna have something to eat with it more. And you got to make it where if you have some, a bit live music and you have, where you’re located in the place is important…
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