A few months ago I went and heard Sir Terry Leahy he was the first marketing person to make the Board of Directors at Tesco.
In 1992 M&S led the way – and under the leadership of Leahy – Tesco grew 10x faster than any other company to where it was in 2011 – no-one could have predicted that.
Some of the key changes that led to that success were introducing the Tesco club card which was totally customer centric the first example of “big data” real benefit to the customer and the knowledge for Tesco was invaluable.
Leahy believed passionately in listening to the customer and they wanted a convenience store they were working later and wanted smaller shops, the industry said Tesco Local would not work, it became one of the fastest growing areas of the business.
Steve Jobz success in business is about observing people’s lives and understanding what technology could do for them, and Leahy gave a fantastic example of this. In 1995 Andersons Consulting mocked up kitchen for the future and on the work top was a computer, he asked why and they explained that in the future people will order their food on the Internet. Lot of people at that same presentation questioned it – be led by your customer if their lives are changing this what they want and need. Leahy knew that this was a change to the way we lived and therefore within 6 months Tesco.com launched.
From listening to Leahy here are some of the nuggets I will hold onto:-
- Organisations performance is about keeping things simple that is not the same as easy.
- Competition in business “Keeps you on it!” – see the strength in your competitors learn from them.
- Be led by your customer
- Be prepared to be on the receiving end of your decisions in the case of Tescos this means one week on the tills.
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