Thursday, April 26, 2012

You are invited to join the All-In Movement™

The All-In Movement™ will be more of a Movement when more people join in and share. There's more to living and leading All-In than what one person has to say or experience, so join in by sharing. 

Often, the most important people in a Movement are not those who start but those who join in. This is one of my favorite examples: The formation of a Movement.

You're here because you are living and leading All-In already, so join the Movement by participating. Consider this your formal invitation. Come one! Come all! Come to be All-In!

Friday, April 20, 2012

All-In Person of the Week: Pat Summit

"My parents taught me a long time ago that you win in life with people. And that's important, because if you hang with winners, you stand a great chance of being a winner."  No one in college sports knows more about winning than Coach Pat Summit. She is the all-time winningest coach in NCAA basketball--male or female.

She won eight national championships as the women's head coach at the University of Tennessee, 16 regular-season Southeastern Conference championships and 16 SEC tournament titles.

During her tenure as Head Coach, Tennessee never failed to reach the NCAA tournament, never received a seed lower than No. 5. Her teams reached the Final Four 18 times, which ties the UCLA and North Carolina men for the most all-time by a college basketball program.

Coach Summit never had a season with a losing record. Her teams won1,098 games and lost 208 for an impressive .840 average. Coach Summit knows about winning. She has surrounded herself with winners on her teams, and her teams have won big.

After 38 years as the Head Coach, this week Coach Summit became the team's Head Coach Emeritus. Later this year, she will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Coach Summit revealed last summer that she had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, Alzheimer's type. She has shown the same determination, attitude, and grace regarding her health as she has shown regarding the impact she's had on women's athletics.

Congratulations to Coach Pat Summit for being All-In on and off the basketball court.

(Sources: ESPN and

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Are your company leaders as All-In as Caine?

Look at his passion! His ingenuity! Attention to detail! Perseverance! Does your company show nearly as much excitement for what it does as Caine's Arcade? Not many people, company leaders, or companies are as All-In as Caine.

This video is about Caine Monroy, a nine-year old boy who built an elaborate cardboard arcade inside his dad’s auto parts store in East LA. Caine is about to have the best day of his life.

There are many business lessons to learn from this story:
  1. Caine is selfless. He built a business about something he is passionate about and wanted to share.
  2. Caine's attention to detail--he even climbs in boxes to send the winning tickets through--creates an ideal customer experience.
  3. Caine wants people to play the games. Don't you get the feeling sometimes that you're bothering people, even though you are the customer? Caine is disappointed his games go unplayed. He wants customers to have fun!
  4. Caine's pricing strategy is mind boggling. He gives a good deal--$2 for 500 plays--because he wants people to play. Caine's thought: let's price it to give customers more enjoyment. Other companies: let's price to get the most out of the customers as possible.
  5. People come for something good! Kudos to Nirvan Mullick, the filmmaker who happened by the store for a part for his car. Nirvan made a short video about Caine's Arcade and promoted the Arcade. Caine's authenticity, attention to detail, and likeability attracted Nirvan and all of the people who showed up to make his day. (Now, people are donating to his scholarship fund.)
What else could be learned from Caine's story and the way he built his business?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Best Buy: Time for a gut check

As if struggling to adapt to consumers' changing needs wasn't enough, today Best Buy's CEO resigned for "personal conduct" reasons. CEO Brian Dunn resigned today, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing "personal conduct" but no details of the conduct were provided.

During the recession, Best Buy won a highly public battle with Circuit City who filed bankruptcy and closed, but now it's losing an even bigger war with Apple. Best Buy is set to close 50 stores, grow its Geek Squad computer support business, and needs to revamp the consumer experience. Best Buy used to be the cool place  to buy electronics, but now it's a "showroom" and Apple wins the battle for cool.

To put it in perspective, Best Buy stores had operating income per square foot of $50.61 in 2006 and just five years later the income per square foot was $18.52 according to estimates by the retail consultancy Customer Growth Partners. By contrast, Apple's retail stores reaped an astronomical $4,700 per square foot last year, (From The Wall Street Journal)

Best Buy is hanging on for dear life, and now its CEO's resignation is likely to humiliate it further. This is a time of great opportunity for Best Buy, if it conducts an honest gut check. What are you made of, Best Buy? Great leaders, which Best Buy was once, are self-aware and adaptable. If it digs deep and finds out what's inside, Best Buy could overcome the embarrassing resignation, create a new customer experience, and position itself for a strong future.

After all, not everyone wants an Apple everything. There is room for competition, but Best Buy has to dig deep to remain part of the conversation. It's time for a gut check.

What do you think:  Can Best Buy make it?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Starbucks CEO takes the lead in stakeholder alignment

Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, made news late last year when he instigated a ban of campaign donations in this $6 billion campaign year. More than 150 CEOs joined Schultz in declining to donate to incumbents during the current campaign year.

Now, Schultz is working to put Americans back to work. He was on the CBS morning show to give a glimpse of the new program and Starbucks's actions to create more jobs.

Schultz describes the Create Jobs for USA Fund, Starbucks internal job creation actions, and the impact of aligned stakeholder focus on investors. (Hint: it's good!)

Later today, Google Offers and Banana Republic revealed their efforts in the Create Jobs for USA Fund. Schultz may be one of the leaders on the forefront of the stakeholder alignment movement. Where are you and your company leaders on that front?