Lightbulb Sessions

Holly Kramer, Former CEO, Best & Less

Holly discusses the key strategies for achieving OpEx in today’s challenging business environment.

Former CEO of Best & Less Shareds Her Business Challenges

Transcription:

You know as a business you just can’t afford to be lacks anywhere you can’t, afford to not be absolutely clear on your customer and your strategy, or on the way you operate. Because if you’re not efficient someone else will find a way to be more efficient than you are.

We brought in a company called enlighten. Enlighten helped us you know completely relook at every activity that we do in the store in question, you know why do we do it and why do we do it that way. And then we sort of rebuilt the processes using our internal know-how but we really needed the external point of view to challenge us in terms of asking those questions.

My view on culture is that is absolutely paramount to any organization and how it operates. It’s really culture that makes he difference between whether people want to be there or they don’t. When I say culture I’m talking more broadly about the leadership about the vision and the strategy that you paint and the reason you give people meaning in terms of their daily jobs.

That focus on customer I guess never goes out of fashion even in the age of technology and all technology does is it helps you serve that customer more efficiently more effectively give them a better experience.

If you’ve got a great environment that he’s focused on serving customers then you will have you know the best people and if you can have the best people and you invest in them and you give them a reason to want to work for your company well those are the companies that succeed it’s been improving again and again and again.

Again these are kind of old-fashioned values, but I think leaders need to be humble. I think by the time you get to a leadership position you know everyone has sort of said you’re very talented you’re the one we want to lead this organization. I think you need to retain a degree of humility that says I don’t have all the answers.

So what goes hand in hand with that is the ability to listen and challenging yourself. To listen not just the people who are going to tell you what you want to hear and to tell you you know the things you already know. You need to listen to people with different points of view and really think you know what could I be missing in my view of the world.

I think that’s incredibly important. I think that’s why diversity is so important in business not just so that you have diversity but so that you have diverse views that can inform and challenge your thinking.

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