Great leaders don’t move toward the future, they bring the future to them—they pull the future forward.
In Chapter 2 I provided you with several examples of companies that at one point had very bright futures only to let them slip away. The leadership of those organizations simply didn’t understand how to navigate from the present to the future. I decided to begin this chapter by examining a case study of two different retailers and how their view of the future is shaping the destiny of their respective organizations.
This is one of my favorite case studies—it’s a David and Goliath story of sorts. What I most enjoy about this case study is that the story is still being written. In other words, it isn’t over yet. The other thing I like about this example is there isn’t a winner or loser. Both companies are highly successful using different approaches. It serves to illustrate that it’s not the business model that matters, but the commitment of leadership to pursue a clearly articulated, and well-aligned vision for the future. The following case study compares the world’s largest retailer (Walmart) with Wegmans, a family-owned regional supermarket chain.
You’re likely familiar with the story of my Goliath—at the time of this writing, Walmart employs more than 2 million associates in more than 27 countries with fiscal year 2013 revenues of more than $460 billion dollars. Almost 250 million consumers visit their stores on a weekly basis. The size and ...