"Target Corp. is among the top three or four U.S. retailers, ...a coveted position in such a volatile industry. IT is a critical player in each move, if not a keystone."
The CIO of Target provides insight into how the giant retailer accomplished major change in the last 2-3 years. For readers from larger companies with IT responsible for helping support major change, how does their story resonate with what you've experienced with IT as an accelerator or lever?
We're making changes where [project] life cycle is a matter of days or weeks...
Target brought over Beth Jacob from an operations post, an unconventional move. Jacob was vice president of guest operations when she was tapped to lead IT as executive vice president and CIO with a budget of over $1 billion.
She oversaw Target.com's switch from Amazon.com's e-commerce platform to one that was home-grown. At the other end of the big-project spectrum, Jacob has introduced projects that capitalize on mobile computing, such as smartphone coupons.
CIO Insight: The nature or change has changed, hasn't it? It seems that change isn't always iterative... You can't attack fires the same way because the fire's never the same.
Jacob: You're spot on. …change management is …going to be more important than ever. ...Change is something we lean into. Because of that, the TTS team has had to change almost everything, including the way it partners [internally and externally]. And the way it approaches different organizational change initiatives.
...In the last year or so, the pace of change has significantly increased. We're making changes where [project] life cycle is a matter of days or weeks - think about the mobile capabilities we've implemented.
CIO Insight: ...days and weeks. Can you expand on that?
Jacob: We have to be ready to bring a company offering to our guests and staff, both of whom are more tech savvy. One example for guests would be mobile capabilities, like mobile [device] coupons. Last holiday, we created a mobile-coupon program tied to our toy catalog in just a few days. ...The coupons are very easy for guests to use, very easy for our team members to work with.
[Ed. note: Target claims to be the first national retailer to offer a scanable mobile-coupon program, in 2010. Shoppers who opt in get a text-message link to a mobile Web page that can contain multiple with offers, all accessible through a single bar code. Coupons are then redeemed by a cashier scanning the bar code on the shopper's phone at checkout.]
CIO Insight: You took a big gamble ...when Target decided to abandon Amazon.com's e-commerce platform for one you built yourselves.
Jacob: It took us just over two years to get off the Amazon platform and onto our own. Overall, it went well.
Over a thousand team members were involved in the effort. We learned a lot and that goes back to the learning culture of Target. ...We had a few site-stability issues, so we formed a dedicated team within our global team working to resolve those issues - literally 24/7. And we really rallied our vendors to our cause.
Anytime I get on the phone with a business who wants to hire me to do some social media work and they ask me about, analysis, measurement tools and anything that has to do with numbers I tell them “I’m an Indian person who is lousy at math. Contrary to popular belief we’re not all good with numbers.” My strength is the ability to tell great stories, and create content. Does that mean I’m useless? Absolutely not … and it’s because there is a digital divide emerging."
I love the core message of this post -- for business success hire both a strategiest AND a storyteller!
Why? Because you will receive the best of both worlds. Not only will you identify and execute (hopefully) an winning social media strategy, you will also learn how to tell your business stories effectively in different social media channels. Yeah!
Go read the article for more info on why this marriage makes so much sense.
Thanks fellow curator Gregg Morris @greggvm for finding this article!
The music video is still thriving in the Internet age, despite the fact that MTV and VH1 have long given up their role as purveyors of the medium. For proof, check out the new video for local favorites The Sea and Cake's latest single "On and On", off their most recent Thrill Jockey release, Runner.
The band enlisted Japanese artist Naomi Nagata to create a stop-motion animation using lines and patterns made with sand on a Japanese paper scroll, resulting in a visual experience not unlike watching the waveform generator in your iTunes library.
"The Career Builder study looked at jobs created in the most most populous metros from 2010 to 2012. Detroit is number 4 on the list, jobs up 5%."
Great news to see Detroit listed in the #4 spot! ~ Deb
...The rebound in manufacturing helped to land Detroit in the top ten.
“There is a close correlation between the top locations for job growth and the concentration of fast-growing industries in those markets,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, in the study released Wednesday.
“Technology hiring is a big contributor for growth in the Bay Area and Raleigh and while Texas cities, Oklahoma and Salt Lake are benefiting from strong oil and gas activity.
Detroit tops the nation ...as the area that's added the most manufacturing jobs in the country from January 2010 through 2011.
...The rebound in manufacturing helped to land Detroit in the top ten while healthcare continues to thrive in Phoenix.”
The study looked at jobs created in the most most populous metros from 2010 to 2012.
4. Detroit, Mich.
Jobs added from 2010 through 2012: 92,407 (up 5 percent)
According to a report published by think tank Brookings Institution, Detroit tops the nation — coming second only to Charleston, SC — as the area that's added the most manufacturing jobs in the country from January 2010 through 2011.
Read the full article here.
Deb's comparison of Detroit and Las Vegas is also here: