It’s almost a guarantee that you will study Wal-Mart at some point during your MBA program no matter what school you are studying at. And while it is truly amazing the affect that Wal-Mart has had on many aspects of our economy (global and local), it does get a bit redundant studying the behemoth all the time.
That’s part of the reason why I am so happy that Target is coming to Canada (that and I’m an avid “Tar-gey” consumer!) It will certainly add a different point of view to the in-class Wal-Mart discussions especially with respect to the Canadian economy.
CNBC recently did a special on Target and it was good to get a glimpse into their history and operations. What I especially loved was how their focus on philanthropic values, led them to innovative solutions. The first one was hiring Michael Graves to design unique scaffolding during the Washington Monument restoration project. Not only was this a unique approach to scaffolding, it also led them to in-house designer products with Graves which soon became a key part of their competitive advantage. The special also talks about how Target redesigned their medicine bottles for their in-house pharmacy to help education customers on how to take the medicine properly and assist families with better medicine identification.
And speaking of healthcare innovation, I’ve also included a TED Talk about making medical test results easier to read.
I think both of these stories are yet more examples of how integrative thinking and business design lead to innovation. Enjoy!