As I listened to Greg Wasson, president and CEO of Walgreens and a 30-year veteran of the company, talk about Walgreens' countless initiatives last week at Shop.org, I was impressed by all they are taking on. But I found myself thinking back to a book written by BrainTrust panelist Ryan Mathews, called The Myth of Excellence. The primary theme of the book is that companies can't be great when they try to be great at everything — they must pick one thing to be fantastic at, a couple to excel at, and just make sure they are competent at everything else.
When I think of a few retailers the industry generally considers role models, they do that. Here's my own select list of retailers who do one or two things super well:
We could argue about what each of these retailers stands for all day long, but they each seem to focus on doing one or maybe two things really well. In contrast, Walgreens, which many consider a great retailer, has so many initiatives and goals, it's impossible to count. Here are some I noted from Mr. Wasson's presentation:
Do you agree or disagree with the idea that Walgreens is trying to do too much?