Best Buy CEO on leadership: A comment I made was misconstrued

  • Article by: Hubert Joly
  • Updated: March 17, 2013 - 9:24 PM

I am not the chief executive officer of Best Buy. Yes, that is what is on my business card, but the fact is I am not the CEO. While I am honored to hold the job of CEO of the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer, I am not defined by my job. It is not who I am.

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lakerzfanMar. 17, 1310:01 PM

"What you do simply proves what you believe." --Simon Sinek (in his TED talk)

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kelson101Mar. 17, 1310:14 PM

As a 15-year employee of Best Buy, and one that helped launch ROWE within the corporate campus, Mr. Joly's comments show that he truly does not understand what the Results Only Work Environment program is. He refers to it as a "one-size-fit-all" approach and seems to believe that it is only about "delegation". Neither one of these are even remotely true. It is also not a "work from home" or "telecommute" program as it is often reported in the media. I would strongly encourage Mr. Joly to learn what ROWE really is, see the increased productivity, the reduced turnover and the higher employee engagement. He should seek to understand before making this type of change. He does correctly state that there is a failure of leadership execution. That is the real challenge of ROWE. You have to have strong leadership that fully understands the work that their team is responsible to produce. Too many Best Buy leaders don't understand what their teams do, nor could they step in and do it themselves. That gap makes managing and leading a team effectively, impossible. I appreciate the sense of urgency that Mr. Joly is bringing to the challenge of turning around Best Buy, but I'm concerned that this Op Ed only shows his lack of understanding the real issues.

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mplsbizMar. 17, 1310:24 PM

Very good position, Mr. Joly is doing what is necessary as a leader. I imagine he probably thought, "where is everybody" when he got to BBY's state of the art corporate campus, which was built as a world class collaboration center for employees to work - together. He then likely discovered ROWE's tell tale signature of its failed mantra, no one actually went to work, and if they did, ROWE created a mindset where employees felt that it was a burden, annoying and unnecessary to actually have to go into work. Leadership is not always saying yes like ROWE's half baked whenever, wherever, however -yes- mantra. Anyone notice that BBY stock has almost doubled since Joly took over, I am not saying causation, but that is definitely awesome for the employees.

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FrankLMar. 18, 13 7:25 AM

I can understand what the CEO is trying to do, he needs people to come together to work as a team, which is still done best face-to-face. As good example of this is a football team, every practice has times when the team does certain activities as a whole unit, and other parts where each player works alone or in small groups. At the beginning of each year, when new players are added, the team reinforces this concept of working together by going to a remote camp. Best Buy is like a football team in July, many players have left, new ones added. The coach (CEO) now needs all the players to come together and work to build a new team. To do this he needs to get people out of their comfort zone. This may mean that what they work on and how they do it will change, but hopefully in the end there will be a better Best Buy.

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bryanstpaulMar. 18, 13 9:11 AM

I am a long term BBY employee. The last couple years have been turbulent to say the least. The head-count reductions, employees leaving voluntarily, constant restructuring and relentless media proclamations or our eminent demise have been a drain on employee morale and engagement. That being said, I believe that our new management team has been refreshing and has brought hope to the company. They have had the courage to acknowledge our challenges and to address and the willingness to make difficult decisions and own them. The discontinuation of the ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) program isn’t universally popular but I believe it will better position BBY to compete and succeed. To me, there didn’t seem to be enough “Results” in ROWE to sustain the program.

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songczarMar. 18, 13 9:17 AM

So Best Buy's CEO is saying that he is not the CEO, but he is the CEO, but he isn't -- but he is ... how inspiring. Now wonder Best Buy is doing so amazingly well.

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stingballMar. 18, 13 9:21 AM

Interesting how two new CEOs of large troubled companies (Best Buy and Yahoo) are ending employee "work from home" arrangements shortly after taking the reins. I see both sides of the "work from home" debate. I was able to work from home 100% of the time in a previous position and loved the flexibility and felt my productivity was better than ever. I also noticed how a coworker began to view her "work from home" arrangement as an entitlement instead of an accomadation, and resisted coming in to the office even when her physical presence was required. You will always have employees who abuse this, so maybe the best thing is to grant this on a case by case basis.

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mslilysMar. 18, 1311:28 AM

When a management team is unable to work with employees to get everyone on point towards measurable results, they resort to old-fashioned, out of date solutions like 'all hands on deck'. I also want to point out that Servant Leadership cannot survive in a paternalistic, command and control, top-down system.

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joe_mnMar. 18, 1312:49 PM

Is bby viable? Are they stable?is their roi acceptable? If they are ok, than continue doing what they are doing. They are ok now. They will be ok next year. Perhaps not great but I think bby and Walmart can exist together since they are different entities. WM will never become an electronics store.

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sleestakMar. 18, 1312:51 PM

Does anyone know where I can go to buy cutting edge electronics to empower me to work remotely and around the clock, so I can best support my global clients?

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