Zeitgeist08 Talks -Part 2

Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy at Zeitgeist '08
Best Buy is one organization that has incorporated Web 2.o trends of social networking into its corporate culture. Two of them are the Blue Shirt Nation(the best buy version of MySpace) and the Watercooler(an online discussion forum). Bestbuy also uses a Wiki page for employees to share information.

Better loyalty, less office politics, networking and communication are some advantages employees claim they get from using such a network. Employees can share creative ideas with the rest of the company.

The Prediction Market is another enabling tool which is a game that simulates the stock market. Here a person from the company can trade 'phony stocks' based on future events. It allows people to bring core philosophies to the table and enables open communication among employees.

According to an employee, the 'crowd' can communicate with the Geek Squad and the 'Zen Masters' to share ideas. This helps BestBuy serve customers better.

  • With 50 billion in revenue and in the distribution business, CEO Brad Anderson admits that the company was not built for this.
  • With technology changing rapidly, the customers are interested in how they can use their products. This information gives the customer multiple ways to do so.
  • Bestbuy is moving from a distribution company to a services to a solutions company.
  • Employees can take the lead now. This is murder on middle management.
  • Anderson says that this flips the role of the leader. Ideas from the field have more authenticity than ideas from higher ups says Anderson
  • Anderson refers to an energy pool, a knowledge asset which rises dramatically as employess are empowered to make decisions.
  • This marketplace replaces the old 'suggestion box'.
  • When a solution works in one place, Anderson can have a small 'army' experiment with the solution.
  • The Stock game allows make Chirstmas forecasts more accurately as it comes from insight from those in the stores. More information is shared and less is hidden.
  • Blue Shirt Nation: Employees can share information on the challenges in selling a certain item.
  • BSN allows further insight from employees.
  • Employees could build a better system than using outside consulting firms.
  • Those close to a product exhibit more passion and are more efficient than people from outside.
  • Benefits seen include: Getting people to sign up for the 401K. A video made by employees, that the board of directors disapproved with had an astounding effect on employees.
  • The turnover went down after this was instituted.
  • The key is to get an ROI. The brand has to be pushed.
  • The values of Best Buy must be entrenched for this to work.
  • Bestbuy has four values
  1. There has to be integrity: Trust and humility at every level
  2. The enterprise is in a constant state of flux: Embrace change.
  3. Unleash the power of people and their talents
  4. Have fun while being the best.
Customer Experiences:
  • Bestbuy strives to make customers know all they know.
  • They try hard to educate customers.
  • Customers can review items online.
  • In the future the customer could get the same information on the product that they get from CNET.
  • This needs a combination of a vision of the solution and the attributes to make the solution possible.
  • The combined knowledge of the Geek Sqad, the blue shirts and the customers can be used to Bestbuy's advantage.
  • Customers are willing to share suggestions on how Bestbuy can be better.
  • Customers who are disappointed with a product can broadcast it. Bestbuy can interact with customers via Twitter.

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