Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 42

> WHAT'S NEXT...

Thinking Like a Startup

H

PHILOSOPHY APPLIES TO TRADE ASSOCIATIONS TOO. > By Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE

Having just returned from the National Association of Chain
Drug Stores' Annual Meeting, I want to share some of the
thinking that is guiding NACDS, and that is transferable
throughout the retailer and supplier ecosystem. What matters
most now is the constant transformation of a business, of an association, and of an industry - because the consumer is under
constant transformation, too.
In his new book, The Anticipatory Organization: Turn Disruption and Change into Opportunity and Advantage, Daniel
Burrus presents helpful perspective on the need for transformation and the practice of creating it.
Burrus says that agility is not enough in times of rapid
change. He says it is possible for organizations to anticipate the
future, to develop strategy, to execute, and to win. This book is
about identifying things that are nearly certain to happen -
the "hard trends."
To state the obvious, one of the hard trends in retail today is
the need to satisfy the consumer's desire to obtain the products
that they want and need - and in the way that they want to
receive them. This involves a mix of technology-enabled processes, as well as vibrant in-store experiences.
From the standpoint of public policy, which is one of the
primary areas of focus for NACDS, one hard trend is that some of
the greatest opportunities to advance pharmacy patient care result
from demonstrated effectiveness in meeting public health needs.
That was the case with the expansion of pharmacist-provided vaccinations following pharmacy's success in helping to prepare for
flu outbreaks in recent years. That is the case now with developments in point-of-care testing for flu and strep.
This discussion of "hard trends" can be highly effective as
individual companies chart their course, and as retailers and
suppliers collaborate on programs designed to meet consumers'
needs together.
Another author provides interesting perspectives on how best
to develop strategy, and how best to execute, in light of these "hard
trends." Jim Collins, the author of highly actionable books, including the iconic Good to Great, published a related monograph
titled Good to Great and the Social Sectors - Why Business
Thinking is Not the Answer. Its perspectives are informative for
associations and businesses alike. Collins urges that "we must
reject the idea - well-intentioned, but dead wrong - that the
primary path to greatness in nonprofits and associations is to become 'more like a business.'" He reminds us that not all businesses
are great. He says that discipline in planning, people, governance
and resource allocation is a greatness concept, which applies to
associations, too.
NACDS has chosen to use some new words and guiding

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Retail Leader.com MAY/JUNE 2018

principles to talk about
its role, and they relate in
many ways to the thinking
of Burrus and Collins.
NACDS is committed to
acting more like a startup,
and a think-tank. Both are
big on collaboration and
listening, which make it
possible to solve problems,
and meet needs. Retailers and suppliers must
collaborate, and they must
listen to each other and to
consumers, to survive and
Steven C. Anderson, IOM, CAE
to thrive.
One of the ways that
NACDS acts as a think tank and as a startup is through our
"Access Agenda" - which encompasses our government affairs
and public policy work, and our thought leadership on how
best to address complex and related societal issues.
Here is our case: Pharmacies provide access to better healthcare
every day; and we are here to provide access to health and wellness
policy solutions. The Access Agenda is about taking the accessibility and the trust of pharmacies and pharmacists, and putting
them to work even more for the American people.
The Access Agenda has three parts: tough defense, aggressive
offense, and working as partners for stronger and safer communities. Tough defense refers to preserving patients' access to
pharmacy care. Aggressive offense refers to enhancing access to
newer pharmacy services. Working as partners for stronger and
safer communities refers to serving as part of the solution to the
opioid abuse epidemic, and engaging in communities to help
solve societal needs.
The Access Agenda is how NACDS has chosen to position itself
to confront the "hard trends" described by Burrus; to pursue the
"greatness" described by Collins; and to listen and collaborate like
a think tank and startup.
This approach is quite similar to the service standards and
credos identified by retailers and suppliers to unite team members - and partners - for the common pursuit of satisfying
the wants and needs of today's changing consumer. Whatever
the vision, the key is to harness change and translate it into a
strategy for transformation. RL
Steven Anderson is President and CEO of the National Association of
Chain Drug Stores.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Leader - May/June 2018

Contents
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover1
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover2
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 3
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Contents
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 5
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 6
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 7
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - 8
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Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S1
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S2
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S3
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S4
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S5
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S6
Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - S7
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Retail Leader - May/June 2018 - Cover3
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