There are blogs that focus on original (or somewhat original) content and thinking, and there are blogs that focus on cataloging and linking to interesting things. metacool is mostly about the former, but once in a while I find something remarkable that I want to pass along, like this:
I’ve built my professional life around putting humans at the center of business activities. To that end, I love this Cool News bit about a Mr. Butts of HEB, my favorite (really!) grocery store in Texas. Want to create a better offering? Create a culture of deep empathy for your users — HEB gives employees $20 and tasks them to see what it really feels like to feed a family of four for a week on that bill.
For those that don’t live in the Lone Star State, HEB is a big box supermarket like most you would find other places — excepting that most folks also know that it’s family owned and operated, and until recently wasn’t open on holidays out of respect for their employees.
Despite its position in the industry, they are also innovators, having lauched a chain of gourmet supermarkets as well — check out the link
Note the subtelty of the HEB connection. Central Market stores are antithetical to much of the conventional wisdom of food retailling.
And they are working. The first one was in Austin during ’93, now there are about ten.
So, Mr. Butts’ innovativeness draws him to invest not only a twenty dollar bill at a time, but in this case hundreds of millions of dollars. Employees (“Foodies”) are in the center of these stores as well.
Thanks for the info, Houston. I’ve been to the HEB in Port Isabel, TX several times, and thought it was a great place. Now, it’s no Whole Foods, but it is a very good mainstream grocery store. Now I know why.
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