What a great way to start a question. Not what should we think about, or who, or when or even why, but how.
This is exactly how Jamie Dimon, the iconic CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase posed the question to a team he assembled in 2017 to think about Amazon. While I’m curious why he waited until 2017 to ask this question, it is exactly the right way to frame it. The list of specific questions he could have asked is long—what will we do if Amazon decides to get into the banking business, or what can we do to compete against Amazon, or how can we partner with Amazon.
But this very question, how should we think about…leaves the door open for all of the possibilities, considerations, and options.
I saw this approach first-hand when I recently experienced a new model for retail called Icon Siam. Calling it a mall wouldn’t do it justice. It opened in November 2018 in Bangkok. With over 500 “stores” and 100 “restaurants” it may sound overwhelming and just a new version of an old format. It’s not. Restaurants have been reimagined. Stores have no walls, banks feel like luxury hotel lobbies, cars are for sale, and street food is mixed in with local vendors located around the corner from Louis Vuitton and Cartier.
This is a reimagined, blended, immersion in Thai and international cultures, food, products, services, indoor playgrounds, theaters, entertainment, spas, pharmacies, everything you can imagine, and more.
The brains behind this project didn’t start out to make a better mall. They imagined an attraction that was irresistible to people from every walk of life, nationality and demographic.
So, before you dust off last year’s plans for your own major attraction, ask yourself and your team…how should we think about what our industry, our profession, our members, and our organization needs to accomplish to advance the opportunities and address the challenges of our time?
And how should we accomplish it?