Each week we feature our “Friday Top Five” stories, which highlight five things we thought were interesting, notable, or culturally significant. This week we are showcasing stories on how leaders should communicate in these COVID times, how Neal Aronson is changing the way we eat one national food franchise at a time, and Zillow is offering contactless home tours, twitter is talking subscription models, Red Antler’s Emily Heyward explains how to get people obsessed with your brand, and of course, our 5+ story comes by way of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant’s trainer Tim Grover.
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Story-1:: How Leaders can engage with employees during a return to work
Overview: The following article authored by David Honigmann, Ana Mendy, and Joe Spratt and spoke on how organizations can start to embark on the reentry phase of the COVID-19 crisis and have defined four practices that can help them build trust and a sense of purpose for the long term.
- Lay the groundwork: Be sensitive to employees’ needs
- Honor the past: Address emotions directly
- Mark the transition: Recognize the power of ritual
- Look to the future: Embrace a new sense of purpose
Why It Matters: The stage of recovery will challenge organizations’ communications functions to become even more agile, as they shift between crisis response mode and every day, more future-oriented strategies. Leaders will not know all the answers, and team members need to stop expecting them to have those Answers. What leaders should have is strong communications skills, be open, candid, transparent, and above all, listen.
Link: McKinsey Article
Story-2:: Why Fast Food’s Smartest Operator Is Expanding When Business Is Terrible
Overview: Neal Aronson has spent the past decade buying iconic brands like Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Jimmy John’s. But Covid-19 is terrible for restaurants. His solution? Buy more.
Why It Matters: The restaurant and hospitality business was one of the industries hit most hard by COVID. Doors have shut and or will close and never reopen. That being said, some restaurants got scrappy, and others are getting smart. They have figured out new revenue drivers to help alleviate some of the pain felt as a result of COVID. I am incredibly bullish on operators from large national chains through your local mom and pop restaurants who have figured out how to diversify their revenue streams. Examples being
- Revenue Driver-A: Traditional Dinner – Sit down and have a waiter
- Revenue Driver-B: Fast Casual
- Revenue Driver-C: Deliver
- Revenue Driver-D: Retail on the property or through a third-party
While there is still plenty of room to grow, the Forbes article does a great job at explaining how Roark and their Operating Partner Neal Aronson has done a great job of change it up and figuring out how to maximize an assets potential.
Story-3:: Zillow to launch self-tours of unoccupied homes, digital floor plans | ZDNet
Overview: Zillow said it is launching self-tours to its owned inventory to minimize contact and enable unoccupied home tours on flexible schedules via its app.
Why It Matters: This should come to no surprise that homes, not all properties should offer a digital tour. I am not shocked that Zillow is doing this, what I am shocked is that they haven’t figured out a way to remove the need for agents and let you completely view and purchase a home and remove much of the brokerage fee overhead from the transaction. Based on some of the other service providers in this space, I would not be shocked if this feature is soon to come to the market.
Link: ZNET Article Linked Here
Story-4:: Twitter is studying new ways to increase revenue with subscription model
Overview: We recently covered that Twitter was looking for engineers to work on a “new subscription platform.” Although the company edited the job listing to remove any mention of subscriptions, Twitter confirmed today that it’s looking at new ways to increase revenue with a paid service.
Why It Matters: Everyone needs to move into a SaaS model??? Over time more industries are going to start to conserved this as knowledge (information, data, and insights) and power. If you have those things, then people will want it and I want to get access to that data. One might also hope that Twitter will re-connect with one of its founders Biz Stone who by the way also started Medium. And winds ways to wave those two platform capabilities together, Twitter with short to the point updates, Medium with longer form contnet.
Link: Article Linked here
Story-5:: Red Antler’s Emily Heyward explains how to get people obsessed with your brand
Overview: During her 12-year tenure running Red Antler, one of the leading brand company for startups and new ventures, Emily Heyward (@emilyheyward) has launched more brands than anyone. In this session for TechCrunch Early Stages, she’ll share the modern rules of brand building, breaking down the traditional notions of how modern brands look, feel, and behave. Covering a few case studies and tactical applications, Emily will outline the best practices for driving obsession from day one while also building a foundation for longterm growth.
Why It Matters: I love branding and I love brands who recognize it critical to invest time and energy into developing a brand message/image/color/slogan etc. etc. to help connect people too said brand. While I have not personally worked with Emily or her team, I did just purchase her book, so we are practice family. In coming weeks, I will give a full book review along with lessons learned.
Story-5+1:: How Kobe’s Bryant (and Michael Jordan’s) training took them to the next level
Overview: Tim Grover highlights how he helped Kobe become a legend.
Why It Matters: If happened to watch the documentary ‘The Last Dance,’ you probably learned a fair bit about Tim as he was both Michael’s trainer and Kobes. What I love learning about is how some of these athletes were over-doing it, that even at the highest levels there is a lack of coordination even when people want the best for an athlete. So to hear how Tim essentially rallied the troops together and said we are going to do less, but it will be better is of interest to me. If I were to translate this to the business world, there is a lot of noise, there is a lot of “Stuff” we are told is important, then there is a sub-set of that “Stuff” which really moves the needle. If you have 20-Minutes, watch this video, Tim is a very passionate speaker and clearly knows a thing or two about how the body works and what athletes need to operate at the peak of their abilities.