LP Magazine

MAY-JUN 2018

LP magazine publishes articles for loss prevention, asset protection, and retail professionals covering shrinkage, investigations, shoplifting, internal theft, fraud, technology, best practices, and career development.

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24 MAY–JUNE 2018 | LOSSPREVENTIONMEDIA.COM A Culture of Innovation Building on the Insights and Ideas of Those Willing to Think Outside the Box S avvy leaders shape the cultures of their departments to drive innovation. They know that culture—the values, norms, unconscious messages, and subtle behaviors of leaders and employees—will either enhance or limit performance. This type of creative thinking can be encouraged and rewarded, or discouraged. What's important is that we take the steps to get it right. It's the power of open minds that often leads to the greatest and most productive results. In fact, we need not look any further than our own loss prevention community for answers. Whether originating with our peers across the industry, our solution provider partners, or from within our own teams, the past, present, and future of loss prevention will be built on the insights and ideas of those willing to step up and think outside the box. So how do you develop a culture of innovation? For perspective and input we turned to executive leadership from three leading solution providers to discuss their thoughts on the subject. What do you see as the greatest motivation to encourage the loss prevention industry to be more innovative? HOANG: The retail industry is going through some dramatic changes. Technology has presented consumers with more options on how and where they can purchase products and services than ever before. Competition is no longer restricted to the vertical or market arena that each individual retailer has been competing in. In an effort to maintain market share and increase sales, retailers are trying new ideas and redirecting efforts toward customer-facing initiatives. This can leave AP with less money to invest. Today's AP leaders are tasked with being more productive while using fewer resources. They will need to find ways to add value throughout their entire companies in order to stay relevant and avoid significant budget cuts, taking on more responsibility while embedding themselves in areas that may not traditionally be associated with asset protection. Simply put, doing the same things AP has always done won't be enough. With dwindling resources and refined investment strategies, being creative and driving innovation will become the norm. SELL: Some $50 billion is still stolen or lost in retail annually, which is an increase from previous years. This is the market reality that should automatically motivate us. Until this number is much closer to zero, we will need better ideas and solutions. Not trying new things is not an option, even in a mature industry like ours. In his book Only the Paranoid Survive, Andy Grove of Intel said twenty years ago that "sooner or later, something fundamental in your business world will change." In retail, we see change almost daily that requires new thinking. DUNN: The retail industry may be one of the fastest-changing industries in the US. Siloed technology solutions are a thing of the past. Amazon has redefined the nature of competition in retail around technology and data, and every retailer needs a response. The only way to navigate a path through this environment is to be constantly testing, learning, and innovating. We see some companies where innovation thrives and others where it's nowhere to be found. As a solution provider, what are the conditions that make disruptive innovation most likely and productive? SELL: Innovation starts with people. The naturally curious tend to feel that the more things stay the same, the more it's like running in sand. So first you need to have people with the right mindset. Then you need to build a structure that allows trial and error. This means having meaningful motivators to reward the turning over of rocks and the challenging of status quo. It also means accepting a certain failure rate and not punishing innovators who are trying to produce something new. It doesn't hurt to have a process that fosters regular attempts to innovate either, such as allowing employees a certain number of hours per week to work on projects of their own choosing or having cross-functional teams that meet regularly to brainstorm. Ideas don't come from the genie in a bottle; they are almost always the result of a multistep process that requires time and discipline. DUNN: The biggest factor that distinguishes innovative retailers from those that aren't are the quality of "change agents" within the organization. Change agents are able to see a better future, articulate that future in clear and convincing ways, and gather the resources to make that future the organization's Brittain is editorial director for LP Magazine. Prior to joining the magazine, he was director of learning design and certification for Learn It Solutions, where he helped coordinate and write the online coursework for the Loss Prevention Foundation's LPC and LPQ certifications. Earlier in his career, Brittain was vice president of operations for one of the largest executive recruiting firms in the LP industry. He can be reached at JacB@LPportal.com. By Jacque Brittain, LPC PERSPECTIVES Steve Sell Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing, CONTROLTEK USA Vy Hoang Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, i3 International Randy Dunn Sales Director, America's, Inventory Intelligence, Tyco Retail Solutions continued on page 26

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