What it takes to lead in an ever-evolving industry

Global Ecommerce at Pitney Bowes is a leader in a market that is growing at double digits. To be a leader in an evolving industry, there are four tenets.

Wed Nov 18 12:58:54 EST 2015

The Global Ecommerce business at Pitney Bowes is a leader in a market that is still in its early days and growing at double digits. While consumers are less inhibited about shopping around the world, only about a third of retailers offer cross-border shopping. We can help retailers make that leap. We have an incredible opportunity in front of us, but we have to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving market.

To be a leader in an ever-evolving industry, there are four critical tenets.

1. Never lose sight of the client. Successful leaders understand that we only win, when our clients win. With the market changing constantly, keeping your client as your North Star creates focus and helps avoid bad business decisions. Leaders who exhibit client-centric behavior strive to be two steps ahead to ensure customers are getting the most value from your business and will recommend you to others. In the global ecommerce business, we see that the global consumer is what drives a lot of what is going on in the industry. Retailers who embrace the consumer-centric model are willing to be innovative, test new programs, and embrace new technologies.

2. Complacency is your biggest competitor. When you have first mover advantage, realize that it is an advantage today – but you need to be ready for tomorrow. Leaders should encourage innovation across the business and across all functions. We are in the midst of a large integration of two market leaders in Global Ecommerce. Both groups have terrific track records. However, it is apparent that what we are doing today as one organization, we could not have done yesterday separately. We have more scale, more technical assets, more capabilities, more breadth, more global reach. We need to be forward-looking in our strategy and priorities.

3. Risks are good, but if you fail, fail fast. A good leader finds opportunity with every action, decision and project. No matter if the project is wildly successful or a failure, there is always room for improvement. Leaders must act quickly and be willing to adjust when necessary. As an example, we have a solution that was developed to quickly on-board retailers to the cross-border experience. In pilot, the value to retailers was speed. Once launched, it became clear that there was more value to the retailer. The benefit of the end-to-end experience creates scalability, lowers costs, and integrates faster. The lesson learned was that we needed to quickly adjust from pilot to product as well as create a new message in our go-to-market plans.

4. Strategy provides focus, however strategy rides on culture. Having a clear, direct strategy that your team can rally around provides direction, supports decision making and gives a rallying cry. That said – strategy is only one part of the story for a leader, you need to be mindful of the culture you want in your organization. Inspiration should never be underestimated. If your strategy requires client focus, your culture needs to reflect this. It is about creating listening posts for clients, celebrating clients, and recognizing the front-line teams that serve your clients.

To be a leader in an ever-evolving industry takes courage, determination and lots of hard work. The reward comes from building an incredible business that makes the difference for our clients, employees and the market.