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Retail Intelligence

Being Right vs. Getting it Right

A retail executive told us they felt that their organization is too rigid and employees do not push the boundaries of their creativity. Risk-taking is discouraged and has been for some time.

Instead of generating new ideas, employees worry about “coloring within the lines.”

In other words, they want to be right — like trying to get all the answers correct on a test.

This reminded me of former NBA player Joe Dumars, whose working credo is cited as “It’s not about being right, it’s about getting it right.”

Dumars should know a thing or two about getting it right. His resume includes being a two-time champion as a player and winning another as an executive. He was also named the NBA’s Executive of the Year in 2003.

Imagine a culture of getting it right: people feel encouraged to take risks without fear. This can unlock new ideas that would otherwise stays on the shelf collecting dust.

Vans is looking to get things right too. Listen to the recent buzz about the new VF CEO, Bracken Darrell, and what he intends to do to revive the brand. There is an effort to get executives away from dull day-to-day tasks and focus on product innovation.

A big part of that is changing the culture of trying to be right. Darrell says in a WSJ article that “People running the brands started to feel like they had to ask permission to do everything,”

That’s no way of embracing risk-taking.

I doubt anyone has died from trying new things to grow a business and having it fall short of expectations.

There’s always an opportunity to go and get it right.