Really interesting post. I totally agree with your points about the turnaround being driven primarily by this realignment of the operational and business models. In my view, one of LEGO’s core strengths has been their ability to adapt the brand across various mediums as technology has evolved. As you mentioned, there are LEGO video games, but also the LEGO Movie in my mind was pivotal moment for the brand. As the physical toy brand is able to brand out into video games and movies, it is no longer just an item to be stocked in FAO Schwartz, but instead can be considered more of a lifestyle simulation game (i.e. The Sims). In my opinion, this versatility is a core competency of the company that played a large part in their ability to recover as they did.
Great post! As an avid Instacart user, I totally agree with the value they are able to deliver to customers. It is truly a great service, particularly now that they have partnered with Whole Foods. One thing I would consider though is their ability to offer items from multiple stores in the same order. While, this is certainly a nice benefit to the consumer, as you mention above, logistically, I would imagine this is highly inefficient. One delivery person would need to travel around to multiple places in order to complete the order. One way to address this would perhaps charging a premium for multi-store orders (they might already do this…I’m not sure). In any case, these multi-store orders will also increase the company’s order through-put-time (#buzzword). It’s an interesting trade-off because the company would have to make a decision in which value delivered to the customer would need to be sacrificed in order to optimize the system. I’m not sure what the right answer is there, but it’s an interesting dilemma.
Nicely written article. You clearly did your research. I’m not sure I entirely agree though with your main premise that Valeant’s acquisitive roll-up strategy in place of any meaningful R&D program is indicative of operational and business strategy alignment. Valeant has chosen to pursue a structure in which M&A has replaced organic growth via R&D under the premise that this is more cost effective. As Valeant continues to grow, the minimum required size of such an M&A deal is going to increase because otherwise it wouldn’t be enough to “move the needle” in terms of driving growth. As the company grows, the pool of viable potential deals that Valeant could pursue in place of R&D continues to shrink. As this pool of potential deals shrink, Valeant will need to lower the bar in terms of quality of deals it will pursue in order to continue this growth trajectory. Thus, in an effort to continue M&A driven growth, Valeant is going to be forced into pursuing lower quality deals as it gets bigger. Valeant management also recently announced that it was going to start increasing R&D spending (not to the extent of some of theirs, but more than they have historically). This would suggest that after some turbulent times, they are starting to warm up to the more traditional view of R&D spending.