Wednesday 27 July 2011

Justin King, CEO Sainsbury's - Breakfast Seminar

I had the fortune to attend a breakfast seminar with Justin King the Chief Executive of Sainsbury's. The venue was the magnificently refurbished St Pancras Renaissance hotel.

St Pancras Renaissance hotel

Justin talked for around an hour and was then good enough to stay for a further hour's worth of Q&A. Although those attending the session were from the construction industry, it was fascinating to listen to business experience from the retail industry and see how it can be applicable across sectors.

Justin's talk was centred around ten key items. He spoke around these items with respect to how he transformed Sainsbury's from a business that was failing to one that has now had 25 quarters of continuous growth.

Justin's ten key items were:

  1. Listen to customers
  2. Listen to colleagues
  3. Learn from the past – but don’t live in the past
  4. Agree that change is needed and agree where the starting position is
  5. Stand for something
  6. Recruit the right people
  7. Leadership and followship
  8. Admit your mistakes
  9. Think like you're number two
  10. Enjoy it

The London 2012 Olympic rings at St Pancras Station

His final advise to those in the building design industry was:

  • You cannot afford to wait for growth to come
  • Work out what you do that makes you special
  • Work out how you can grow your market share in the current market

The magnificent interior at the hotel

Later in the day I walked past the amazing Shard 

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