AP Interview Room

Management Decentralizes Power

to Turn Retail Crisis into Opportunity

Raymond Lam

The ongoing pandemic has posed significant challenges to the retail sector, and for those selling non-essential products, their business situations have been distressing. Raymond Lam, General Manager of Hong Kong jewelry brand MaBelle, was able to overcome this difficult time thanks to the MPower Technologies Limited (MPower) he founded three years ago. Since then, he continued to invest in the development of this online customer engagement platform and introduced Autopilot Leadership to enhance team performance from a management perspective. MPower's online platform has provided traditional retailers with online sales solutions during the pandemic and encouraged management to empower frontline staff to improve performance, helping businesses to sustain their businesses during the retail downturn.

Empower Frontline Staff to Set Up "One-Person-One-Store"

MPower's online customer platform is designed to empower frontline colleagues becoming "small business owners" and build their own mini-stores through the web. With the freedom of putting the products of their choice on their platform, staff can individually communicate with their customers having the options to complete the sales transaction online or at a physical store . “Being empowered as the mini-boss of the company's online store, our colleagues have treated our business as their own, which enabled the team to establish a common goal. They were more motivated to achieve the sales target when they feel trusted by the company,” said Raymond.

Share the Same Goals to Improve Performance Effectively

MaBelle was the first team to implement the MPower online customer platform. Raymond shared that when he first setup this platform, his team was still learning as they deployed it; so he relied much on their suggestions for improving the platform’s performance. “Each time we developed a new feature, we would improve the platform based on the feedback from our colleagues rather than the pure judgment from the top management. This bottom-up approach is especially important during the start-up phase of a company, guiding its progress in the right direction.”

Raymond added that his frontline colleagues were pleased to have more control and room for development and running a business also boosted their personal growth. The entire team shared the same goal and boosted the company's performance. As a result, MaBelle established a good example of turning a crisis into an opportunity. Witnessing the positive impact brought by MPower’s technology solution, a number of retailers have also expressed interest over the past six months to incorporate this online platform with their businesses.

Learn to Trust Colleagues through Autopilot

Having introduced Autopilot Leadership to the company's management for two years, Raymond believes it has helped his business in two significant ways. First is "common goal", which enabled his company and staff to work in the same direction. “New ventures will inevitably face a variety of challenges, so it is important to establish a common goal, in order to help the entire team steer towards the same direction from time to time,” Raymond said. Second is “effective empowerment”, which encouraged colleagues to develop “their own business”. He added that it is always easier-said-than-done for the management to let the team have a free hand to try things out. However, leaders need to still being more patient as it takes time to gradually build an Autopilot Leadership culture within the team. “Try to trust and engage your colleagues more with less reliance on your decision-making.”

Through MaBelle's trial of MPower's online platform on adding a product recommendation feature to the platform as an example, Raymond decided to connect the online traffic with the mobile phones of his frontline colleagues directly. “While a typical business may try to drive online traffic to its physical store or company website, we link it to our employee's mobile phone to increase the chance of closing a deal with more personalized intimacy. In order to achieve this, the company’s management team must effectively empower their colleagues.”

Identify Company Objective & Find the Right Talent

Although the nature of MaBelle's and MPower's businesses are very different, Raymond believes that choosing the right talent for the right position is one of the keys to success as well. He explained that traditional companies focuses more on employees’ practical experiences; while new businesses focuses on staff’s work attitude, personality, curiosity, entrepreneurial spirit, perseverance, and the adaptability to changes. “Employee attributes can directly impact a company’s culture, especially for small-scaled Startups. Only through finding the right employees can we build a mindset that is constructive to the development of the company, and craft a positive corporate culture from Autopilot Leadership’s inspirations.”

Raymond concluded that the culture of a company reflects on its day-to-day operations. The Autopilot Leadership ModelTM really offered his team many co-creative opportunities, increased his team’s participation rate and established a healthy culture for the company.

If you also wish to explore how Autopilot Leadership can inspire your company, transform its culture, and lead it to success and achieve business continuity, schedule a one-hour free consultation session with us today via hi@allab.com.

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