business news in context, analysis with attitude

An email from MNB reader Suzanne Crettol saying that my criticisms of thee likes of Instacart is exactly what she likes about them:

What I like about platforms like Instacart and Amazon Prime now is how many of my favorite retailers are available to me in one place.  For example, in my area of San Diego, I have access to six different grocery stores (Costco & Whole Foods included) as well as BevMo, Petco, & CVS via Instacart.  Though Instacart charges an annual fee, Amazon Prime Now only requires that you spend $35 per order per store to wave the very reasonable $5 delivery fee and includes two hour delivery.  What I don’t like about individual retailers managing their own eCommerce delivery is that I’d have to order from multiple sites/apps, which will never happen with me.  It’s time to face facts that retailers got beat by companies like Instacart and Amazon, but there certainly are opportunities in outlying areas – though I doubt it would be cost effective.

My two cents anyway.

From another MNB reader, on another subject:

I for one really appreciate the commentary you provide about the sexual harassment cases that have been cropping up. You use your platform to bring light to issues that many of your readers - probably those that are complaining about you spending too much time on this topic - don’t want to think about. By talking about these issues, it forces those who wish to pretend that it isn’t happening to acknowledge the fact that sexual harassment isn’t some fictional problem that doesn’t affect the majority of women.

And another:

With social media, the abused have options besides "hoping" company leadership will do something about it.
Leaders should have a “voice in their heads” talking to their teams about this topic, both on a personal and leadership level.
My own “voice in head” came from being wrongly accused of sexual harassment back in 1985, by a female subordinate who felt overlooked for a promotion. I was lucky; she told one of her friends about her planned action and her friend called my Boss and left an anonymous voicemail after hours. The caller left enough details so that when my colleague lodged her “complaint”, it was reviewed carefully by company counsel before I was called into the situation.  Also helping my case immensely was that I had written up every 1on1 business interaction (stuff shared with my colleague but not my Boss), not only with her but with all others I led.  The end of a very long story is that my colleague was dismissed from the company.  I was grateful to my colleague’s friend (whom I did not know) for doing what was right, but the situation left an unforgotten lesson. 

In my career roles that followed (since 1985), I’ve always told my all direct reports on the first day of work that if I ever did anything that came close to sexual harassment in their eyes to go directly to my Boss and report me – and that I’d appreciate knowing what I did, if they felt comfortable enough telling me directly. 
As I’ve mentored managers and directors over the past decade, I’ve shared this lesson and used my own experience to ask them to consider their encounters with company associates, particularly at company events (holiday parties, national sales meetings, etc.) and whenever alcohol is served.  One doesn’t want to become paranoid about sexual harassment but following the “voice in your head” is never a bad idea. 
Another point: Good leadership on this topic isn’t missed by your team.

And MNB reader Alison Petersen wrote:

Thank you for being obsessed with the sexual harassment issue.  It’s not going anywhere until people get obsessed with it.
KC's View: