Sometimes Good Is Better Than Brilliant

Have you ever heard of VF Corporation? Well, I hadn’t heard of the company until I read an article in Fortune magazine called How a 100-year-old apparel firm changed course. It turns out that VF owns a bunch of familiar brands like Vans, Lee, Wrangler, Nautica, Eastpak, Reef, and The North Face. The article talks about how VF converted its strategy to focus on “lifestyle brands” that appeal to consumers’ desires for fashion and status.

While discussing how the company shifted its strategy, Mackey McDonald, Chairman of VF Corp, provided this fantastic insight:

We realized we didn’t have to come up with brilliant ideas – we needed brilliant ways of executing good ideas.

My take: Very well said! I expect to be repeating this quote a lot in the future. It captures two concepts that I think are important:

  1. You often get the most bang from your buck (or ROI on your effort) if you figure out what is “good enough.” (The 80/20 rule)
  2. You should focus your efforts on things that you can actually implement.

The bottom line: Hopefully you found this post to be good, or at least brilliant.

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

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