ai perfect store

AI and the Perfect Store

“Don’t worry that I’m yelling at you, worry when I stop” ~Bobby Knight


Bobby Knight known as “The General” was considered one of the greatest basketball coaches in the history of college basketball coaching the Indiana Hoosiers to 3 National Championships and 11 Big Ten Championships.  He was recognized as National Coach of the Year 4 times and Big Ten Coach of the Year 8 times.  Even coached the USA Olympic team to Gold medal in the 1984 Olympics.  “The General” brought the best out of his teams with extreme discipline and hard work.  Many considered him a genius.  Legend and Legendary.


Bobby Knight was a Tyrant.  Having coached at Army, he developed a militant style of coaching.  Verbally abusing players, consistently asserting punishment for making mistakes.  In the 90’s and early 2000’s this was the optimal style of leadership.  Making his teams’ “tough” by forcing them to endure extreme pressure and abuse.  Expose your weakness, embarrass you in front of your teammates, use your shame to fuel the work ethic needed to fix your flaws.  The goal is perfection at all cost- no exceptions.  Old school.


The Pendulum…

 With most extremes, the pendulum swings equally in the opposite direction eventually.  The other side of Bobby Knight is the “Everyone gets a trophy” mindset considered “weak” and complacent.   Many say the next generation is soft (as every generation accuses the next one).  Coddled by parents, ignoring bad behavior, rewarding participation over results.  Parent Cheerleader.  If Bobby Knight used a stick, this was a carrot… a soft fluffy stuffed animal type of carrot.


Feedback is a gift

I’m not here to provide parental advice.  I do want to draw attention to the difficulty corporations and leaders have with providing feedback.  Fear of being accused of bias, losing employees or defensiveness in the form of “blame fixing” or “plausible deniability” becomes unnerving.  Feedback, at least finding areas that need to be fixed, and ensuring they get fixed is one of the most important aspects of leadership.  Sometimes fixing these problems can be the difference between keeping your job or being fired.

Getting to problems fast so we can solve them faster


Although this quote can be applied to all aspects of your organization, it’s critical when executing at retail.  Organizations that can assess problems faster, often solve them faster and gain a competitive advantage.   Feedback, or the way problems are communicated, should not need to be delivered by a “Bobby Knight” type or hurt someone’s feelings, rather it should be considered the critical data available to maximize sales and performance. 

SOPHOP (Soft on People, Hard on Points)

Considering feedback as data could be considered a part “everyone gets a trophy” mindset, however, the point is that data, collected without inherent bias encourages getting to problems faster without the drama.  The truth of the matter is that retail is a dynamic environment where the “Perfect Store” is tarnished as soon as someone buys something.  We need instant feedback when things go wrong, it we don’t fix them, our competitors surely will.   Tracking problems over time and across regions help Leadership address chronic problems that require a broader approach.  I believe that when you rely on the data, it enables Leaders to be hard on points, not employees, to help focus on generating a competitive advantage.

This is exactly the time technology like AI-Image Recognition come in.  AI Visibility places DATA as the common “points” to manage rather than the employee.  Sure, explaining the data will invoke its own set of defensive mechanisms, however, when the data generated from AI is unbiased taken from the shelf in real-time.  No disputing the source, no bias, no drama.  All Action.

Now, let’s get to work!

Check out our “Executing Perfection” Series where we explore how AI-Image Recognition technology from Vision Group can help Brands, Retailers, Distributors and Wholesalers solve common problems in the CPG Industry.  To learn more about the power of AI and customized solutions for your business, contact Jason DeRienzo at

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