Senior Housing and Target Corporation

One of our esteemed colleagues here at Ecumen was recruited away by Target Corporation to help expand their in-store clinic venture. The creativity and big thinking that she provided in senior housing and aging services will serve Target well.Speaking of Target, there was a May 7th Wall Street Journal interview with Target’s top executives. Two comments from president Gregg Steinhafel are particularly of interest for senior housing and long-term care professionals working to innovate. Here are the excerpts: WSJ: How do you keep coming up with cutting-edge merchandise and marketing ideas …?We reward innovation, we recognize it, we talk about it a lot. We look for innovation globally in every corner of the world in everything we do, whether it’s architecture or marketing or merchandising or new technology systems.We share ideas so that a good idea in one part of the company can translate to another. We have the line Simply Shabby Chic, for instance, and we’re able to say well, you know, that has application in pets. Now who’d have thought that you could take print and pattern and what we do in dinnerware and put it on doggy bowls? We’re structured in a way that fosters innovation. WSJ: How do you balance taking creative changs with minimizing risk?It’s important that we push the envelope and that we fail. I’ve described on my conference calls a number of merchandising initiatives where we pushed too far, too fast. Like domestics where we got a little out in front of ourselves with too high a thread count in sheets and too many top of bed products at high prices. We recognize that when we do fail, we make the course corrections and we don’t penalize the teams that have made these calculated risks.(Gee, senior housing would have looked nice on top of that new Target store in downtown Minneapolis. Seniors and baby boomers say that they love to be close to shopping … A Target senior housing development partnership … interesting concept.)