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This is Jeff Jones' response to the Gawker article.


I shared this message with Target’s team members moments ago. As I told them, the truth hurts, but it can also set you free.


To say that the last five months at Target have been difficult is an extraordinary understatement.

The data breach we suffered rocked consumer confidence and ignited a nationwide discussion about phishing, cyber-security and the realities of living in today’s data-enabled world. Thanks in large part to social media, it looks like this will have been one of the most covered business crises in American history.

And just last week, our CEO stepped down after six years in position and 35 years at Target. His departure has already spawned over 6,000 articles wondering and speculating about what happened.

You’d think that these two incidents alone would create enough pain to last a brand a lifetime but one of the most challenging things that has happened, in my opinion, have been reports, some attributed to unnamed team members, that paint a picture of a culture that is in crisis. When a recent post on a well-known blog called me out by name, it only felt right that I should respond.

In reading this account of life at Target, I’ve gone through a range of emotions – first anger, then wondering why any team member would say what they said. And while it was difficult for me to read this account for many reasons, the reality is that our team members speaking with honesty is a gift. Because much of what they are saying is true. While we would have preferred to have a conversation like this with the team member directly, speaking openly and honestly, and challenging norms is exactly what we need to be doing today and every day going forward.

To quote French novelist Emile Zola, “If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”

Target is not the first brand in history to hit a rough patch. And we won’t be the last brand to do what it takes to recover. I’m reminded of Apple and Harley-Davidson, both near bankruptcy in the late 1990s and mid-1980s respectively. Or Starbucks that lost its way forgetting the power of the “third place” and the coffee experience. Or J.Crew, Lego, Disney, Wendy’s and Ford, which are all incredible brands that struggled at some time in their history. I’m also acutely familiar with the brands that did not recover and I am not interested in tempting this fate.

But the very real fact of the matter remains, we have hard work to do. The kind of work that is unafraid to challenge what we’ve known and what has worked in the past. The kind of work that expects more than ever from our team, and ourselves. The kind of work that will be uncomfortable, in order to make Target irresistible. Just this week I had a very open conversation with my marketing leaders and the gist was this…

Even on our worst day, we have assets most brands would covet. Tens of millions of consumers each week share their love for Target with their wallets and their voices. Hundreds of thousands of team members show up every single day to serve our guests and represents the best team in retail. We are taking bold risks and innovating like never before. But it is not enough.

The work ahead will unite us like never before because our guest is our bullseye, and our common enemy is apathy and indifference.

If you don’t believe this. If you are not reinvigorated at this very important moment in time. If you are too tired or too cynical for this work, please leave.

The culture of Target is an enormous strength and might be our current Achilles heel. In the coming days and weeks we will embrace the critiques of Target, -- whether it’s from outsiders or our own team -- like an athletics team puts the negative press on the wall in the locker room.

We are accelerating our innovation pipeline.

We are simplifying how decisions are made.

We are exploding cultural symbols of bad behavior.

We are searching for a new CEO…but in the meantime, we’re not standing still.

Yes, the truth hurts. But it will also set you free.

Our job now is to create a new truth and that is exactly what we are doing.




https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140513221110-3501295-the-truth-hurts
 

commiecorvus

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I'm surprised Jones quoted Zola as the writer was totally anti-capitalist--almost every page he wrote was a denunciation of the greed, brutality, corruption and hypocrisy that characterized French capitalism in his day.
In some ways his works and the principled stand he took on the Dreyfus affair, are responsible for the changes that have been made in that countries policies.
Somehow I don't think they will have any impact on Spot.
 
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then wondering why any team member would say what they said.

Probably because it's true to many many many people.

While we would have preferred to have a conversation like this with the team member directly, speaking openly and honestly, and challenging norms is exactly what we need to be doing today and every day going forward.

Because when we do attempt to speak openly, honestly, and articulately we typically get this type of response:

If you don’t believe this. If you are not reinvigorated at this very important moment in time. If you are too tired or too cynical for this work, please leave.


Saying "we need open and honest communication" and then telling people that voice disagreement with the company's current culture to leave only serves to tell us that you only want robotic Yes Men.
 
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what would be really really nice if because of this we could have a honest chat session where we could you know give our feedback and not be afraid of getting fired for no drinking the bloody kool-aid. But like most things Target smoke and mirrors. and the people who do speak up will get fired.
 
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I was thinking the same thing re: chat sessions. Now is a really good time for everyone to sit down and listen to their team, generic softball survey questions aside. It'll never happen, but a girl can dream.
 
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I was thinking the same thing re: chat sessions. Now is a really good time for everyone to sit down and listen to their team, generic softball survey questions aside. It'll never happen, but a girl can dream.

Oh how I wish this also but Nothing will happen because of this. or more accurately Nothing Positive. We might get some form letter nonsense read to us during one of our never ending morning huddles about how great the target kook-aid is, WRT to the Gawker email/letter(?).
 
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"If you don’t believe this. If you are not reinvigorated at this very important moment in time. If you are too tired or too cynical for this work, please leave."

Clearly he has not seen the overworked, tired, and cynical team members in his stores that were made that way by ill treatment and poor policies. If he was serious nobody would be left at the store level. Words mean nothing. Target has alwasy been good at words, they just suck at everything else.
 
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Clearly he has not seen the overworked, tired, and cynical team members in his stores that were made that way by ill treatment and poor policies. If he was serious nobody would be left at the store level. Words mean nothing. Target has alwasy been good at words, they just suck at everything else.

are you at my store?? wait are you me? did the cloning experiment work? was that 2nd liter Vodka really necessary?
 

Dr Laytex

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I'm surprised Jones quoted Zola as the writer was totally anti-capitalist--almost every page he wrote was a denunciation of the greed, brutality, corruption and hypocrisy that characterized French capitalism in his day.
In some ways his works and the principled stand he took on the Dreyfus affair, are responsible for the changes that have been made in that countries policies.
Somehow I don't think they will have any impact on Spot.

I thought he was quoting Arnim Zola and it was making perfect sense.
 

commiecorvus

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I'm surprised Jones quoted Zola as the writer was totally anti-capitalist--almost every page he wrote was a denunciation of the greed, brutality, corruption and hypocrisy that characterized French capitalism in his day.
In some ways his works and the principled stand he took on the Dreyfus affair, are responsible for the changes that have been made in that countries policies.
Somehow I don't think they will have any impact on Spot.

I thought he was quoting Arnim Zola and it was making perfect sense.

You're right, even this one made more sense.

 
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"If you don’t believe this. If you are not reinvigorated at this very important moment in time. If you are too tired or too cynical for this work, please leave."

Clearly he has not seen the overworked, tired, and cynical team members in his stores that were made that way by ill treatment and poor policies. If he was serious nobody would be left at the store level. Words mean nothing. Target has alwasy been good at words, they just suck at everything else.

Do we get unemployment? If he told TMs they could leave, they'd call it downsizing and they'd get unemployment there would be a mass exodus.
 
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When I read this article yesterday I really wanted to vomit. I'm new to this forum, however I am not that new to Target. I'm not thrilled that my first post will be a negative one, but this article is 100% crap. Target put themselves in this predicament. Please do not talk about the "value of third" or "embracing critiques from your own locker room" - I have seen and felt the retaliations of red scores (third) and attempting to tell the truth. The truths that I will tell will make the skin crawl off your bodies. My store operates like no other. Why stay there ? Because right now I am stuck there. I do love my job, I love what I do just not where I do it.
 
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What does he expect when you keep your team off-balance all the time with fear - loss of hrs, loss of job, crappy raises & reviews, etc.

not only loss of hours but expecting to do more with less hours and having the whole store at maximum stress trying to get everything done on a skeleton crew schedule.
 

commiecorvus

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I keep reading about ETLs being replaced every 18 months. Mine have been at my store for years.

It varies depending on area and the person.
The ETLs who aren't going to be advancing often wind up staying in the same stores for a long time.
 

mrknownothing

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I keep reading about ETLs being replaced every 18 months. Mine have been at my store for years.

It varies depending on area and the person.
The ETLs who aren't going to be advancing often wind up staying in the same stores for a long time.

This. ETLs are sometimes reassigned based on their performance and store/district needs.
 

Fyi

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Letters like this make me realize that they aren't writing to TMs. Tts just to ETLs and above. They could care less what the TM thinks.

I wonder if this delusional idiot's email is jeffery.jones@target.com ? maybe a few hundred emails from TMs to let him know really know whats going on would open his eyes?
 
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It may, but a large portion of tms who are actually invested enough to care about what's going on are too scared to say anything about anything. I don't have that problem, from my store leadership to our DTL,and to the corporate team when we had an assessment visit. I was hoping the 2 Gawker letters would open the floodgates and more people would write in, but that didn't happen either.
 
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It may, but a large portion of tms who are actually invested enough to care about what's going on are too scared to say anything about anything. I don't have that problem, from my store leadership to our DTL,and to the corporate team when we had an assessment visit. I was hoping the 2 Gawker letters would open the floodgates and more people would write in, but that didn't happen either.

it would be real nice. but with how things are in a lot of places no one can take a risk, I know I can't. Not sacred so much as I really don't want to pay the price with the only gain being an unemployment check.
 
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