Did Toys R Us Become Extinct?
Toys R Us will likely be a memory in a matter of weeks.
That stirs up a boat load of emotions for many of us.
For me, it conjures up the toys of my own children; Barney, Pokeman cards and Star Wars miniatures. This certainly dates me — and once again confirms that time will fly, whether we like it or not.
The same axiom also applies to the quickly evolving environments in which organizations live.
I frequently discuss how organizations have gone down the wrong path; how they’ve made the worst of decisions or invested in top leadership that has only led to problems. Usually, these discussions can draw a certain link between actions and outcomes. But, I’m not sure this is entirely the case with Toys R Us. Yes, they could have been more agile, shifting more intently to a focus on customer experiences. Yes, they could have been more concerned about becoming a destination — and more than a massive warehouse of dolls and trucks and basketballs. Yes, they should have been more mindful of Amazon and the e-commerce landscape.
However, I have a lingering feeling these weren’t the only reasons that Toys R Us is leaving us.
You see, as an organization Toys R Us represents a by-gone era. A time when children only played with toys. When they were not glued to a screen of some sort. The brand represents a time when lingering in a toy store was on the “to do” list.
Somehow I can’t blame all of that on them.
Toys R Us simply become extinct.
The environment wasn’t able to support its species any longer.
That is an outcome, I may not be able to live with.
Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.