If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember that getting the Sears Wish Book was a highlight of the holiday season. We would pour through the pages, soaking in all of the options that we might ask Santa to gift us. Then the Sears catalog went away, and eventually, Sears went away, replaced by the online giants such as Amazon.

So, it was a puzzlement to me to learn that Amazon mailed out a holiday catalog this year – real paper sent in “snail mail.” It seems to be antithetical to their entire business model. Even more astonishing is that they have opened up a physical presence – a 4 Star Store – in a mall, no less. (Everything in the store is rated 4 stars or higher.) The company that essentially delivered the death blow to malls and catalogs is embracing both strategies this holiday season.

Amazon’s move is indicative of “phygital” where you merge the best of a physical environment and digital presence. Instead of one or the other, it’s now both. It turns out that deep down, we’re a tactile bunch and prefer to have some physical interaction before we buy.

Amazon has just raised the bar for everyone. How will your organization respond?

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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