How Whole Foods Is Helping Put 'A Stake Through The Heart Of Bureaucracy'

Whole Foods, grocery store

Photo: Flickr / Andreanna Moya Photography

Management guru Gary Hamel presented at the Women’s Wear Daily CEO Summit in New York City this week.”We’ve been kicking bureaucracy in the shins, but we haven’t delivered a knockout blow yet,” he said. ‘We have to put a stake through the heart of bureaucracy.”

Whole Foods is a company at the front of that movement and Hamel cited a specific example of what it’s doing to help kill bureaucracy.

The retailer gives each of its stores $150,000 each year, explained Hamel.

And they can do whatever they want with that money.

For instance, a store used the cash to add a bar, which ended up being a huge hit with female shoppers. These bars serve craft beer and local wine. They’re usually located near the wine section.

“This is about creating community in the store,” said co-CEO Walter Robb as the concept was expanding.

Now there are 60 Whole Foods locations that have bars.

And none of this might have happened if they had to fight through a bureaucracy.

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