This week, after years of making disparaging remarks about third-party food delivery services like Uber Eats and Grubhub, Domino’s Pizza had a change of heart.
As Forbes reported – “Domino’s executives have signaled a reluctance to work with other food delivery companies for years. Then-CEO Ritch Allison told CNBC in 2019 that the company had ‘a very strong and profitable delivery business,’ indicating Domino’s didn’t “have to decide to get in or not” as some food delivery companies—including Uber or GrubHub—continued to grow before the pandemic.”
As they say, if you can’t beat them, join them. The great thing is it worked – their stock price shot up by 10%.
What we all can sometimes forget is that it’s OK to alter course. As the famous economist, John Maynard Keynes once said, “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, Sir?”
Some leaders would rather die than alter course because they think it makes them look weak.
It’s an ego thing, but then again, at the high-powered corporate level, what isn’t? Actually, the easiest way in the world to look weak is to refuse to alter course just before you slam the ship into the iceberg. So it goes.
When we think of power, we like to frame it in terms of us imposing our will upon the world. Think Superman, Frederick Nietzsche, or King Cnut famously commanding the waves to stop bringing in the tide.
Yet in his book, Principles, Ray Dalio, the founder of the world’s most successful hedge fund, Bridgewater, describes winning as a result of not imposing one’s will upon the world, but allowing the world to impose its will upon you. To have reality treat you kindly, first you have to know what reality actually is, rather than worry about what you’d like it to be. Dalio has a great way of describing this: he says to be successful as an investor you “have to bet against the consensus and be right.” “How things should be” is irrelevant.
Though we concur with Dalio’s idea, the bad news is, taking one’s ego out of the equation is REALLY hard. Most of us can’t do it, and the ones who can, rarely do it ALL of the time. We’re all sinners.
So kudos to Domino’s. They had a difficult choice to make, and they made it.
They also decided to keep their existing delivery drivers, instead of cutting costs and using Uber’s and Postmates’ drivers instead – protecting what makes “them, them” and keeping their quality and their culture intact in the process. Win – win.