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Bring on the criticism

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in Human Resources,Leaders & Managers

Being a lightning rod for criticism has its advantages.

Just ask Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott, who says criticism has led to new business opportunities.

When people criticized the company for not providing adequate health care for its employees, Scott and other managers tried countering with facts, such as the percentage of employees with insurance.

Then a consultant pointed out how much energy they were spending rebutting accusations. Instead, why not focus on what would help employees with their health insurance?

Not only did Lee’s team find ways to improve employee health care plans, they realized that many of their customers probably wanted a less expensive way to get health care, too.

So Wal-Mart set up in-store clinics that offer standard treatments and services for low, fixed prices of $19 to $59. The company plans to open several hundred more clinics.

—Adapted from “Criticism May Produce Innovation, Wal-Mart CEO Scott Says,” Margaret Steen, Stanford GSB News.

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