Business Model & Cultural Model – The Caleres Story

As we think about changes we must make when considering a new opportunity or addressing a challenge, changes to our business model or our business strategy come to mind first. How do we compete? How do we make a profit?

Diane Sullivan transformed Brown Shoes from a collection of unrelated shoe companies into Caleres, a $2 billion international firm managing footwear brands including Sam Edelman, Allen Edwards, and Dr. Scholl’s. The transformation required a new business model and a new cultural model. Both were required for success.

My published article outlining the changes Diane Sullivan brought to Caleres is available HERE. She started by asking the question, “Who are we?”

I want to thank Larry Siff for bringing Diane to Boston in the fall of 2021 to speak at his C Level Community breakfast. The article builds on her remarks at the event and my conversations with her afterward.

COVID-19 became my Chief Innovation Officer,” was how Diane described her response to a 90% drop in revenue at the beginning of the pandemic. My earlier blog on how Diane used this near-death experience to drive innovation is HERE.

Palm Fan – Warmth and Sun
Yes, there are blue skies. But, grays and browns are New England’s colder month colors. I get away to warmer weather when I can. The greens and yellows of the palm fan speak to me of warmth and sun.