Last year, I wrote a post about market leadership. And it is interesting to see the move by Home Depot to increase salary as an investment towards increasing market share and dominance. Retail and service are being automated more and more with the improvements in technology and rise of AI. It is not so much about the existence of the technologies as they had existed for a long time. But the investment made over the years have accumulated and mass acceptance have reached this stage where broad-based adoption becomes increasingly common.
In the situation where capital investment in machines and technology becomes a more level playing field for companies, the edge that companies can get from replacing humans with machines becomes smaller. But it takes market leadership to decide that the new basis of competition is probably not about having more automation than the competition but to be able to attract and motivate the best frontline workers serving the customers and making their day.
Market leadership is not about following what the rest of the industry is doing but deciding what is the next basis of competition and focusing on those parameters. Scale helps but more critical is the courage and strategic thinking of those in charge.