We lived in California just as The Grateful Dead was gaining popularity. However, our music style came out of a different era. Yet, The Grateful Dead continue to have a lasting presence. In particular, a quote from the leader Jerry Garcia that I use in every presentation and should be a core value for any business or organization.
“You do not merely want to be the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.”
Excellent product / service + excellent customer care = an excellent business
Really very simple….however a challenge for business in general. Our local Kroger has hit on the customer care part very well. Dick is the greeter-type person….he wanders through the store….talking to the customers with a big smile on his face. Annie also roams throughout the store with a free sample of Starbucks coffee (yes, there is a Starbucks coffee shop in the store). I am sure Dick and Annie are worth every penny of their salary. They help make a rather routine chore an enjoyable experience. The other Kroger store in town: no Dick and Annie….an indifferent experience.
I have always been a proponent of growth in business….simply because a growing healthy business creates value. It provides value for ownership, customers, the folks who work within the business and the community. Chris Gibbons in Littleton, CO has been a long time advocate of Economic Gardening.
The Business/Industry Affairs Department is the economic development arm of Littleton. The department is responsible for ensuring the economic health of the community (creation of well paying jobs) and the City of Littleton (sales tax revenues). The department runs an internationally recognized program called Economic Gardening which provides high-end, corporate level tools for any Littleton businesses. The department provides market research, competitor intelligence, industry trends, marketing lists, strategy development, web optimization and customized research for any business inside the city limits at no charge.
Economic Gardening has reached many areas of the US as well as other parts of the world. It needs to be a critical part of any group that strives for business excellence.
We have heard the philosophy: “Lead, follow, or get out of the way!” Our family business in Michigan during difficult times in the Midwest economy had to adapt a better philosophy.
Lead…Learn…or not be in business.
To compete and survive….today….it’s mandatory to learn about new markets, new customers, new technologies…new and different ways to do business. It’s more than being the best. It is being the only ones who do what you do. And the only way to accomplish that is to keep on learning.
Vineyard Vines was started in 1998 by two brothers. The initial product was ties….yes those colorful scarves that men wear around their necks. Since then they have expanded into other clothing that portrays a specific upscale life style. I do have a Vineyard tie….it is very nice and somewhat pricey ($75). While a higher end product….Vineyard Vines does know their customer and executes their business very well. Part of their philosophy: “we have fun and know our customers do to.”
I like to see the authors of the sites I look at. So a photo of me. Consultants often look for things that are wrong. I believe that there are great opportunities regardless of the challenges of business. Our goal is to project a postive view realizing the potential that exists for well led….well executed business.
I read these guys every day. Tom Peters, Oren Harari (usually posts once a week) and Seth Godin. The links are on the right in Blogroll. If you want to be the best at what you do in business than these folks are must reads.
- Tom Peters is one of the best big picture business thinkers and has the background to prove it.
- Oren Harari is excellent at taking business and organization ideas and making them work.
- Seth Godin knows the real world of marketing in a dynamic economy.