Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Inspiration from Starbucks

Posting about breakfast sandwiches v. coffee at Starbucks prompted me to re-read the notes I took when I visited them in 2006. Putting these together with recent comments from CEO Howard Schultz, I came away with six ideas for transforming business. And I’m talking businesses of all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to be a multinational to learn from Schultz's wisdom.

1. You have to learn more to earn more. If you want bigger profits, you need new skills. If you keep your people’s skill level at where they are today, you’ll keep doing the same things you do now, tomorrow. New skills bring new ideas and new energy.

2. Surprise and delight with new products. Your clients deserve it. Your customers demand it. So what are you waiting for?

3. Deliver big ideas. At Saatchi & Saatchi, we have plunged into shopper marketing with Saatchi & Saatchi X and it is changing the way we do business and the way we think about world-changing challenges like sustainability. Don’t get slowed down in a mire of incremental change. Run with scissors.

4. Feed your mistakes to the lions. The only delivery that counts is flawless delivery. Anything less puts you in at number two, if you’re lucky. If you have a 100 Day Plan, live it. If you don’t, please don’t tell me you haven’t got a 100 Day Plan.

5. In a Blue Ocean the best sort of ship is Leadership. Put together the most creative people you know and stand back. If they don’t surprise the hell out of you, change them. At Saatchi & Saatchi we have created the best leadership team I have ever worked with - so watch out for fireworks.

6. Don’t pay for stuff you don’t need. If it doesn’t work, get something that does. Be bold, be brave. It's not about confidence, it's about courage. (Thank you, John Parker)


Piotr Jakubowski said...

That last one seems so integral. As the margins get smaller and people's attention begins waning, it's important to trim the hedge in terms of spending money. I know ROI is a lot more client-side vocabulary, but if you can prove it to a client, the proposition becomes that much more convincing!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin, I will add one more thing, 7. Don´t stop to learn and teach when you can make it


Manuel Álvarez from El Salvador

Rush Waghorne said...

It does seem that much of leadership is making the right "people" decisions ...nurturing creativity, but always being conscious of results...and if the results are not satisfactory, being willing to move on and make changes. Love the newsletter! ~~Rush http://www.waghorne.tv

elle fagan said...

Staying small is no respite from the need for big ideas like yours, Kevin Roberts.

My little art gallery online is in development again for upgrades.

So far, I have the cleanup about done, for the freshness, and there are new things along the lines of your notes absolutely on the board: SISOMO ; improved navigation; lights in the store.

And all of it done to connect in the right way with the sort of visitor my site attracts.

They want to give me money to do it now, which is nice: the first years online for a focused little gallery are exhilirating, but lonely, and gritty.
I wanted more children and was told in college that women in business, while not losing sight of the creative core, should avoid thinking, all that much, of their business like another child...gets too sloppy, but rather, get away from that thinking and get balanced and globally interactive, without fear.

I had to raise my price, if they expected all that! :-)
I'm doing it, and liking it very much!
And notes like yours do help! I am not feminist and like to read some from a range of writers. Then I feel that my conclusions are objective and really right for me.

Thanks again for sharing !

Anonymous said...

Since being in business my favourite saying is 'a dollar spent is a dollar gone'.

All the 'pretty stuff' THAT I LOVE will have to wait.

Rita said...

Hi Kevin,

OK, so you don't need to be a multinational but, what happens if you're sure you have a good idea in your hands, you've taken the idea to the step where all there is to do is to get it produced, marketed, advertised and on the shelves and all you hear from those to whom you've presented to is "Oh, the idea's fantastic, only our company doesn't have the money to get if off the ground". It's an idea bound to turn something extremely traditional to something to suit all ages, genders and even nationalities. OK, Kevin, I'm talking about an idea that has to do with food innovation and I agree it's not the easiest of fields but, I must also say that in the past 4-5 years I've met managers and industrialists who use the word 'innovation' to wash their mouths and nothing more than that. Honestly, sometimes I wish was born in the USA just like the Boss and not in sunny, beautiful Italy.

Thank you for reading.

Rita, Parma, Italy