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)