4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Most Important Number,
This review is from: Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul (Hardcover)
"A store manager's job is not to oversee millions of customer transactions a week, but one transaction millions of times a week." (201)
It's been a long time since a business biography resonated with me as much as Onward did. In fact, I can't remember the last time.
Full of prudent advice, emotionally engaging stories and a testament to the power of executing on a clear vision, "Onward" is a story about Starbucks' ceo (they lower case all titles) Howard Shultz's return from retirement, and his mission to return the coffee giant into the passion-driven company he'd once envisioned.
FAVOURITE TAKEAWAY: In 2007, Howard Shultz returned from retirement to once again sit atop the world's most prominent coffee company. As Howard recounts, Starbucks had become a victim of its own success, focusing on growth for growth's sake, rather than staying focused to the core values of celebrating coffee in a way that embraced its inherent social element.
Regardless of the size of our businesses, the lesson from "Onward" is applicable to us all: when our focus shifts from providing value (and growing as a result) to growing for growth's sake, we make an almost invisible shift away from the soul of our business - a shift that can easily lead to capitulation and death.
Now, more than ever, the customer is expecting a wonderful, personal experience when they interact with their product or service companies. When you start seeing them as "yet another transaction," you disappoint that expectation; a disappointment that they likely won't tolerate for long.
"Onward" is a book written with passion. Howard Shultz shows how caring deeply about something, and then acting on that - even when those actions fly in the face of conventional wisdom - is not only personally rewarding, but leads to a solid bottom line. At over $10 billion in revenues last year and a share price that's risen over 400% since Shultz re-instilled his passion for people and coffee into the business, Starbucks is a shining example of how important purpose is to companies, regardless of their size.
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