Annotated master (“the works”) presentation/ Tom Peters’ Re-Imagine excellence!



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“The greatest satisfaction for management has come not from the financial growth of Camellia itself, but rather from having participated in the vast improvement in the living and working conditions of its employees, resulting from the investment of many tens of millions of pounds into the tea gardens’ infrastructure of roads, factories, hospitals, employees’ housing and amenities. … Within the Camellia Group there is a strong aesthetic dimension, an intention that it should comprise companies and assets of the highest quality, operating from inspiring offices and manufacturing in state of the art facilities. … Above all, there is a deep concern for the welfare of each employee. This arises not only from a sense of humanity, but also from the conviction that the loyalty of a secure and enthusiastic employee will in the long-term prove to be an invaluable company asset.” Camellia: A Very Different Company ($600M enterprise/$160M pretax profit/#3 tea producer/etc.)

  • You can “do it” (people REALLY first) with tea estates, for heaven’s sake—and reap extraordinary profitability.
  • (FYI: Camellia: A Very Different Company is an uplifting book of the first order.)
  • The Good Jobs Strategy: How the Smartest Companies Invest in Employees to Lower Costs & Boost Profits —Zeynep Ton, MIT Sloan School
  • Notes: Cases all retail, include Costco and Trader Joe’s.
  • E.g., Costco: Average hourly pay $20.89—40% greater than #1 competitor, Sam’s Club.
  • Read this.
  • (Book group choice?)
  • “In a world where customers wake up every morning asking, ‘What’s new, what’s different, what’s amazing?’ success depends on a company’s ability to unleash initiative, imagination and passion of employees at all levels —and this can only happen if all those folks are connected heart and soul to their work [their ‘calling’], their company and their mission.” —John Mackey and Raj Sisoda, Conscious Capitalism:
  • Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business
  • Mackey is the CEO/founder of Whole Foods.
  • (The book is a gem; I’ve given close to 50 copies away.)

Brand = Talent.

  • It’s obvious for football, symphony, university faculties. Why not business?

Our Mission TO DEVELOP AND MANAGE TALENT; TO APPLY THAT TALENT, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, FOR THE BENEFIT OF CLIENTS; TO DO SO IN PARTNERSHIP; TO DO SO WITH PROFIT. WPP

  • Profit ROCKS.
  • Profit is: DERIVATIVE.
  • (I normally run from mission statements. This is about the only exception to that rule.)
  • Les Wexner: FROM FASHION TRENDS GURU TO KICKS FROM PICKING/DEVELOPING PEOPLE!*
  • *Limited Brands founder Les Wexner queried
  • on astounding longterm growth & profitability:
  • It happened because “I got as excited about developing people” as he had been about predicting fashion trends in his early years.
  • “G-E-N-I-U-S”
  • Getting more and more cantankerous (short tempered!)
  • about this: Job #1 (& #2 & #3)
  • is to abet peoples' personal growth. All other good things flow there from.
  • My idea of a gen-u-ine "genius“
  • "breakthrough" idea: If you work your heart out to help people grow, they'll work their hearts out
  • to give customers a great experience.
  • I repeat. This is NOT rocket science.
  • "When I hire someone, that's when I go to work for them.” —John DiJulius, "What's the Secret to Providing a World-class Customer Experience"
  • DDOs/Deliberately Developmental Organizations
  • “These companies operate on the foundational assumptions that adults
  • can grow, that not only is attention to the bottom line and the personal growth of all employees desirable, but the two are interdependent. Both profitability and individual development rely on structures that are built into every aspect of how the company operates. … Decurion and Bridgewater [cases] offer a form of proof that the quest for business excellence and the search for personal realization need not be mutually exclusive—and can, in fact, be essential to each other.”
  • E.g., At Bridgewater Associates, every employee (new hire to CEO) has a “crew” that “supports his or her growth, both professionally and personally.”
  • Source: “Making Business Personal,” Robert Kegan et al., HBR/04.14
  • DDO is a “WOW!” in my book—and this is my “book.”

“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” —Ralph Nader

  • Leadership opportunities abound—for all of us, all the time. (See Betsy Myers’ wonderful Take the Lead: Motivate, Inspire, and Bring Out the Best in Yourself and Everyone Around You.) The idea per Mr. Nader—and the DDOs cited previously—is to get everyone thinking and acting like a leader. Development accelerates—and the customer is the ultimate beneficiary of a staff that seizes the moment without muss, fuss, or order shouting.
  • Leaders all!
  • (Of course!)



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