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What makes Companies Successful?

What makes companies cool and successful? Tom Peters, the original “Excellence” Guru dissects some companies and has a kind of running list.. that he has recently updated with the characteristics:

X.06/Success Factors: Whole Foods Markets (high-end, experience-design, demographic) … Starbucks (people, experience) … Wegmans (people) … Commerce Bank (nuts about customers, WOW, people, execution) … Apple (design-experience, breakthrough, “virus management,” resilience, talent, “seriously cool”) … London Drugs (design-experience, people, “solutions”) … Griffin Hospital/Planetree Alliance (customer-centric, “whole person”) … The Met School/Big Picture (engagement, self-control) … Carl Sewell (experience!) … Progressive Insurance (speed, IT) … Stanford women’s sports (demographic, Blue Ocean) … Stanford D-School (design-biz-engineering, Blue Ocean) … HSM (execution, experience) … WSB (integrity, broad view of customers, execution) … Build-A-Bear (experience) … RE/MAX (people/”create success stories”) … Donnelly’s Weather Strip Service (high end, execution-reliability, simply the best) … Jim’s Group (imagination-Blue Ocean, demographic, customer-centric) … Cirque du Soleil (talent, R&D, Imagination, resilience, design-experience, partnering) … U.S. Grant (execution, delegation, people, K.I.S.S., action-at-all-costs, win, bold ) … Horatio Nelson (execution, delegation, people, K.I.S.S., action-at-all-costs, win, bold) … Stew Leonard’s (people, experience-design, Wow) … DeMar Plumbing (experience, people, Blue Ocean)

* the ones in italics have in his words “screwed up but there is still a lot to learn from their glory days”

and what the factors in general? Here is a good list:

  • High end.
  • Experience.
  • Design.
  • Crazy for customers!
  • Crazy for Patients! (“Whole person”).
  • Wow!
  • People first, second, third.
  • Breakthrough or bust.
  • “Seriously cool.”
  • “Virus management.”
  • Resilience.
  • Tippy-top talent.
  • “Solutions,” not “just” “satisfaction.”
  • Engagement.
  • Self-control. (Customer/Patient/Student control.)
  • Blue Ocean.
  • “Mundane stuff” made great.
  • Great demographic.
  • The best. Period.
  • Effective partnering.
  • K.I.S.S.
  • Play to win. (Offense > Defense.)
  • Bold!
  • Action! Always!
  • Integrity-as-strategy.

and some other commonalities:

  • Focused on growth and revenue and “offense,” not defense and cost containment.
  • People-talent.
  • Provide mind-bending experiences. (Driven by design primacy.)
  • Nuts about customers.
  • Happy to use words like “Wow.”
  • Pretty close to the high end of the market.

Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh – the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and “drishtikone”.

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