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.
- Crazy for customers!
- Crazy for Patients! (“Whole person”).
- People first, second, third.
- Breakthrough or bust.
- “Seriously cool.”
- “Virus management.”
- Tippy-top talent.
- “Solutions,” not “just” “satisfaction.”
- Self-control. (Customer/Patient/Student control.)
- Blue Ocean.
- “Mundane stuff” made great.
- Great demographic.
- The best. Period.
- Effective partnering.
- Play to win. (Offense > Defense.)
- Action! Always!
and some other commonalities:
- Focused on growth and revenue and “offense,” not defense and cost containment.
- 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.