Onward: How Starbucks Fought For Its Life without Losing Its Soul (Anglais) Relié – 13 avril 2011
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Descriptions du produit
Revue de presse
the story of how [Howard] stabilised the company and brought it back to its core values. (Bookbag.co.uk, May 2011).
a tale of derring–do, traversing the globe and crowded with a cast of exceptional people the book is testament to [Howard s] drive and dedication. (Financial Times, May 2011).
The book is useful for anyone interested in leadership, management, and building a consumer brand. (The Market, May 2011).
an insight into the challenges faced by anyone keen to build a socially conscious business that is also highly profitable. (Director.co.uk, June 2011).
Schultz s story is incredible a book that shows big brands still have passionate beating hearts. (Management Today, September 2013)
Présentation de l'éditeur
Offering readers a snapshot of a moment in history that left no company unscathed, the book zooms in to show, in riveting detail, how one company struggled and recreated itself in the midst of it all. The fast paced narrative is driven by day–to–day tension as conflicts arise and lets readers into Schultz′s psyche as he comes to terms with his limitations and evolving leadership style. Onward is a compelling, candid narrative documenting the maturing of a brand as well as a businessman.
Onward represents Schultz′s central leadership philosophy: It′s not just about winning, but the right way to win. Ultimately, he gives readers what he strives to deliver every day– a sense of hope that, no matter how tough times get, the future can be just as or more successful than the past, whatever one defines success to be.
"Through the lens of his personal leadership journey, with all of its dizzying ups and agonizing downs, Howard Schultz has written, with aching honesty and passion, the single most important book on leadership and change for our time and for every generation of leaders. This book is not just recommended reading, it′s required."
Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California, and author of the recently published Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership
"[This] sequel to the founding of Starbucks is grittier, more gripping, and dramatic, and [Schultz′s] voice is winning and authentic. This is a must–read for anyone interested in leadership, management, or the quest to connect a brand with the consumer."
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From a different point of view this books confirms the view of the author of "How starbucks saved my life".
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
With that said, the book was still interesting in seeing the difficulty of micro-focusing on each individual customer experience while simultaneously macro-focusing on growth. There are definitely advantages to being on every street corner, but the more spread out the company becomes the harder it is to make that experience unique but consistent for those who want the same product and experience in any location, fast but leisurely for those who aren't in a hurry, and successful for the company that can't help but focus on growth when opening multiple stores every day. Schultz effectively describes all the variables he considered through this time period to "thread the needle" to get the best of this small and big focus.
While it's hard to recognize that the successful companies we depend upon are typically short-lived, this book does a good job of showing why. A founder's focus and commitment to the original vision for a company is difficult to pass on to successors who have to be equally if not more committed to pushing it forward and adapting to changing customer tastes and competitive threats. As Schultz points out here, his successors couldn't accomplish that even though they were good people. Like Michael Dell of Dell Computer, Schultz cared and resolved to come back and make the necessary adjustments to carry Starbucks through. The average CEO probably wouldn't do that. And--as other reviewers have observed--what will happen the next time Schultz retires. It's why so many businesses don't last over extended periods and inevitably submit to competitors who come up with better ideas.
Even several years after it was published, this book is a good read to understand these long-term challenges that all businesses face. Today--as Sears, J.C. Penney and (gasp) even Walmart--seem destined to fail, "Onward" helps to explain why killer business models must be constantly tweaked or else they will eventually stagger and then fail.
However, this is not another airbrushed account of a company’s spectacular success. This is an account of a company’s fall, and how it rose again. This is a detailed account of the glory, but also of the failures and misdirected initiatives.
For years Starbucks had been delivering exciting returns to shareholders, and their employees (called partners, ) shared in this success. It was the first US company to offer part-time employees the unusual benefit of medical aid and a share in the company in the form of stock options. It was considered “a great place to work.”
The founder, Howard Schultz had been running the company as CEO until 2000 and then assumed the role of Chairman. The company’s share price rose, it grew in size and profitability each quarter - until it didn’t.
In the pursuit of growth, the company has lost its way, not suddenly, but slowly and steadily.
At the heart of the problem was focus. The task of partners, the Starbucks name for employees, had always been to “deliver on the unexpected” for customers. The atmosphere of the stores was to be warm and friendly, the coffee customised, the service fast and friendly. Shultz had created what he called the “third place”; there is your home, there is your office, and there is your coffee shop. At the third place, one paused to read, or meet, or think, or simply to grab a cup on your way to or from work or during work.
The company was opening as many as six stores each day! Every quarter Wall Street and Starbucks’ executives expected shops to exceed past performance by showing increased revenue. For the past 16 years they had achieved 5% quarterly growth. This unsustainable achievement has two requirements: To achieve it you have to give it your full attention, and other matters cannot get your attention.
As Schultz visited Starbucks stores he recalls noticing that they were no longer “celebrating coffee,” and focusing on the customer experience. They were focused on serving Wall Street, and as he puts it: “Our customers deserved better.”
The act of returning as CEO requires many changes at many levels, and the book describes these pain filled implications in detail. Decent, hard-working executive have to go. The company’s staff have to continue to trust the company with their livelihoods at the same as they are facing some hard and painful truths. Those who have invested their money in the company have to trust it with their wealth, which they can so easily withdraw.
Shultz had spent the two years before returning to run Starbucks observing and talking about what was wrong with Starbucks. The dominating idea at the centre of his thinking was to reignite Starbucks connection with its customers and its love for coffee.
The manner in which he returned to head the deeply troubled, wide spread, huge company would be critical to the success. Unlike the descriptions of this type of planning in other accounts of turnarounds, this has a human, authentic feel, not a clinical and ‘professional’ one. It is told from the perspective of a man who is passionate about his company, the icon he had built, and the revolution in coffee drinking he was so proud of.
To make matters worse, his return was after the company’s worst three-month performance in its history as a public company and during a national economic meltdown.
The book does not describe his solution; he didn’t have one. It describes only his road map and commitment to create long-term value. “I felt as if the team and I were racing to fix a sinking ship while at the same time charting its course and setting sail. And it didn’t help that the economic waters were getting rougher.”
The roadmap was founded on his aspiration: To become an enduring, great company with one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world, known for inspiring and nurturing the human spirit.
The turnabout had seven goals, many of which would mutate as more of the company’s woes revealed themselves.
The first goal was to get back to the origins of the company’s journey by focusing on the product and becoming the “undisputed coffee authority.” It was Schultz’s love of coffee and coffee shops that started the journey, not a quest for wealth, or spotting an opportunity. He was able to assert with pride that through their history only 3% of the world’s highest-quality Arabica beans were ever good enough to make it into their stores.
The second goal was to engage and inspire the staff, so often overlooked as a company lurches from one failure to the next. Starbucks had always believed that they were a people business that sold coffee and needed to reinforce this.
The third goal was to focus on the emotional attachment their customers have with the shops. This subtle, way off balance sheet issue, is always at the heart of a retailer’s success. The depth of this emotional attachment surfaced when the decision had to be taken to close 600 shops in the US that were underperforming and could never perform. 70% of these had been opened in the previous two years when the company lost its way as it focused on Wall Street. Customers of those shops wrote, called and petitioned Starbucks not to close “their Starbucks,” such is the connection people have to Starbucks.
The book is not a text book on how to fix a deeply troubled business. No two failing business are ever the same. It is definitely the best book on the subject I have found, and one that will inspire those charged with a turnaround with its thought provoking approaches.
Readability Light --+-- Serious
Insights High -+---- Low
Practical High ---+- Low
Ian Mann of Gateways consults internationally on leadership and strategy
Howard Schultz is the passionate CEO of Starbucks. He loves coffee. He loves the company that he grew into the ubiquitous purveyor of coffee worldwide. Sometimes, his company even makes a good cup of coffee. As a business, it is hard to argue with their success. Until 2007, Starbucks was a consistent growth company, which kept expanding and expanding. In 2007/2008, they hit a wall. Quality declined. Customer satisfaction declined. Revenues didn't grow. After retiring as CEO earlier in the decade, Schultz convinced himself and his board that he should be brought back to reinvigorate the company. In dramatic fashion, he shutdown all of the stores for a day to retrain the staff (i.e., "partners") on how to make coffee; he disposed of the hot sandwiches that were stinking up the stores; and, he closed many unprofitable locations. What he wouldn't do is cut back on the quality of the coffee or benefits for employees. Those were values near and dear to him. The turnaround succeeded and the company found its groove again.
The results for the company were impressive. The boldness of Schultz's moves are noteworthy. Shutting an entire chain of retail stores for a day was a bold move. There is a lot to learn from him as a turnaround operator--have a defined mission and set of goals; know the values you cannot compromise on; act decisively; be willing to consider all options, even very difficult ones.
So what's wrong with a great turnaround story? Nothing. It is the book itself that has flaws. The book tends to repeat itself (lots of material about how well employees are treated and how even part-time employees get benefits). Also, the book at times becomes an advertisement for the company. It occasionally reads like an infomercial. Finally, Schultz seems to preach at times rather than tell his story. It is a fine line but it comes across to the reader. What is great about the book is the honesty and Schultz's openness.
Two elements of his turnaround are worth mentioning. Schultz swears the best cup of coffee comes from a French Press. I tend to agree. He found a small company in Seattle that invented an inverted press system called Clover. It is used to brew coffee. The results are fantastic. (I had a cup of coffee from the Clover system. What a cup of coffee!). Second, I was a bit surprised to learn that Starbucks' web-presence was so anemic in 2007/2008. But, I guess if you are focused on the coffee, you can miss a few things.
By way of contrast, I am going to re-up my recommendation to read Steve Jobs. While Schultz comes off as a far nicer human being, Jobs also had to turn around himself and his company and did the latter at least with dramatic success.
Very interesting to read how new products came to be and others went by the wayside. Would have liked more details into how some of the decisions were made but how often do we get a CEO writing this frank about a company he dearly loves. What really comes across is how what can only be viewed as a self indulgent commodity can generate so much profit worldwide. Although the economy forced many people to cut back on their trips to Starbucks, those people were the first to go back when their situations improved. That ultimately is what continues to drive Starbucks "Onward".
I use to be a regular customer until my local Starbucks quit serving their Blonde roast after 11am. As Mr. Schultz points out it is the Partners at the local level that makes Starbucks thrive as a whole. Keep the store comps up by selling what the demand is for.
Many of the chapters dragged on and I found a lot of the stories and lessons very repetitive.
However, I will add that I still admire Howard Schultz and everything that he has brought to the world in the Starbucks company. I also respect his business values and work ethics and feel that he is one to learn from and emulate. He fought the recession head on and was able to bring starbucks back to its glory.
My first suggestion to readers would be to read the first book mentioned above. Then you can read this book as sort of a suffix or even a quick read.
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