Twenty years ago, Tom Peters wrote this classic which now acts a beacon in these changing times. Here is my take on his advice.

A General Electric executive has pointed out 9 out of 10 acquisitions are a waste of time and a destruction of shareholder’s value

McKinsey study in 1986 of acquisitions made between 1972-83 a mere 23% increase shareholder value. Highest success rate was small acquisitions in related fields. Largest failure rate was acquisitions of large organisations in unrelated fields.

  1. Characteristics of successful firms:
  2. Flatter structures
  3. Populated by more autonomous unit Orientated towards differentiation
  4. Quality and service conscious
  5. Constant innovation in all areas
  6. Partnership with all parties connected to the organisation
  7. Leadership that loved change
  8. Measuring and reporting the right stuff

Marketing should focus on market creation not market sharing

Ten new differentiators with products / services each 90 days

Top management commitment to quality means focusing on a lot of big things and little things

Create a parallel structure for quality management

Each day the quality of a product or service is getting a little bit better or worse

Quality is what a customer says he needs not what your tests indicate.

A well-handled problem usually breeds more loyalty than you had before the negative incident

Work out the ten-year value of the customers a team is supporting. Then assess their training, their status, their resources they have

Sales incentives should be geared to existing customers not new ones.

Some considerations on customer satisfaction:

  1. Surveys every 60-90 days
  2. Using an external survey company
  3. Measure direct and indirect customers
  4. Results in the customer satisfaction study should be the “go or no go” for share of bonus pool
  5. Wide communication of customer satisfaction results