Service + Leadership

Fewer, Better People

The first time I heard the concept of “fewer, better people” was in an executive education session taught by my colleague and mentor Earl Sasser several years ago.  I have been captivated by the idea ever since, the idea of …

, , ,

Airline Fees: A Race to the Bottom

A recent NYT article touched on the issue of charging airline passengers fees for small components of the service experience.  How close are we to the world that a Southwest commercial famously parodied, where customers have to scrounge for quarters …

, , , , , ,

Toyota in Trouble (the quick and dirty version)

What happened at Toyota? Mr. Toyoda himself summed it up nicely, as the NYT recently reported.  In a nutshell, Toyota thrived when it focused on improvement. When that focus shifted to growth the company ran into serious trouble: In his …

, , , , ,

Are Acquisitions Making You Soft?

Are you buying your customers or truly winning them over?  Whether you grow organically or by acquisition can matter a great deal to long-term performance.  This is not always obvious in the way we evaluate managers — growth is growth …

, , ,

Are Your Employees Serving You or Your Customers?

I had an unfortunate service experience recently involving Boston Coach, or more specifically, a Boston Coach affiliate.  Boston Coach is a car service known for its national network of premium taxi services.  I get tremendous value out of the service …

, , , , ,

IBM’s Turnaround: Taking Service Seriously

I recently discussed Google’s response to the service demands on its new Android phone.  Google has prided itself on excellence, but has come up short with the Android offering, where hands-on service is a critical part of getting it right. …

, , , , ,

Will Amazon Kill the Zappos Magic?

In a recent NYT interview Tony Hsieh (pronounced “shay”), CEO of Zappos, described his management priorities in this order:  culture first, service second.  This may come as a surprise to anyone who has first-hand experience with the Zappos service model, which …

, , , , ,

Google’s Service Problem

The NYT recently described Google’s customer service supporting its new Android phone.  The article described how customers can’t call Google for help and that it may take up to 48 hours for the company to respond to email messages.  The …

, , , , , , , ,

Leadership at Home

Elizabeth Weil – who is now working on a “memoir about marriage improvement” called No Cheating, No Dying – wrote a riveting piece for the New York Times Magazine about trying to improve her own relatively functional marriage.  The project …

, , ,

The Patient Has a Soul

The title is from the opening pages of the Cleveland Clinic’s Annual Report, which quotes Dr. Rene Favaloro:  ”the patient is not only an illness, he has a soul.”  I came across the quote as I watched my colleague, Ananth Raman, teach …

, , , , ,