Uncommon Service Blog

Friday, February 24, 2012
One of the most powerful acts of leadership is often the easiest to overlook:  the decision to remain standing.  As my obsession with Lincoln continues, I find that I’m most moved by his ability to simply endure.  Lincoln revealed a pattern of political brilliance, but he often chose the wrong... more ►

Friday, February 24, 2012
Rev. Peter Gomes is the inspirational leader at the heart of Harvard’s Memorial Church, if not the university as a whole.  As I was reminded yesterday in a service dedicated to Harvard veterans, he is among the most effective communicators alive today. Even in this Age of Obama, where our... more ►

Friday, February 24, 2012
HBS Publishing is now hosting a blog called Imagining the Future of Leadership, which includes a six-week series on how leadership might look in the future.  This week's focus:  leaders for the future, where I posted on Suze Orman: Defying the Standards/Empathy Tradeoff.

Friday, February 17, 2012
Here’s our fundamental view of the world:  uncommon service is not about trying harder or deciding that your customers are always right.  It’s about making careful design choices in the blueprints of a business model.  It’s easy to periodically do whatever it takes to make a customer happy. What’s... more ►

Thursday, February 16, 2012
A Southwest Airlines airplane at the gate at Lambert Saint Louis International Airport in Saint Louis Missouri USA.

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Here’s our fundamental view of the world:  uncommon service is not about trying harder or deciding that your customers are always right.  It’s about making careful design choices in the blueprints of a business model.  It’s easy to periodically do whatever it takes to make a customer happy. What’s... more ►

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Welcome! We’re thrilled to be restarting a less formal, more direct conversation with you about the challenges of service and leadership.  This is an extension of our previous blog, which we suspended for too many months to finish the Uncommon Service manuscript.  To those of you with the patience... more ►

Saturday, February 11, 2012
How to Win by Putting Customers at the Core of Your Business It should come as no surprise that the primary driver of our economy is no longer what we make but how we serve each other. Eighty percent of jobs in the U.S. and 80 percent of the gross national product are currently tied to the service... more ►

Friday, February 10, 2012
"As Holmes said, when someone tries to sell us a simple answer to a complex problem, it will be simplistic and worthless. But if someone first grinds deeply through its complexity and then offers a simple explanation, it is priceless. Frei and Morriss have distilled a very complicated problem-the... more ►

Sunday, May 2, 2010
I was intrigued by a recent NYT interview with Omar Hamoui, founder and chief executive of the mobile advertising network AdMob.  Hamoui argued that organizational insecurity led to deep resistance to discussing problems: When people are insecure, they just tend to hide and bury [problems]. The bad... more ►

Friday, April 16, 2010
Solving our immigration problem feels like a classic public sector challenge – the issues at stake are things like border enforcement and protecting vulnerable populations (lower-skilled native workers, illegal migrants).  This is a job for pundits and policymakers.  Capitalists have companies to... more ►

Sunday, March 28, 2010
In response to our post on Youngme Moon's Different, one of our readers asked, "what criteria do you use in determining the quality of a good business book?"  It's a great question, and the answer is probably far more subjective than we want it to be. I'm personally looking for the mix of... more ►

Sunday, March 21, 2010
Last year I posted about the research Dennis Campbell and I did in financial services where we found the surprising result that self-service can increase costs (the article was just published in Management Science.)  Dennis and I have been working with Ryan Buell, a fantastic doctoral student at... more ►

Monday, March 15, 2010
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 building an organization that cultivates and rewards excellence in its... more ►

Sunday, February 28, 2010
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 to open up the overhead bins?  Not far, it seems... more ►

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