In Search of Excellence Review In Search of Excellence is a book written by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman. It’s a book about marketing, but they never explicitly refer to the marketing concept. The marketing concept is to satisfy the customers of an organization, while still making profit and maintaining sustainability. Although the book is not explicitly about marketing, it does refer to this marketing concept. The authors agree that a company is only as good as its people and that although a company does focus on sales and product orientation, this is because the company wants to provide the best product or service for the customer.
Peter and Waterman talk about what excellent companies are in their minds. They say that an excellent company has “a sound mind in a healthy body. ” Profit is not the final end all, but what comes first in customer orientation. “Profit is like health. You need it, and the more the better. But it’s not why you exist. ” This is a new way of thinking about businesses. As far as the marketing concept is concerned, this is best exemplified by the example of Joe Girard. He was a salesman who sold two times as many cars annually then his closest competition.
His success largely came from the fact that he made his customers feel like he cared about them. He sent Christmas cards and letters even after he completed the sale. This means that the customers are satisfied and helps Joe Girard’s ultimate prosperity. Marketing principles are also seen in many of the companies that are mentioned In Search of Excellence show many of these concepts. For example, Fritos-Lay’s has a dedication to the customers that goes beyond the call of duty. Also, HP encourages their workers to adjust other workers’ designs.
Disney has something called “Cross Utilization Week. ” Executives wear costumes of Disney characters, work at food stands and rides employees a cross-functional policy. These excellent companies were selected based on profitability and sustainability. Peters and Waterman do not overtly use the marketing concept in their book, but they do refer strongly to its principles. Peters and Waterman spend a lot of time talking about the need to keep things simple. They talk about the McKinsey 7-S framework: Structure, Strategy, Systems, Skills, Staff, Style and Shared Values.
These are all connected to each other and can be seen as a good business model for change within an organization. They then talk about the Eight Basic Principles of an excellent company. These principles put simply are customer orientation, respect for employees within the company, focusing on value rather than profit, innovation and risk tasking, and love for the product. The mark of a great organization can be seen is how closely the organization sticks to the basics and doesn’t focus so much on the theory of management. It’s about keeping things simple in an ever changing complex market.
Excellent companies always listen to their employees and encourage innovation. They go above and beyond the call of duty for their customers. These companies are never held down by planning and remain flexible. They recognize and welcome change in their company. They are always moving forward. Peters and Waterman explain that often times the effectiveness of management is based on a business school type approach and has a negative, as opposed to positive approach toward employees and innovation. Businesses often become dehumanized and become more about crunching numbers rather than creating value.
Often times management doesn’t care about their employees and create distance from their own staff members. Peters and Waterman don’t believe in the Rational Model. They think is makes people forget the essentiality of values within a company. It is sad to see the loss of pride in their own work. As an example, they tell a story about a Honda employee who always straightens the wipers of all the Honda cars he passes on the way home. This kind of value and pride in one’s work shows how excellent companies become excellent.
In the end, the people are the reason a company succeeds or fails. It’s not about money, or even technology. It’s about getting people motivated and feel satisfied with their jobs. Humans have basic needs that should be met by the company they work for: the need for meaning, the need for a small amount of control, and the need for positive reinforcement. Actions and behaviors often help to mold attitudes and beliefs. It is so important to realize that people are at the core company and a happy company is a healthy company. This book helps readers to understand this fact.