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Competent but a bit hollow
on 9 March 2013
This book aims from outset to take a 'holisitic' view of the product sale/service provision business process which is on the surface admirable and makes a reasonable enough stab at it.
Like so many 'business guru' tomes these days though, it tries to mix the current liberal capitalist obsession with legitmising its practises by offering a 'scientific' basis for it's method of value creation and personal profit, with more touchy feely almost esoteric observations about meeting customer needs and the ease of enjoyment they have in consuming your product/service. This unfortunately though often sounds a little hollow and more like weekend retreat group think seminar material, than what is actually practical [and practised] in the increasingly fragile world of 21st century western business.
The core tenet of this book is 'put the customer first.' It's as simple as that, and to be honest, like me, you may well quite rightly say 'so what's new?' Are our business models and the managers implimenting them so out of touch with the reality of enterprise now, that they need reminding of this? Perhaps. And perhaps it really is a message that needs hammering home again. This has been made all the more clear in the UK and Europe, where horsemeat has recently been discovered as being used as a beef substitute for years in many processed food products, without of course letting the customer in on this little ruse. And why? So prices can be maintained, profit margins squeezed upwards and shareholders/CEO bonuses kept sweet. The customer came at the bottom of the list of people who needed to be kept well informed and looked after in the process, and this I imagine, is currently happening across the board in our economy.
So books like this ring with a decidedly hollow 'do as I say not as I do' ethos. It's well enough written, accessible, lively in that 'I'm a gold-plated PowerPoint presentation' way, short and to the point and it may serve it's purpose as a pep talk exceedingly well, but relevant and affecting? Perhaps not.