Book Review – The Starbucks Experience

Currently I am reading the book “The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary” by Joseph Michelli. This is a very interesting book giving details of five principle followed by the Starbucks staff – starting from the CEO to the Partners (the Baristas).

The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary covers day-to-day incidents in Starbucks on how they handle various scenarios that a business could face. The most interest principle I found was “Embrace resistance”. Very few corporate in today’s world would take a resistance and make it a business opportunity. Examples varying from taking note of community feelings to quick response on complaints / suggestions have been mentioned. Starbucks is a true example of the phrase: “A TRUE entrepreneur is one who sees opportunities where others see problems”. Each Partner is trained to owned the company and hence be an Entrepreneur in his / her own right

The five principles of Starbucks (according to Joseph Michelli) are:

1. Make it your own: all people in the organization feel a true sense of ownership and believe that they have a stake in the success of the company.

2. Everything matters: What goes on behind the counter is just as important as what customers see. Cleanliness, atmosphere, a desired product, customer service, are all important and no detail should ever be overlooked.

3. Surprise and delight: Using as an example the success of Crackerjacks as a snack that people enjoyed that also caught them by surprise when first introduced, Starbucks tries to have new and innovative ways to attract new customers and keep committed customers interested so that the business never becomes static.

4. Embrace resistance: Starbucks, unlike many businesses, does not rely on good public relations to be rid of problems and criticisms. Instead, Starbucks tries to engage in discussions with its dissenters to convince where it’s necessary and change when change is what is necessary.

5. Leave your mark: Making money may be a goal of any business, but businesses also have a responsibility to contribute to the greater good. Starbucks does this through financial transparency, involvement in the community, a commitment to making sure that its suppliers are justly paid, and delivering a quality product.

Overall The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary into Extraordinary is a good read for someone who wants to practice a culture of entrepreneurship and service quality in their enterprise

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