Thursday, July 13, 2006





Executive Study Group

Focusing on Your Internal Customer

It's just past mid-year. How is your business doing? Is the strategy being executed to the fullest? Do your people and departments know how to think like a standalone business that can bring great value to the organization? Do they understand how to unleash the power of talent to fulfill the organization's vision? Do you?

At the Tom Peters Company's first Executive Study Group, held on March 1, 2006, we addressed external business disruptions. The event was filled with stimulating conversation and ideas from a multitude of industries. Each participant walked away with enhanced perspectives about the dynamics of the 21st century business environment. We discussed the need to embrace innovation, uncertainty, even chaos, in the exploration of unimagined possibilities for transforming our businesses.

Our next Executive Study Group will focus on leveraging the talents of your teams and departments to deliver value to your customers. Join us for a lively discussion that will help you:
-Identify internal disruptions
-Align each department to the mission, vision and values of the organization
-Manage politics effectively
-Acquire tools and skills to align your people and your objectives

Where: British Consulate, One Memorial Drive, Cambridge, MA
When: Wednesday July 20, 2006, 9am - 4pm (Lunch Provided)
Cost: $250 per person, $400 for teams of three or more

Departments must think like standalone businesses to maximize the value they provide to clients/customers and prepare for the inevitable scrutiny they will face in today's relentless, bottom-line-oriented business climate. We urge you to take advantage of this opportunity. Click here to register or call Rachel Gaddy, Marketing Director at 617-242-5522 to discuss alternative payment options.


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Tom on Internal Customers

Blog Entry Revisited

Tom agrees that internal harmony is CRUCIAL to the success of your business, and the retention of your talent. Here's what he had to say on the subject:

Winning Formula: Put the INTERNAL Customer First!

A GE Energy salesperson reinforced this idea for me. Suppose you are making a complex "systems"/"solutions" sale. To pull it off (get it thoroughly implemented—the basis for repeat business) you need help—LOTS OF—from a host of folks inside GE—wherever. These folks are congenitally overworked—and have a queue of salespersons needing help. Your Goal #1: Get an UNFAIR SHARE (this is the way the GE guy put it) of these insiders' time and energy and attention. The time of the sale is way, way too late. These are Internal Relationships you should have been forming and minding long, long ago.

The "simple" point: By developing a scintillating (extensive, deep) internal network you probably increase your external success dramatically.

(I call all this—inside or out—ROIR. Return On Investment in Relationships.)

Hint/Duh II: It takes a lot of time!


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Cool Friends, Part I

Business As War

Joe Finder (rhymes with cinder) started his career with a controversial expose about multi-millionaire Armand Hammer's ties to Soviet intelligence. His next book was The Moscow Club, a fictional work about a KGB coup against Gorbachev, which was considered far-fetched by many, until such a coup actually happened six months later. Five more novels followed, two of which made the New York Times bestseller list. He describes his latest release, Killer Instinct, as a story of ambition and the price of success. According to Joe, "In many ways, it is a takeoff on the notion of business as war. I'm taken by the extent to which you see books in the offices of top-ranking corporate executives with titles like Business Is Combat or SunTzu: The Art of War for Managers or Team Secrets of the Navy Seals, that sort of thing. I remember thinking, "What do these guys actually know about war? What if I took someone who had been in war and had read all these books, and was as ruthless as some of these books advocate that you be?"

Our first Cool Friends interview with a novelist proved to be a fascinating and entertaining conversation with someone who has studied and researched the business world from a different perspective. Click here to read the full interview.


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Culture Fit Profile

Reducing Turnover

A bank client contacted the Tom Peters Company (TPC) for help with the high rate of attrition at their Call Center. In initial discussions, they reported 393 agents had left the Call Center in 2005, most within six months of being hired. At 69%, this turnover rate was more than double the industry average of 33% for call centers. The cost to the company: an estimated $2.5 million for the year!

TPC provided a Culture Fit Profile for applicant selection to increase retention of the best talent and reduce the expenses of turnover. This tool reduces the investment of resources in applicants who do not fit the culture and do not stay in their positions beyond six to nine months. In addition to reducing turnover costs by up to 50%, the Culture Fit Profile is a highly effective tool for establishing the client's future call centers.

To determine the culture of the call center, TPC used both on-site employee interviews and RCP assessment software, the only statistically valid measurement tool on the market. For the client bank, 532 employees completed the assessment in two weeks, describing their perceptions of the "existing culture" and the "ideal culture." TPC used the results to define the company's Culture Fit Profile.

The TPC team also conducted confidential interviews with more than 70 call agents and 30 managers, supervisors, recruiters, and quality analysts. Interviewees offered their personal perceptions and general observations. Their comments were consolidated into nine topical areas (such as management style, talent acquisition, compensation) that will reinforce the successful management of turnover reduction.

As part of the ongoing TPC commitment to solving this client's problem, we work with the hiring teams to establish effective interview techniques. By applying the Culture Fit Profile to all new applicants, the client can expect a dramatic reduction in the attrition rate. As a side effect, the Call Center has also developed a clearer guiding strategy that is aligned with the client bank's results-oriented, innovation-based growth plan.

As Carlos Ghosn, Nissan president and CEO, has said, "Corporate culture should never be an afterthought. It is the key driver of value creation."

To find out more about how TPC can help your business thrive, click here for an overview of our Change Mangement programs, or call us at 617/242-5522 in Boston or 1708 437380 in London.


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Cool Friends, Part 2

Naked Truths

Robin Wolaner has had an eclectic career in publishing, with experience at Penthouse, Runner's World, and Mother Jones, and as the founder of Parenting magazine. She left a position as an executive committee member at CNET to write Naked In the Boardroom: A CEO Bares Her Secrets So You Can Transform Your Career, which recently came out in paperback. Tom blogged about the book, calling it, "by far ... the best book on strategy and tactics for women aiming to make it big in business—big biz or entrepreneurial biz. Moreover, I think any male ... can learn an enormous amount from this book."

Robin's extensive list of "Naked Truths" begins with this one: "Sometimes in business, it's better to be female, sometimes it's worse, but it's rarely the same." Click here to read the interview.



Espero que le gusten las noticias de Tom Peters a nuestros lectores. Esperamos tenerlo pronto en Chile. Un caluroso abrazo a Tom desde Chile que cada día lo leen más ejecutivos y gente de la empresa. Saludos Rodrigo González Fernández  lawyerschile.blogspot.com; tambien en consultajuridica.blogspot.com Santiago Chile