We are reviewing the book titled, “Excellence Wins”, by Horst Schulze, founding president and COO of Ritz-Carlton.
While having a copy of the book is certainly not needed to enjoy the next several BLOG posts, if you’d like to grab a copy to follow along, feel free to pick it up at Amazon here, or of course at your favorite book store.
This week we continue with part three of “Excellence Wins”, BUILDING TRUE RELATIONSHIPS, as we review chapter fourteen:
MONEY AND LOVE
There was a popular book written in 1987 by Marsha Sinetar titled, “Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow: Discovering Your Right Livelihood.” (1)
My three children are grown adults now. When they were young and starting to make decisions about what career they might pursue, which would have been in the 80’s around the time this book was written, my wife and I encouraged them to first discover their passions, something they would love to do, and then to follow those passions. I have no idea whether or not this book had any influence on us as parents or not — I don’t remember reading it — even so, it seems to have been our approach. We encouraged our kids to follow their passions and have faith that the money needed to pursue those passions would indeed follow. In the end, we believed there would be enough money derived from them pursuing their passions that they would be able to sustain a reasonably comfortable livelihood, and more importantly, live a rewarding, meaningful life.
In chapter fourteen, Mr. Schulze makes references to the 1987 book mentioned above, borrows the phrase, tweaks it just a little, and applies it to business, but with a focus on the customer. “Do what the customer loves, and the money will follow.” (2)
As business leaders we must deliver what our customers desire and need or ultimately go out of business. In today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment, staying on top of what the customer wants, and desires is a never ending pursuit.
Just this past week I read about an app that is already in play in Columbia, Tennessee, a relatively small town just south of Nashville.
According to the article, the patient’s smartphone camera connects the patient to a live healthcare provider.
The article goes on to say, “average wait time of less than 10 minutes and prescriptions sent to a pharmacy of the patient’s choosing. Services are offered at $69 and the local program is connected with American Well, a major presence in the telehealth industry.”
After reading the article it seems insurance is not filed by the healthcare provider, but receipts may be printed on-demand from the patient’s phone and submitted by the patient directly to their insurance carrier for reimbursement.
You may or may not like the idea of patients being able to see their provider via a smartphone, that is not the point. The point is, “We all must be careful not to be driven by our personal desires. Not everybody thinks like you or I think. We are just a sampling of one — which is not enough to float a business.” (3)
Healthcare consumers have a set of desires and wants for which they are willing to pay. As healthcare leaders we must deliver high quality care, and be willing to deliver it using delivery methods and techniques that our patients want and desire.
Eight Key Questions
“The work of connecting with what customers love has a number of steps to it.
If I have a chance of speaking to a class of aspiring hotel students….here is now I march them through the sequence.” — Horst Schulze (4)
Mr. Schulze’s eight key questions, condensed and paraphrased as follows. (5)
- What industry are you going to enter?
- What’s your market segment; i.e., Budget or Bargain, Midrange, or Top End?
- What does the customer want and desire in that market segment?
- How do you meet the customer’s desires efficiently?
4a) Drive DEFECTS out of the operation
4b) Learn how to SERVE your customers
4c) Show and teach your team how to show a CARING spirit
- How do you allow the customer to individualize or customize their experience?
- Does the organization give employees a sense of belonging?
- Is the company willing to accurately measure what they have set out to accomplish?
- Are you fully committed to making this happen?
One More Thing
“We have to distinguish ourselves from the rest… and the distinction is doing things a little better. WE DO THINGS WITH EXCELLENCE. (6)
How do you know that your team is delivering what your customers want and desire? How do you know which of your leaders are truly living out the company’s mission and vision, and indeed leading according to the company’s core values? Do you know what your customers think about the service or product being delivered?
In order to distinguish your product or service from the competition, first you and your executive leadership must define what it means to, “distinguish ourselves from the rest.” Secondly, and just as important, the organization must engage in, and embrace Performance Measurement in a way that it permeates every aspect of the organization. The only way for you and other leadership to know if you’re reaching that next, higher level of quality, as compared to the competition, is to consistently measure performance.
“The drive to be the best, to be measurably better than the competition, is what brings personal fulfillment and also financial reward.” (7)
Next week: Epilogue: THE REST OF THE STORY
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Jerry L. Stone
Names: SCHULZE, HORST, 1939 author. | MERRILL, DEAN
Title: Excellence Wins: a no-nonsense guide to becoming the best in the world of compromise / Horst Schulze, with Dean Merrill
Description: Grand Rapids, MI : Zondervan,