Great article in the April issue of Business 2.0, titled “Best-kept Secrets of the World’s Best Companies“….
Normally I dislike such stuff, but I think the odds in this case of finding something you can use are remarkably high.
There are 25 ideas discussed. Among them: Toro’s “Contra Team” that formally rebuts potential merger candidates; it in one instance led Toro to reject a hot $10 million acquisition candidate that was in fact a dud. Bloomberg’s amazing offices. Corning’s approach to R&D, utilizing outsiders. Southwest’s hiring process (“The Job Audition”). W.L. Gore’s peer-to-peer, almost hierarchy-free organizational processes–I was a pal of the late Bill Gore, and started writing about the company in A Passion for Excellence in 1985; but the approach is as fresh and provocative as ever; alas, the fact that it’s still considered novel suggests how slow we are to adopt truly radical organizational reform. Urban Oufitters’ support for partying on the company’s nickel–that is, seeking out hot trends that can be translated into product. Etc.
The same issue of B2.0 offers “Bottom Line Design Awards.” There is some great stuff, but my favorite (because it’s so unexpected) is Target’s “ClearRX Bottle”–a wonderfully clear and attractive and user-friendly pill package (no small deal, given that studies show that 60% of prescriptions are “taken improperly”).
That brings to mind a wonderful and compelling book, Thomas Hine’s The Total Package. E.g.: “Packages are about containing and labeling and informing and celebrating. They are about power and flattery and trying to win people’s trust. They are about beauty and craftsmanship and comfort. They are about color, protection, survival.”
Go back to Bloomberg: Sure it’s an odd couple, but Space Design and Packaging are two of the most under-utilized, powerful tools for organization change and branding success respectively.
Design! Damn it!
Previously published on Tom Peters’ Web site. See www.tompeters.com for more.