ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

January 1998


Have Faith In Your Future
Popcorn Discusses Consumer Trends, Effects on Business

Success Comes From Breaking New Ground - Not Plowing The Old

Taking It To The Public
Business Community Works With School Leaders to Turn a District Around

A Marriage Of Convenience
Unions, Management Team Up to Counter Takeover, Redesign Organization

The Baldrige Award: Winning Isn't Everything, Improving Is

Cutting Off Your Nose To Spite Your Face


Caring About Place
by Peter Block

People Powered Organizations
by Cathy Kramer


Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Book Review


Book Reviews With A Twist

Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built A Company One Cup At A Time
(a novel by Howard Schultz and Dori Jones)

"A company can grow big without losing the passion and personality that built it, but only if it's driven not by profits, but by values and by people."

We've all heard this before - usually by a consultant selling something. On the other hand, we've all heard far too many stories about organizations treating people just the opposite. Too often, it seems the slash and burn artists get the press and rewards on Wall Street. We know there is a better way, filled with hope and opportunity for employees, customers and shareholders alike.

In the opening quote from Howard Schultz, the ceo and chairman of Starbucks, we again hear that an organization can be successful when it's driven by its people and values first. "Pour Your Heart Into It" is the story of how Starbucks grew from a seller of coffee beans to a successful corporation made up of retail stores, a catalog business and successful forays into ice cream and bottled beverages. It's a story of how a company took something as seemingly simple as coffee and brewed it into an international operation with a vision of creating a great store, an experience that brings back customers and shares success with employees.

The book is full of examples of how Starbucks created a successful people-driven organization based on vision and values. The most powerful message is the one about people and their role in the success of the organization.

Favorite New Terms: Arabica and robusta - different types of coffee. I just like the way they roll off the tongue. Try it.

Message I'll Remember Five Years From Now: A key for success and employee involvement is trust and sharing rewards. Schultz describes trust and its importance the following way: "There is no more precious commodity than the relationship of trust and confidence a company has with its employees. If people believe management is not fairly sharing the rewards, they will feel alienated. Once they start distrusting management, the company's future is compromised."

My Favorite Quote: "Our first priority was to take care of our people, because they were the ones responsible for communicating our passion to our customers. If we did that well, we'd accomplish our second priority, taking care of our customers." Organizations must understand that employees just won't treat customers better than they are treated. So, if your company is about top-notch service, you better be a top-notch partner with employees.

Advice for Leaders: "From their (employees) first day, we try to immerse them in our values-centered culture, showing them the importance of treating customers and one another with respect and dignity." Leaders must make sure they create the right kind of culture from day one and instill the values of that culture in new employees.

I highly recommend this book to those starting or looking to sustain an organization. While the book is filled with insights on the role people play in an organization, it is also an excellent book for both entrepreneurs and managers looking to move from the startup stage of their organization to growth and sustainability.

Give it a try - it will jump start more new ideas than that first cup of coffee in the morning.

"Pour Your Heart Into It, How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time," Howard Schultz and Dori Jones Yang,1997, Hyperion, New York, NY, ISBN 0-7868-6315-3, US$24.95, 351 pages. Reviewed by Steve Gibbons, Sr. R & D consultant, Principal Financial Group

January '98 News for a Change | Email Editor


  • Print this page
  • Save this page

Average Rating


Out of 0 Ratings
Rate this item

View comments
Add comments
Comments FAQ

ASQ News