Monday, April 14, 2008

Large Church Pastors- learn from Starbucks CEO

Howard Schultz (Starbucks CEO) was interviewed recently about re-inventing Starbucks under the current pressure of a difficult economy. One of his answers particularly struck me in light of a younger culture that does not particularly care for "large church" as the Boomers did (and still do). Read Schultz' answer to how Starbucks plans on being large and getting larger:

You were once a real growth company, innovating all the time. How hard is it to grow when you're already so big?

I guess the question is, can you get big and stay small? And I think when you get large and very successful, you have to balance creativity and entrepreneurship with process and strategy. We got a little out of balance, and we weren't as creative and entrepreneurial as we were when we were smaller. And what I'm trying to do is infuse the company with the kind of spirit and innovation [we had] when we were younger. At the same time, I recognize we're a big company and have to do things in a different way. But we are going to bring more excitement and more innovation to our customers over the next 12 to 18 months than we have in the last five years. The other thing—and I think it's hard for people to understand—is that the headwind of the economy is very, very tough. Every consumer brand, every retailer, is under significant pressure. So it's really hard to separate the challenges every company has from what's going on in terms of consumer confidence. For example, mall traffic in America is down in consecutive months between 9% and 10%. It's very difficult to manage through that. But the job of every retailer and every merchant is to put yourself in the shoes of the customer and ask yourself: Are you exceeding their expectations? That's what we have to do as a business.

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