Achieving Business Excellence with John Spence

A Great Guest Blog on Co-creation!

I was recently contacted by a wonderful young lady named Emily Thomas, who contributes articles to a web site called “Online College Degrees.” As one might assume, the site is pretty much what the name says it is: a place to find out more about how to get an on-line degree… but their blog has some really fun and cool postings such as: 100 Amazingly Insightful People You Can Learn from on Twitter or 100 Exciting and Innovative Lectures for Every Kind of Entrepreneur or 10 Most Successful and Famous College Dropouts. Emily asked if she could put together a guest blog for my site and I enthusiastically agreed. I really like what she came up with, a posting on “co-creation” a topic I’ve studied for several years (I especially like the GoldCorp example – one of my very favorites). I hope you enjoy Emily’s article, I think it shares some very important ideas. Continue reading “A Great Guest Blog on Co-creation!” »

Some Powerful Feedback About How to Succeed in 2010

Recently I have had the chance to talk to a lot of business people about what they are focused on for survival and success in 2010. During just the last three weeks, I delivered a session for the national sales meeting of a mid-sized industrial manufacturing company, taught two sessions to the combined executive teams and board of directors from 17 different companies, taught a strategic thinking/planning class at the Wharton School of Business to 120 executives from the financial industry and spent three fantastic days at the Inc. Magazine GrowCo event in Orlando, FL with 400+ rabid entrepreneurs… WOW!

So what is the takeaway from all of this interaction? Continue reading “Some Powerful Feedback About How to Succeed in 2010” »

The Single Most Important Indicator of Business Success

I just received a wonderful note from my friend Miguel da Rocha Cavalcanti in Rio de Janeiro asking me what I felt was the single most important indicator of business success.  My reply was quite simple: customer satisfaction.  If you have highly engaged, satisfied and loyal customers — then an awful lot of the other things in your business must already be going very well  (of course, cash flow is pretty darn important too — even if your customers love you, if you run out of money you will be run out of business – but lots of cash flow is not necessarily an indicator of sustainable business success!). Continue reading “The Single Most Important Indicator of Business Success” »

Does Your Company Get It?

I have just gotten off the phone with one of my favorite clients in the world, Austin Outdoor, a really cool company that delivers world-class landscaping services for top resorts, hotels, corporations and communities. I am currently helping them roll-out their new “Customer Service Excellence” program and it has been a joy to watch their team devour this project with enthusiasm, passion and professionalism. Why are they doing such an extraordinary job at this? I’ll tell you the secret: they “get it.” Let me explain… Continue reading “Does Your Company Get It?” »

The Last 50 Yards

It is a phenomenon I have seen play out numerous times in my career and every time it happens I am completely befuddled. Great companies, with super products, and very talented people, making rookie mistakes that completely undermine the very things they were working so hard to achieve. Let me tell you a story and give you an example to show you what I mean.

Continue reading “The Last 50 Yards” »

The Secret to Business Success

I am going to tell you how to differentiate your business so distinctly that you will dominate your marketplace and keep a steady stream of customers coming to your door. The secret is obvious, but like water to a fish, it seems that the vast majority of business owners have no idea at all about it. It does take a little more money, time and discipline, but the rewards of implementing this secret are overwhelming. I am also convinced that if properly implemented, even direct competitors are highly unlikely to successfully copy you. Continue reading “The Secret to Business Success” »

A famous "John Spence" letter on poor customer service

This is a real letter I recently sent to a place that just did not understand the “value” of delivering great customer service. Once you do the math, it gets very interesting… Continue reading “A famous "John Spence" letter on poor customer service” »

Keys Strategies of a Very Successful Company: PGC

Many of you that have been to my seminars have heard me talk about one of my favorite client companies: Philadelphia Gear ( and their fantastic CEO – Carl Rapp. I have a tremendous amount of respect for both the company and for Carl and recently asked him if he would give me a brief list of the key ideas that drive his business. Carl and his team (Also full of really super people) run a very successful organization in a brutally tough global market and I believe strongly that they have a firm grasp of what it truly takes to run a world class company. Take a close look at these key strategies… I think they are spot on. Continue reading “Keys Strategies of a Very Successful Company: PGC” »