Today I finished reading “Anything but ordinary”, a book by German authors of management literature Anja Foerster and Peter Kreuz. I had seen a presentation on the internet by the same two people and there was a link to the book I’m writing about, and luckily, my English teacher gave it to me. To be honest, I did not like the book that much. However, there where a few good ideas that appealed to me, and I think could be applicable not only in the field of management.
The authors are supporters of the idea that in order to be successful, you have to be innovative and venture in fields that others haven’t, or apply unorthodox methods in managing your business, in order your company/business/etc to be running efficiently. (…how original)
I liked the topic about market research. Basically, the idea revolves around the notion that you can’t simply ask what the people want from your product, because they simply can’t know what potential value could be hidden behind it. You have to experiment and present ideas, more or less extravagant and outside the box, and expect that at the beginning, they most probably would not be accepted well, but with the course of time, the benefits, if any, will become obvious. A pretty convincing example given in the book was this short sentence:
“Do you think that the client has asked Steve Jobs to create the iPod?” (Translation might vary from the original, for the book I was given is written in Bulgarian)
Another idea I liked was that in order to get successful, you have to offer the customer a pleasant experience; you have to invoke emotions in him/her. By making that person happy, you would almost automatically be sure that he/she would be willing to use your services once more. He/she would be waiting for an opportunity to enjoy the same experience again. An example in the book described a customer’s feelings about going to Starbucks; how the interior makes him feel relaxed, kind of like at home, the politeness of the neat staff that takes his order, the convenience of placing an order online, and definitely not in the last place, the pleasure of having some first class coffee. I have never visited a Starbucks store, but I have two memories in support of the idea for pleasant experience. I remember being eager of going to the super-market called “Metro” – in that time (1999) it was the biggest store I have ever visited, and there were so many products I didn’t have the chance of seeing often in the small town were I live. Just the mere mentioning of potential going to “Metro” made me excited. However, there has been one event that made me even more exhilarated, and that “event” was going to McDonald’s. For a seven-year-old child, going to a place that is visually appealing, being served extremely tasty food, and in addition to the food receiving a pretty toy, all wrapped in the colorful box with a handle representing the company’s logo, were “events” more than capable of bringing me happiness.
Other than the ideas mentioned above, to me the book did not seem to be anything special, or “…but ordinary”.