The Southwest Airlines Way - AchieveMax® Top Ten Book Review
Over the years, several books and countless magazine and newspaper articles have been written about Southwest Airlines. Numerous MBA programs highlight the Southwest structure, its culture, its CEO, its low fares and other reasons as to why it is the bright spot in an otherwise dismally performing industry. Fortune magazine calls Southwest Airlines "the most successful airline in history." With a market value greater than the rest of the U.S. airline industry combined, Southwest Airlines is an amazing company with amazing management practices. No one, however, has completely captured the real explanation of why Southwest succeeds.
In a previous review, I highly recommended NUTS! (Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success). This laugh-a-page, inspirational book captured all the delicious myth, disarming magic, original insights, and upbeat stories of a high-energy, caring, playful culture that's sometimes hard to believe. I enjoyed it thoroughly and recommended it to anyone and everyone striving to create and maintain a successful and productive culture.
Now comes The Southwest Airlines Way ... an in-depth profile, based on eight years of field research on the airline industry. In this book, the author, Dr. Jody Gittell, has managed to identify and even quantify the powerful formula of Southwest's success. This effortless read is filled with actual examples of business processes at Southwest as compared to other airlines. You can easily see how basic practices based on internal values at Southwest, such as investing in leadership development and people, have made such a big difference. In fact, the findings reveal that Southwest's success is due to building high performance relationships with its people, customers, unions, vendors and suppliers, and the public in general.
Full of frontline tales of Southwest's innovative management style, this compelling book unveils the secret ingredient, high performance relationships, that has enabled Southwest to sustain a steady 10% to 15% rate of growth throughout its 32 year history while also turning a profit when few others can manage to break even. This great read reveals 10 practices that Southwest Airlines uses to build high performance relationships, and how they can be implemented in any organization-with dramatic results. The good news is that Dr. Gittell clearly identifies and explains each of these practices in a highly readable way that is also backed with data. The hard part is that these are not quick fixes and that the evidence indicates that most, if not all, of the practices must be adapted/adopted if another organization is to duplicate the success of Southwest.
This no-nonsense analysis takes a more serious look at the airline that continues to fascinate friend and foe alike. Learn why Southwest Airlines is valued higher than all other major U.S. Passenger air carriers combined. Learn how, in the wake of 9-11, Southwest could keep all of its employees working and continue its unblemished record of growth and profitability as other airlines laid off thousands, begged Congress for money, and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Learn how American, Continental, United and other airlines have tried to imitate Southwest-and why they have failed.
You may not find yourself laughing as often as you did while reading NUTS!, but you'll certainly walk away with a greater respect and much deeper insight into the unique culture that will undoubtedly continue to fascinate everyone for decades to come.
More than 100 business book reviews written by Harry K. Jones are available at www.AchieveMax.com/books/index.htm">http://www.AchieveMax.com/books/.
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www.AchieveMax.com/motivational-speaker-harry.htm">Harry K. Jones is a professional speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a firm specializing in custom-designed keynote presentations, seminars, and consulting services. Harry has made presentations ranging from leadership to employee retention and time management to stress management for a number of industries, including education, financial, government, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. He can be reached at 800-886-2MAX or by visiting www.AchieveMax.com">http://www.AchieveMax.com.
Denis Johnson, the award-winning fiction writer, poet, and playwright whose best-known and most influential work, the story collection Jesus' Son, turned 25 this year, has died. He was 67. The cause of his death has not been disclosed.
Jean Fritz, an award-winning writer whose work helped transform historical biographies for children from leaden recitals of battles and dates into warm, human narratives full of quirks and crotchets and satisfyingly strange facts, died on Sunday at her home in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y. She was 101.
The author of more than four dozen books, Mrs. Fritz was known in particular for her biographies of many of the signal figures of 18th- and 19th-century American history.
America's libraries got a major boost this week on Capitol Hill as a group of leading publishing, information, software, and other businesses unveiled an organized effort to advocate for federal library funding. The move comes in response to the Trump administration's proposal to eliminate virtually all federal library funding, and the agency that distributes those funds to all 50 states.
Margarita Engle has been named the Young People's Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation. Awarded every two years, the $25,000 laureate title is given to a living writer in recognition of a career devoted to writing exceptional poetry for young readers. The laureate advises the Poetry Foundation on matters relating to young people's literature.
Suite Française, adapted from the bestselling book by Irene Nemirovsky will premiere on the Lifetime network May 22.
Represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, Book Passage--with stores in Corte Madera, Sausalito and San Francisco, Calif.--and co-owner Bill Petrocelli have filed suit against a state law that, the plaintiffs say, "will make it extremely risky, if not impossible, for stores to sell autographed books or host author events."
Petrocelli said that the law's "expensive mandates--with voluminous reporting requirements and draconian penalties--create a nightmare for independent booksellers that thrive on author events and book signings. Consumers will also suffer. The tradition of author events at bookstores, with opportunities for direct interaction between writers and readers, will be shattered. The cost of record-keeping and major liability threaten to make book signings impossible, and stores such as mine do not want to engage in the massive intrusion on customer privacy that is mandated by the law's reporting rules."
Several publishers and authors organizations have officially joined the many book world people criticizing Amazon's new policy allowing third-party booksellers to "bid" for the primary spot in buy buttons.
A statement from the Authors Guild called the move "deeply disturbing" and said it "has the potential to decimate authors' and publishers' earnings from many books, especially backlist books." It noted, too, that the policy might be connected with Amazon's desire to force publishers to use its print-on-demand services, if POD availability will essentially guarantee a top spot on buy buttons. Such an arrangement, the Guild wrote, "looks an awful lot like a 'tying' arrangement under the antitrust law."
The statement concluded: "Amazon has already done enough damage in the book industry. It has devalued books by setting the price and consumer expectations for e-books and hard copy books artificially low, even taking a loss to do so. And it extracts an unreasonable fee from the sale of any book through its site, as compared to the services it provides, and charges extra for things it calls 'marketing services,' such as making a book discoverable on its site. Amazon gets away with this because it has monopoly and monopsony power over the retail book industry. Without a fair and open publishing marketplace, publishers will soon lose the ability to invest in the books that advance our knowledge and culture."
A new program from Amazon is drawing a range of reactions from those across the publishing industry, from fear to downright anger. The e-tailer has started allowing third-party book re-sellers to "win" buy buttons on book pages. The program, publishers, agents, and authors allege, is discouraging customers from buying new books, negatively affecting sales and revenue.
Once every 10 years Granta issues a special issue focused on new American fiction, "showcasing the young novelists deemed to be the best of their generation--writers of remarkable achievement and promise, still in their twenties and thirties."
It's Best of Young American Novelists of 2017 list includes "21 outstanding writers who capture the preoccupations of modern America." The authors are: Jesse Ball, Halle Butler, Emma Cline, Joshua Cohen, Mark Doten, Jen George, Rachel B Glaser, Lauren Groff, Yaa Gyasi, Garth Risk Hallberg, Greg Jackson, Sana Krasikov, Catherine Lacey, Ben Lerner, Karan Mahajan, Anthony Marra, Dinaw Mengestu, Ottessa Moshfegh, Chinelo Okparanta, Esmé Weijun Wang, and Claire Vaye Watkins.
Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, died yesterday at age 88.
First published in 1974 by William Morrow, the book was a spectacularly popular philosophy book that was loosely autobiographical, tracing a father-son motorcycle trip and flashbacks to a period in which the author was diagnosed as schizophrenic. Its thesis was that quality is the basis of reality, and that this understanding unifies most East Asian and Western thought. Pirsig called this system of thought the Metaphysics of Quality.