I half joking, threatened to blow up my car on TV. Detroit was turning out total crap in 1980. The three TV networks had a virtual monopoly with their pedestrian programming. Airlines lost your luggage with surprising regularity. With a seeming unlimited market of demand by the baby boomers, business was producing poor goods and services and virtually printing money.
Then the revolution began. A few notables stood as pillars of quality. Maytag made washing machines that worked. Toyota made cars that didn’t break down, or had paint that stayed on the vehicle. W. Edward Deming brought the doctrine of quality back to the shores of America.
Car thieves voted the unspoken as Japanese imports became the choice, over the sleepy Detroit junk iron. Eastern Airlines, Trans World, and Pan American Airlines, littered the landscape. Other detritus on the pile were E.F. Hutton, General Foods, and Woolworth’s. These had the smell of self-centeredness, like mothballs meant for a Sears store.
The cutting edge for business was the call for listening to, and satisfying the customer. What a novel idea.
That only lasted until the 1990’s. Astute leaders want to know what the future is. Smart is knowing what skills you need to acquire today, to make you competitive tomorrow.
“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
Satisfied Customers, once the revolution, became the ante to get into the game when the next new thing arrived.