Since Harry Gordon Selfridge opened his Oxford Street emporium in 1909, his simple philosophy “Excite the mind, and the hand will reach for the pocket” has guided successful department stores, including the group that bears his name.
To those that are struggling, the question is: “What are you doing to excite the minds – of your Customers, and of your Team?”
“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.”
– Steve Jobs
I stayed in an above-average, boutique-ish hotel this week. The directions to the car park were ambiguous, so before checking in I had to abandon the car, run into Reception, and ask how to find the car park. When I returned, having parked, to check in, I noticed that the receptionist didn’t ask me whether I had found the car park.
Then I noticed a plaque on the wall, behind Reception. It said: “2014 Award of Excellence. As honoured by our Guests. 8.2/10.”
It struck me that 8.2/10 – 82% – was not necessarily something to shout about; not really something to be deemed an “honour”.
If you haven’t watched “Inside Claridges”, the BBC Documentary that goes behind the scenes at one of London’s most luxurious hotels, I can’t recommend it too highly as a masterclass in delivering excellence.