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Rules to Break and Laws to Follow: How Your Business Can Beat the Crisis of Short-Termism

ISBN: 978-0-470-22754-1
320 pages
February 2008
Rules to Break and Laws to Follow: How Your Business Can Beat the Crisis of Short-Termism  (0470227540) cover image
Praise for Rules to Break & Laws to Follow: How Your Business Can Beat the Crisis of Short-Termism

"A fascinating, highly readable synthesis of business principles, technology, sociology and common sense, Rules to Break and Laws to Follow persuasively shows the connection between customer trust and business profits, and then explains how to make it happen. As a bonus, you'll learn how to make your company more innovative, how to ensure your employees actually enjoy what they're doing, and how to deal with the kinds of service and quality breakdowns that occasionally plague any company, even a well-managed one. This book should be on your required reading list."
Stephen M. R. Covey, bestselling author of The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

"Over the years, Peppers and Rogers have given me valuable advice about navigating the changing business landscape. This book is a must-read for managers who want to empower their employees and customers to?make change their ally."
Jim McCann, founder and CEO of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM

"Highly readable and entertaining. Make sure everybody in your firm reads this book by last Friday."
Dror Pockard, CEO of eglue

"In a time when most companies are built to flip, Peppers and Rogers have planted a stake in the ground to help you survive past the next round of financing or consumer fad. Knowing what rules to break is arguably even more important than what laws to follow, and this book imparts knowledge for both."
Guy Kawasaki, cofounder of Truemors and author of The Art of the Start

"Peppers and Rogers have created the unthinkable: an enjoyable wake-up call! Their book serves up one compelling and provocative idea after another, and the authors enjoy debunking some of our most deeply ingrained business beliefs. Read this book and your customers will thank you."
Dan Heath, coauthor of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

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Chapter 1: False Assumptions 1

A "Perfect Storm" of New Technologies 3

Imitation, Circular Mills, and Mythbusting 4

Crisis of Short-Termism: The Mother of All Problems 6

Questions Every Business Needs to Answer 8

Primacy of Customer Trust 12

Chapter 2: "Value" Is the New "Profit" 15

Jabbing at the Elevator Button in the Stock Market 17

Focus Only on the Short Term and You'll Lose Sight of the Long Term 19

Customers Create Long-Term Value, Too 20

The Secret Life of Companies: Short Games 22

Take the Money and Run 26

Business Models Behaving Badly 29

Short-Term Gain, Long-Term Loss 30

Stupid Is as Stupid Does 34

Chapter 3: Customers Are a Scarce Resource 37

Using Up Customers 43

Which Do You Choose: Customers or Money? 45

Money Is Still the Root of All Investment 48

What’s in Your Budget? 50

Rethinking Your Whole Business 53

Chapter 4: In the Long Term, the Good Guys Really Do Win 57

Reciprocity: The Golden Rule Applied to Customers 60

The Man with the Folding Chair 61

Does Your Firm Practice Reciprocity? 65

Customer Trust Is an Antidote to Short-Termism 68

Treat Employees the Way You Want Them to Treat Customers 73

Chapter 5: Increasing the Value of Your Business 79

Embroider on Your CFO's Pillowcase: Customer Equity 80

Ratcheting Up Your Customer Equity 84

What Return Are You Getting on Your Customers? 86

Value Creators, Value Harvesters, and Value Destroyers 89

Getting Credit for Earning Customer Trust 92

Chapter 6: Culture Rules 97

Defining and Managing Culture 98

Do as I Say, Not as I Do 99

Welcome to the "Conceptual Age" 101

Galloping Decentralization Means Culture Is More Important 104

Creating a Culture of Customer Trust 109

Hey! There's a Person in There! 113

Chapter 7: Capitalism Redux: Greed Is Good, but Trust Is Even Better 117

Reputations Go Online 120

Taking the Friction Out of Commerce 122

Playing the Ultimatum Game 124

Technology Facilitates Reciprocity 127

Technology Seen through the Wrong End of the Telescope 129

Chapter 8: Customers and Honeybees 131

Who's on Your Speed-Dial? 132

Diverse Connections 135

Customer-Inspired Innovation 138

Word of Mouth: Business Opportunity? 143

Chapter 9: Oops! Mistakes Happen: Recovering Lost Trust 151

Competence Also Required 154

Recovering Lost Trust 156

Competitive Success Can Harm Trust 159

Trust, Competence, and You 163

Chapter 10: Innovate or Die 167

Responding to Change 167

Technology, Progress, and Change 169

Creating a Climate of Innovation 172

Supporting the Lunatic Fringe 175

Creativity Cannot Be Commanded 177

Chapter 11: Order and Chaos 181

Efficiency Often Undermines Innovation 183

3M Loses Its Innovative Mojo, Then Gets Its Groove Back 186

Having It Both Ways 189

Your Customers Can Help You Strike the Right Balance 192

Does Trust Encourage Innovation? 194

Chapter 12: The Wisdom of Dissent 199

Diversity and Variety 201

Size Does Matter 205

Avoiding Bad Group Decision Making 206

Chapter 13: Engaged and Enabled 211

The Power of the Network 214

Employee Engagement 216

Employees with a Sense of Mission 221

Giving Your Employees the Tools and the Power They Need to Create Value 223

Chapter 14: Leaders Needed. Inquire Within 227

The Twelve Laws to Follow 228

Notes 239

References 257

Index 285

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Don Peppers & Martha Rogers, PhD, are the founding partners of Peppers & Rogers Group and 1to1 Media, the world's premier customer-focused consultancy and award-winning publishing company, now part of Carlson Marketing Worldwide. In addition to hundreds of trade and academic articles appearing in publications including Harvard Business Review, they are the coauthors of the bestselling "1to1" series of business books, available in seventeen languages. In addition, they have written a comprehensive graduate-level textbook, Managing Customer Relationships. Their most recent book was the highly successful Return on Customer, challenging companies to measure business success entirely differently, and documenting the customer base as a revenue-producing asset for businesses, capable of driving a company's long-term economic worth. Peppers and Rogers have been cited on numerous lists of thought leaders and business gurus, and serve on several boards.
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"Harnessing the power of connected customers and networked employees is now the key to success and that's what this book is all about." (Bookviews.com, April 2008)
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