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September 6, 2006

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects: Tribal Knowledge

By: Jack @ 3:11 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

Tribal Knowledge: Business Wisdom Brewed from the Grounds of Starbucks Corporate Culture by John Moore, Kaplan Business, 264 pages, $22.95, hardcover, September 2006, ISBN 1419520016
When I am hiring people, I always lean toward the folks who had paper routes as a kid. It shows initiative that I think carries with you for the rest of your life. Why do I mention this? John Moore, author of Tribal Knowledge, started as a barista in Starbucks Store #677. He advanced through the ranks of the company to lead marketing programs during the Starbucks boom years.
This book that presents the known and unknown practices that have put a Starbucks on practically every city and every street corner gives you 47 short bursts of business wisdom, perfect for picking up and putting down as you have time. The first third of the book is spent on branding and marketing. The middle third is on creating memorable customer experiences. The final third is about building excellent places to work. Each burst concludes with questions to keep you thinking.
I think #18 is my favorite: "Remarkable Things Get Remarked About". Moore bows at the feet of Seth Godin and Sergio Zyman and adds great stories to the idea of being remarkable. The success of the Frappuccino was driven by non-coffee drinkers who found something they could enjoy (and tell all their friends about).
I liked this book because you find out insider stuff (Starbucks doesn't pay for product placements, yet Ally MacBeal, You've Got Mail, and the first two Austin Powers movies all used the stores in their storylines) and you can go do something immediately with what you learn.