Bill Marriott launched a blog yesterday — and, it’s very good. Why? Well, Bill Marriott Leadership lessons – how he applies the concept of the Gemba in his organization.
Here is what is good about it:
“Now I know this is where the action is if you want to talk to your customers directly — and hear back from them.”
That is exactly right. Bill Marriott has traveled the world speaking with employees and customers. Now, he gets to do that from his desktop and the world can talk back to him. Currently, his first post has 49 comments. Bill Marriott shows that he truly cares about listening and speaking with his customers and his employees.
Blogging will allow me to do what I’ve been doing for years — on a global scale. Talking to the customer comes easily to me. I visit 250 hotels around the world every year. This year I’ll be traveling once again to China where we have 27 hotels, 16 under construction and many more in our development pipeline. At every hotel, I talk to associates, from housekeepers to general managers, to get their feedback. I call it “management by walking around.” Like my parents, I value the input from our associates at all levels. I make lots of notes — and my best ideas almost always come from our people in the field.
“Truth be told, I’m not very good with computers, although I couldn’t do business in today’s fast-paced economy without my cell phone, and my grandchildren have gotten me hooked on my iPod.”
His posts are sincere, not PR-filled garbage, stuffed with rhetoric. He’s sincere. He has on a human face and his customers, employees, and the world will love and trust him for that.
“At every hotel, I talk to associates, from housekeepers to general managers, to get their feedback. I call it “‘management by walking around.'”
He calls it “management by walking around”, but that concept is an old one. At Toyota, this concept is called “Gemba“, or “walking the gemba.” In other words, “go and see” and spend time where value is created and contribute. That is, go and see where transactions are processed, people are served, and value is created. Good stuff.
Bill Marriott might not be doing the Toyota version, but he is still spending time with the front-line folks and spending time where value is being created. That’s an excellent way of leading your people.
“Our 143,000 associates are truly the people who make Marriott a world-class business. I want to share some of their stories with you in future blogs. We are a company that is built on opportunity, and that foundation has made us successful.”
Again, he’s sincere and genuine. That’s the hallmark of a blog. He wants to show the human faces behind a company — awesome.
“Occasionally, I’ll blog about current events — even touch on controversial topics. Every American and everyone who wants to be an American deserves a chance to pursue the American dream of financial independence. That’s why I’m passionate about immigration reform and offering people a path to citizenship. I’ll share my ideas about that in a future blog.”
Again, more honesty and sincerity.
“Bottom line, I believe in communicating with the customer, and the internet gives me a whole new way of doing that on a global scale. I’d rather engage directly in dialogue with you because that’s how we learn and grow as a company.”
Customer obsession at its best. Great job Mister Marriott. I’ve already subscribed to your feed. I’m looking forward to learning from you. By the way, I’m a Silver Elite member — 50 more stays at a Marriott Hotel and I’ll be a Gold Member.