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Today’s best companies get it. From Costco® to Commerce Bank, Wegmans to Whole Foods®: they’re becoming the ultimate value creators. They’re generating every form of value that matters: emotional, experiential, social, and financial. And they’re doing it for all their stakeholders. Not because it’s “politically correct”: because it’s the only path to long-term competitive advantage.
These are the Firms of Endearment. Companies people love doing business with. Love partnering with. Love working for. Love investing in. Companies for whom “loyalty” isn’t just real: it’s palpable, and driving unbeatable advantages in everything from marketing to recruitment.
You need to become one of those companies. This book will show you how. You’ll find specific, practical guidance on transforming every relationship you have: with customers, associates, partners, investors, and society. If you want to be great—truly great—this is your blueprint.
We’re entering an Age of Transcendence, as people increasingly search for higher meaning in their lives, not just more possessions. This is transforming the marketplace, the workplace, the very soul of capitalism. Increasingly, today’s most successful companies are bringing love, joy, authenticity, empathy, and soulfulness into their businesses: they are delivering emotional, experiential, and social value–not just profits.
Firms of Endearment illuminates this, the most fundamental transformation in capitalism since Adam Smith. It’s not about “corporate social responsibility”: it’s about building companies that can sustain success in a radically new era. It’s about great companies like IDEO and IKEA®, Commerce Bank and Costco®, Wegmans and Whole Foods®: how they earn the powerful loyalty and affection that enables truly breathtaking performance.
This book is about gaining “share of heart,” not just share of wallet. It’s about aligning stakeholders’ interests, not just juggling them. It’s about building companies that leave the world a better place. Most of all, it’s about why you must do all this, or risk being left in the dust... and how to get there from wherever you are now.
Prologue A Whole New World xxi
Chapter 1 It’s Not Share of Wallet Anymore; It’s Share of Heart 1
Chapter 2 New Age, New Rules, New Capitalism 23
Chapter 3 The Chaotic Interregnum 49
Chapter 4 Employees–The Decline and Fall of Human Resources 65
Chapter 5 Customers–The Power of Love 97
Chapter 6 Investors–Reaping What FoEs Sow 125
Chapter 7 Partners–Elegant Harmonies 145
Chapter 8 Society–The Ultimate Stakeholder 171
Chapter 9 Culture–The Secret Ingredient 197
Chapter 10 Lessons Learned 235
Chapter 11 Crossing Over to the Other Side 253