Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul Essay examples

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Pages: 6

Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul. Howard Schultz with Joanne Gordon. New York: Rodale, Inc., 2011. 331 pages.

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Onward is a book written by Starbucks ceo Howard Schultz (the company uses lower case for all job titles) about how the company recalibrated itself after getting too big, too fast. The reason I chose to read and review this book is because I am a coffee addict. Ironically, I am not a fan of Starbucks. I’ve always felt that their coffee is a bit overpriced and just very dramatic for my liking. However, I’ve always been intrigued by the store’s ambiance. I admit that I’ve visited a number of stores with friends to play catch up over a cup of coffee and I did
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However, it has all the elements of a great story. Man transforms a small coffee company into a global retail power house. He steps up as chairman, company continues to grow and expand until suddenly, eight years later it hits a wall. Man returns as ceo to save his company. In almost intimately described details, Schultz narrates the ins and outs behind his decision making processes.
Schultz suggests that his primary reason for shutting down 600 underperforming stores and reorganizing the company’s leadership in 2008 pertained to preserving the brand’s authenticity and value. He laments that under prior ceo, Jim Donald, too much growth had led to lower-performing storefronts and loss of belief amongst Starbucks partners. And what he refers to as partners is anyone and everyone ranging from ceo to barista; which is something I admire all throughout his book. His changes during his return as ceo are swift and decisive; from the major shake-ups in the company hierarchy, to the decision to simultaneously close 7,100 stores for three hours in order to re-train baristas on the art of making perfect espresso, to embracing the influence of the internet to re-connect with consumers. However, many of the other changes—including the Starbucks Reward card, the Pike Place blend, better-quality food offerings,