Kevin and Jackie Freiberg are the consultants and authors that gave us a wonderful insight into the weird and wonderful (and highly succesful) ways of Southwest Airlines in their book Nuts!. This book has really shaped my perception of what can be done to create a workplace that is both fun and makes money. You may scoff at their alternative business practices and their willingess to promote fun and caring at work, but right now Southwest Airlines is the only major airline in the US that makes any money.
In Guts!, companies that blow the doors of business as usual, the authors look at more companies that have become succesful by defying traditional business practices. Among the mos well-known are Southwest Airlines and SAS Insititute. The authors argue, that the main ingredient needed to use different strategies is courage, hence the title of the book.
In the book, they argue that the main components of such a different way of doing business are:
* Brand you culture
* Create ownership
* Hire people who don’t suck
* Lead with love
* Make business heroic
* Inspire fun
And I agree completely. However the best reason to read this book is not this model, which is no better or worse than many other models out there. No, read this book for the stories. It contains countless wonderful stories that are fascinating and can really expand your sense of what is possible in a business setting. Read this book for the stories. And then re-think what is or isn’t possible in your organization!