Today, I had a book review assignment due for my ILS565-Library Management class. Ok, it really wasn’t a book review since the assignment was to write a speech using the ideas from the book. This was a tough one. I have never written a speech before – and I really have no clue about the quality of the paper I turned in. Oh well, we will see!!!! Meanwhile, the angst is a killer.
The book that I chose for this assignment is Fundamentals of Customer-Focused Management(Wesport, CT: Praeger, 2006) by Joby John. I liked this book because of its focus on customer service for a successful business – something which I think is incredibly important for libraries. In the book, John elaborate’s on the management techniques discussed by Peter Drucker in the 1954 work, The Practice of Management (New York: Harper Collins). Drucker wrote that “there is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer,” and John builds upon this tenet in his book.
Part of John’s purpose in writing this books seems to be trying to explain why some many dot-com businesses of the 1990s failed so miserably. John thinks it is important to be customer-focused and that companies must utilize new technologies within their customer-focused mission. John asserts that many of the dot-com businesses that failed tried to build businesses around the new technologies – the internet, etc – without having a handle on their purpose or mission, on who their customers actually were or what service they were actually providing to their customers.
One of John’s ideas that I think directly relates to libraries is “Businesses cannot succeed in the long term unless they are focused on its customers so as to provide them with superior service” (p.16). I don’t think libraries will succeed if they do not provide their customers with superior service. Overall, there is a great deal of good stuff in this book – that all comes down to developing a customer-focused environment.
I think one of the reasons that I found it difficult to complete this assignment was that there is so much in the book (despite the fact that it is only about 200 pages). The speech was only supposed to be 2-3 double spaced pages. So much didn’t make it in to the speech – instead it is all running around in my head!!!!