The big idea: Habits can be our making or our undoing. Either way, they are powerful. Canny marketers use cues to activate consumer spending habits, and wise leaders create strong institutional habits.
Your business on autopilot: Duhigg reminds us that business processes and routines are nothing more than habits practiced on an organization-wide scale. If you can get your kids to brush their teeth every night, you can get your employees to provide great customer service.
If you read nothing else: Chapter Four recounts Paul O'Neill's turnaround of aluminum company Alcoa. Duhigg uses the example to illustrate how improving a single habit—practicing safety, in Alcoa's case—ripples out to improve an entire organization. If all companies followed Starbucks's lead and trained employees in self-discipline, as described in Chapter Five, customer service and productivity would soar.Read an extract of the book: "How companies learn your secrets."
HT: Victor Tejada.