I ran across this interesting story in CNN/Money this week. The CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, has reached out to the chain's employees and (as CNN puts it) "confessed the sins" of Starbucks over the past several years. These sins primarily include the system's rapid expansion, which Schultz describes as "embrac[ing] growth as a reason for being instead of a strategy." This acknowledgement at least partially answers the curiosity we all have felt when wondering how Starbucks can sustain a decent sales volume when stores are placed so close to one another — the answer is, it can't.
Of course, this approach reminds me again of Domino's recent marketing strategy, which by all reports has worked like gangbusters. The approach is certainly a refreshing counterpoint to the circular blame game between BP, Halliburton, and Transocean regarding who is at fault for the oil spill. In a world full of finger pointers, it seems that contrition is king.