MBWA (Management By Wandering Around) Still Proves to Be a Strong Strategy

Last month, I shared an experience I had with an old business associate in which we visited several of his customers. He wanted me to see what had resulted from a book we both read and enjoyed very much decades earlier. It was a Tom Peters’ classic, In Search of Excellence, in which he encouraged MBWA (Management By Wandering Around). My friend applied this strategy within his organization and was so pleased with the results that he decided to extend his execution to his own client base. That’s what he wanted me to see.

Well, it appears that my friend was right on the money and maybe even got a bit of a jump on what may soon become a critical strategy. A recent survey revealed some shocking results which SHOULD act as a wake-up call for any and all organizations trying to deal with the many negative ramifications of today’s chaotic business environment.

24/7 Wall St., LLC is a Delaware corporation set up to run a financial news and opinion operation with content delivered over the Internet. The company publishes about 35 pieces of content a day and has readers throughout North America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. The company currently has its content picked up at websites including TheStreet.com, AOL Finance and BloggingStocks, The Wall Street Journal online, MarketWatch, and StockHouse.

Looking back over the past 50 years, you’ll discover that some of the most successful companies were led by CEOs that spent a great deal of their time with customers and at company locations around the world. In short, MBWA (Management By Wandering Around). Two of the most famous supporters of this strategy were Willard Marriott and Sam Walton. At one point, Walton visited hundreds of stores a year. If these CEOs wanted to know how they were doing with the consumers who spent money with them, they did not have to check with anyone else in management.

Along these same lines, 24/7 was apparently interested in how this philosophy is viewed by today’s business icons and what impact, if any, those views correlated with the current success of the organizations involved. What they discovered in this latest study is not new. In fact, it’s been known and well-documented for decades. Obviously, few leaders give credence to this powerful strategy at a time when all should do so.

In this article, they examine a good number of companies that are currently making headlines in the media … some good, some not so good. They name the company, give a quick run-down of why they’re in the news, and then compare their current status to the CEO’s philosophy on MBWA. It’s amazing that those leaders who get out to their locations and keep in touch with their employees and customers are doing much better than those who don’t. The majority of these leaders encourage their staff to practice MBWA as well. In short, it becomes part of the culture. This strategy has been proven time and time again over the years regardless of the product, service, or industry. Bottom line—it works. Why then, don’t more leaders, at every level, practice this concept? The excuses are numerous. The results remain the same.

Want the proof? 24/7’s quick review of the following companies will open your eyes: Sears, K-Mart, Ford Motor, Radio Shack, Dell, TDAmeritrade, Sprint, Palm, Target, Wal-Mart, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, McDonalds, Schwab, & CostCo. What you do about it is up to you.

Want to hear more about MBWA? Click and share: Does MBWA (Management By Wandering Around) Still Work?

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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