By William Seidman A recent story in the New York Times about CEO Howard Schultz’s new vision for Starbucks describes planned changes — most of them about products. Starbucks’ CEO, like so many leaders of product companies, plans to lift Starbucks out of its doldrums with new offerings. They may get lucky and find something that works, at least for a while.  But a better, more sustainable, approach is to improve the quality of the experience in each store. Having been to several Starbucks recently, I can truly say that these are no longer well-run. The lines are long, the product mediocre and the seating arrangements too often crowded and dirty. This is particularly true of airports’ Starbucks, which are generally awful. How about improving local management instead of just trying to find a winner product? Using our methods it would be simple to significantly improve local management throughout the chain. How about getting back to basics of barista fanaticism for quality and a great restaurant experience?]]>

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