Every year, new business books come out promising a new mantra that define how entrepreneurs approach their task of innovation. One of the most head-turning books from 2012 is just available now. It comes from the head of Yum! Brands, David Novak, and it's called Taking People With You: The Only Way to Make Big Things Happen.
This is a business book for big thinkers. Novak has brought many innovations to American, including the introduction of Cool Ranch flavoring to Doritos. His contribution to franchising has of course been legendary. Not only has he introduced products like KFC's Crispy Strips and the Meat Lovers' pizza at Pizza Hut, but he has overseen the massive rise of franchises like KFC both at home and abroad. His wisdom will be of great interest to many aspiring leaders. He sat down with Inc Magazine to reveal some of those ideas.
One of the most interesting aspects of this interview, I thought, was Novak's habit of making unannounced visits to his restaurants. He described the strategy as such:
No. 1, I'm there to see the business the way the customer sees it so you're really there to see the world the way that it is, not necessarily the way you'd like to think it is. The second thing is, once you see that and you understand what the reality is, then I think you pass that on and you provide coaching to the organization on the things I think we can do better. Third thing, a lots of times you go in, you get a great experience, you get the opportunity to recognize people and say, "hey, that was really terrific. I had a great experience and way to go."
There's loads of great insight in this article and in Novak's book. If you're looking to do some big thinking about business this year, this is a good place to start.