I read a lot and sometimes I preorder new books.  This Winter I preordered “THE REINVENTORS, How Extraordinary Companies Pursue Radical Continuous Change By Jason Jennings.  I started reading it last week and when I turned to page 60 lo and behold what did I see?  My friend Bill McQueen as one of the case study examples of how to reinvent even a moribund industry.

Bill makes up a healthy part of chapter 3 “Picking the Destination” which begins with the statement:

“The main job of the leader is to be a destination expert, to let everyone know where the company is going and make certain that everyone understands and is willing to embrace constant change in order to get there.”

Some excerpts from Bill’s interview are insightful

“This is a business that was and is ripe for reinvention…the real reason things had to change was because we had to be able to offer the quality of life that talented people wanted and that we wanted to provide them”

“We were wrong in concluding that everyone wanting cremation was a price shopper…price shoppers only want one thing…the absolutely lowest price in town.”

“The breakthrough came when we studied cremations in other societies.”

“The success of the first tribute center led McQueen to the realization that they weren’t really in the business of handling bodies but were, instead, in the business of educating and helping people understand the value of ceremony, ritual and the telling of one’s life story. ‘We weren’t going to be in a business that was about caskets, hearses, and cemeteries anymore but, instead, about helping people transition through loss and come out the other side in a state of peace.’ Once they selected a destination the radical reinvention became easy.

I haven’t finished reading it yet but if you want a copy for yourself click on the picture below:

P.S. ICCFA is hosting author Jason Jennings at its Fall Management Conference.