Monday, October 02, 2006

Book Report/Notes: The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth

I read "The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth" quickly on the train back from the Games for Health conference and got very excited by how "The Ultimate Question" can ultimately help non-profits understand where and how they are being successful (or not).

The premise of the book is very simple - by asking a particular question in a particular way and by looking at the results, you can easily understand how to optimize your business.

"NPS" is a net promoter score - and it essentially measures how much your customers love you and are willing to recommend you to their friends, families and colleagues.

The question is very simple:
"How likely is it that you would recommend this company/product/service/event/society/foundation to a friend or colleague?"
By providing a 1-10 scale and categorizing the responses, you can calculate a score.

10-9 = Promoter, 8-7 = Passive, 6-0 = Detractor

You simply calculate the % of promoters and % detractors and subtract the two to get your score (P-D=NPS).

The book shows how different companies have used this approach to manage growth against competitors, and even provides solid examples and ideas on how to slice and dice your NPS. For example, we could easily calcluate NPS across chapters, events (walk sites) or even donor amounts... each score will tell us something about how we're doing.

My only problem is that culturally, we survey people to death - and convincing anyone to just ask that one, simple question isn't going to be possible. I hope to do a test of the Ultimate Question soon, along with some slicing across different areas to get an understanding of how this really works.

I highly recommend this book - it's a fast read and will pack your mind with new ideas. The authors also have a web site and online community as well. I found some interesting posts in "public sector" and in the boards.


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