The Orange Code is a story about conventional wisdom, and how to win by ignoring it completely. In ING Direct, Kuhlmann has built a bank that is an advocate for, and a servant of, the average person. Rather than getting people to spend more (which is what most banks do), his approach is to get people to save more - to return to the values of thrift, self-reliance, and building a nest egg. Strategy as advocacy means knowing what you stand for, creating a compelling story around your products and services, making very clear choices about what businesses you do and do not want to enter, and serving only those customers who can benefit most from your business model. It also means hiring people willing to do things differently from the industry norm, and then inspiring those employees with the same set of values that you use to connect with your customers.
In his entertaining, informative and inspiring style, Arkadi Kuhlmann explores his unique approach to business strategy, leadership, and management.
As a long-time ING Direct customer, I really admire their business and customer sense. But this story could have been told more concisely to ensure that others could find the same passion for good business.
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