Summer Reading Suggestions

Looking for some books to read this summer that are more meat than fluff? Need suggestions for books to add to your Kindle that you got dad for Father’s Day? Check out these three suggestions from Dr. Lytle’s summer reading list:

1.  “Onward” by Howard Schultz – the story of Starbucks comeback.

From Amazon's Kindle store

2.  “Four Seasons” – service quality book about the Four Seasons brand and how service established their success.

From Amazon's Kindle store

3.  “Jesus Calling” – a daily devotional book that all the CEO’s at CEO Forum are using in their spiritual walk.

From Amazon's Kindle store

Let us know if you’ve read any of the above titles and what you thought!

Dean Chronicles: Wrapping up my time in Asia

Hong Kong

A quick note from Dr. Lytle as he prepares to leave Hong Kong and head back to Texas:

Beijing ended well.  Visits with key business professionals from major companies like GE and Vermeer were highly successful.  Also, a visit with a major professor at Beijing University (The Premiere University) and businessman seemed quite profitable in terms of opportunity.  The China Business Conference was well attended and my session was well received.  In fact, I gave out all of my business cards without thinking so I had none for my trips to Singapore and Hong Kong.

Our Singapore visit was most fruitful.  I visited with numerous Christian professionals and spent an entire day touring the city visiting the central business/financial district, local landmarks, and Sanatos Island – an international resort complex recently developed.

Additionally, I taught a half day seminar using material out of my book.  27 Christian business persons were with us all day.  It was extremely encouraging.  Their faith and desire to be who God wants them to be is inspirational.  Several key contacts were made with nationals who have done their education in the states at Harvard, George Washington, and Cornell.  I guess there are at least 4-5 solid opportunities for day-long corporate visits:

1.  Hospitality/Retail – Principal West Paces Hotel Group, Cappella Resort on Sanatos Island (Harvard MBA).

2.  Vice Chairman-Asia of Austria New Zealand Bank.  Had dinner in his home.
3.  CIO Austria New Zealand Bank.
4.  Chancellor – Nanyang Technological University
5.  Chairman and CEO – major environmental company in Singapore and former CEO of major industrial U.S. company.

In Hong Kong we met with a new contact from Walmart who has recently been placed in Hong Kong with his family.  They are from Heber Springs and we discussed a variety of mutual friends from Harding and Walmart.  He has offered office, store, and distribution center visits on the mainland.

Spent a 1/2 day touring the city – visiting the container shipyards at one of the world’s busiest ports.  Also, spent 1/2 day at Hong Kong Baptist University meeting with International personnel exploring opportunities for our students at their university during short summer programs.

Mike Willoughby and I met with Dr. Victor Fung high atop his high rise office building.  He is Harvard educated and runs a multi-billion dollar enterprise including Asian franchises for Toys R Us and 7-11.  He committed to hosting our students for a day within his operations and put us in touch with his Director for the Victor and William Fung Foundation.  He will be a good contact moving forward.

I leave for the airport in a few hours. Overall, it’s been a very successful trip! I’ve been blessed, encouraged and challenged. There are so many incredible opportunities here for our students. With God’s guidance and provision – I look forward to returning in the future with our business students.

Dean Chronicles: Dr. Lytle’s Asian Tour

Dr. Lytle checks in with us from his travels in Asia:

Since May 15 I have been on an Asian tour, meeting Christian business professionals in their home countries. May 15-18 was spent in Beijing, China where I had the opportunity to have dinner with several Christian business people serving in China with major U.S. companies. I was also asked to speak at a conference of around 200 Asian business professionals. My topic was Service Matters: Building Brand Advantage through Service Excellence. Today (May 19), we landed in Singapore. We will be holding a variety of meetings with Christian business professionals here as well. On Saturday, I will speak to the CEO Forum-Asia group on my book, Abandoning the Ordinary. Sunday we leave for Hong Kong to do more of the same. Additionally, I am exploring and crafting opportunities for our business and technology students to study abroad during their time in our programs at ACU. One of the great privileges of this trip is the opportunity to be mentored by Mr. Dick Schulz, former Iowa Basketball coach, former Cornell Athletic Director, former president of the NCAA, and former Secretary General for the U.S. Olympic Committee. He is a man of faith who has had an extraordinary life of service to God and man and family. Asia is an amazing part of the world – certainly the focus of the most dynamic and significant global development over the next 30 years.

God bless,


Dr. Lytle at a speaking engagement in Beijing

Dean Chronicles: Arizona State’s Services Leadership Institute

Dr. Rick Lytle received his PhD in Marketing from Arizona State. He’s been invited back this month to attend their 25th annual Services Leadership Institute, which is focusing on “Do you know what your customers truly want from you?”. Leading academicians and many CEOs from Fortune 500 companies are gathering for three days in the desert where they will address the following questions and challenges:

  • Do you know what your customers truly want from you?
  • How do they need to receive your service offerings in the way that works best for them?
  • What is the price the are willing to pay?
  • What is the service experience they are expecting?

We checked in with Dr. Lytle while in Tempe to hear how things are going. Here’s what he said:

It is my first time back in 20 years.  My professors extended me an opportunity to come and participate in the Institute this Spring where I used to do research as a doctoral student years ago.  Today, ASU’s Center for Services Leadership is the premier center in the world for the study of Services Marketing.  It is an honor to be back.

My focus areas were services marketing and strategy.  I am seeking to stay current in my academic discipline though serving as dean.  My purpose in coming is threefold 1) stay current in the discipline to further my teaching and research, 2)preparing to teach a services marketing class in our curriculum, and 3) I am beginning to work on a second book based on my dissertation research in this field.

I am gathered with about 40 managers from organizations like GE, Siemens, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Mayo Clinic, Abbott Labs, and CVS Caremark. Our first session today was led by Dr. Roger Hallowell former Harvard Professor and Services Marketing expert.  One take away, don’t pay people excess money, pay them excess attention if you want to create a culture of service excellence and performance.