Why “Pretty Good” ?

When I joined Walgreens in 1971 it was far from the stellar performer that it is today. When I left Walgreens, in 2004, it had completed its 30th year of increasing sales and profit growth.

In 2001, best-selling author Jim Collins featured Walgreens in his “Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t.” Collins and his team had analyzed the financials of 1,435 companies selected from the Fortune 500 between 1965-1995.

By the time they were through only eleven companies remained and Walgreens was still standing tall. From December 31st, 1975, to January 1, 2000, $1 invested in Walgreens beat $1 invested in technology superstar Intel by nearly two times, General Electric by nearly five times, Coca-Cola by nearly eight times, and the general stock market (including the NASDAQ stock run-up at the end of 1999) by over fifteen times. (Collins, pg4.)

The good press was fun but troublesome. The Walgreen culture was “Work Hard, Celebrate for a Moment, Go Back to Work.” We were always afraid to rest on our laurels. It was our then CEO,
Dan Jorndt, in his annual speech to our Store Management team, who said, “I don’t think we are “Great”, but we are “Pretty Good.”

And so it is with Pretty Good Consulting…
unwilling to rest on our laurels, and ready to go to work for you.