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image                It has gotten to the point it is FUNNY!!

Research for the book has had me closely following several turnaround efforts. The book, a how to, basic business practices book, teaches principled management and simple basics that work. I am following both winners and losers in several industries. I have blogged many times about professional managers that are best at coming up with grand programs that have clever names but rarely produce results. 

If you are an investor, board member or just inquisitive student of business, I have a quick litmus test for you. Whenever you hear about a grand turnaround plan that has a big clever name and want to predict it’s outcome, drop down to the lowest common denominator of that business and check the basics. In the restaurant business, walk past the remodel, ignore the coupons and check, is the restaurant clean or dirty, is the service outstanding or mediocre and is the food any good (most customers prefer fresh over boil-in-a-bag). There is a film on Mc Donald’s last big turnaround focused pointedly at Ray Kroc’s famous QSC………and it worked.

We keep our boat at Pier 39 in San Francisco. When I first started writing the book a new CEO was appointed. I interview him and tell his story in the book. Let me give you a preview. Pier 39 is the third highest volume tourist attraction in the U.S. They run two of the bay’s ferry fleets and overall is a very big business. It was easy to see Taylor’s impact from the very beginning, you guessed it, the basics. Everything got cleaned up, fixed up and made substantially more attractive. New support was given to the merchants, addressing unnecessary rules and added training in dealing with the various mixes of customers to the pier. Taylor started at the Pier right out of school and worked his way to the top and knows first hand the basics 

 

In spite of the economy The Pier had a record year. Moral among merchants and employees is high, something that always comes with success. The Basics are so simple and obvious I just laugh at the expensive grand programs! I am still looking for positive results from any of  the  grand programs I am following………

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“IF IT WERN’T SO SIMPLE – IT WOULDN’T BE SO                        FUNNY”

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