Archive for December, 2013

ADDICTED TO EXCELLENCE

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“Excellence is not a waypoint but a  learning curve.”Daniel R. Scoggin

I am an addict of the ‘power of excellence’. Once you experience it nothing else will ever match it. Its like playing on a Super Bowl team, winning the Masters in golf or being awarded the ‘best of’ for whatever your passion happens to be. The energy and fulfillment that comes from striving for and experiencing excellence is simply awesome.

I had the privilege of leading an organization that succumbed to this addiction. Going to work was a prideful pleasure. No one ever tired of trying to improve or find a better way. It became an accepted fact that excellence  is an elusive target, the better you became the better you could become. When an excellent product was developed nothing would stand in the way of executing it, no matter how difficult.

The reward was in the customer reception and eventual addiction to the excellence in service, atmosphere, product and fun! They recognized the value and were willing to pay the price, tip well and send us their friends. This is the essence of the Triangle Theory I teach in my upcoming book. “Take care of the customer, invest in your employee and your bottom line will take care of it’s self.”Daniel R. Scoggin

Today, as I reconnect with this bunch of addicts, I am glad to see they are still hooked. They all say  ‘the standard’ changed their lives and they wouldn’t have it any other way!

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PROCESS *** Slinky on an escalator?

PROCESS” is like putting a slinky on an escalator, a lot of activity without going anywhere!

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“Process” – In government and business considerable time is consumed with non-productive activities I call “process”. “Process” is the busy work activity used in government to build fiefdoms and budgets (which is power) and in business to build departmental size (which increases supervisor status). It is also used by the employee to keep employment. This definition of “process” is never connected to a result.

At the CEO level there is a sophisticated level of “process”. This level of “process” involves a strategy, designed for and sold to the Board of Directors. The strategy is usually cleverly named, (acronyms are popular)  and always generates a lot of high visibility activity but no results. Many  ‘professional’ CEO’s have had successful careers with “process” coupled with the ability to explain the lack of RESULTS!

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Compass for Success in 2014

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imageGoal setting is more than a lofty, feel good, concept. It is a problem solver, organizer and empowers, not only the individual but an entire organization. It is, in fact, the compass that guides everything you do. The secret of goal setting lay in the vision that comes from a solid foundation of core values, coupled with a standard of excellence. The first test of  your compass is your passion about the goal AND its accomplishment.  In fact it is very important that you are you so passionate about your goal, that you will not compromise it’s ultimate achievement or it’s standard of EXCELLENCE.

If this sounds preachy, it is! Today it is so hard to find honesty and commitment to goals or the standard of excellence. In politics and business it is very hard to find honesty or commitment to  ‘stated’ goals, let alone, excellence! Why don’t you start the New Year as an ‘exception’. We talk about  both the why and how of being the ‘exception’ in my upcoming book but you can start now by simply writing down YOUR core values and see where that leads you. I think you will be surprised!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR

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As our 2013 pumpkin snowman fades, Sandy, Boomer – eh, Dutch and I, hope you are looking back on a great year and want to wish you all the best in the New Year. We plan to publish the book soon to help make it a great year.

For fun & games refer to our archive of  December 2012.

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TRIANGLE THEORY IGNORED

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The Triangle Theory has been around a long time. It has been successfully used by many of my former employees and students. These days it can even be found in a number of places  on the internet.  It is a very simple concept, properly interpreted it says take care of your employees and customers and they will take care of your bottom line. The goal is for management to  balance the benefits of the business among the three sides of the Triangle. The smart  leader quickly learns that the more you invest in your employees and customers the faster sales and profits will grow. (This of course must be done properly to be effective….this is a plug for my book!)

I am watching with great interest the slow collapse and consolidation of the chains in the restaurant industry. Almost without exception the decline of various brands was caused by IGNORING the concept embodied in the Triangle Theory. Profits were the #1 priority and cost cutting became the #1 focus.  This of course was at the expense of the other two sides of the triangle, the employee and the customer. As sales AND profits declined, the obvious answer is advertising saying “please come back, we are not that bad!”. When that doesn’t work the next obvious answer is to buy them back with discounts, bundling and couponing! This all cost money so we are back to where we started……cost cutting!!!

Interestingly, well run companies with a balanced triangle, that are sold by their founders, are almost always immediately subjected to the profits priority and  the cost cutting strategy begins the never ending spiral down. 

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