Posts Tagged Dan Scoggin

LONDON TRIP

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Monday September 16th Sandy and I fly to London for a long anticipated visit Friday’s, UK and witness the resurrection of the Friday’s original spirit and results.  Results are the mantra I preach and results are what Karen and her Friday’s family have produced. No, ‘well but……….’ just happy customers and employees resulting in exceptional results for the company. We call this the Triangle Theory and Levitation.  Karen and her team have produced a happy ending for my book by demonstrating the founding theories are TIMELESS.

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 While there I have been honored by being asked to be an honorary judge at the Bar Champs competition. I will also be teaching a Masters Class to Karens key people. This will give me a chance to air some of  concepts from the book and get feedback from Karen’s best. What a treat that will be! Oh, and don’t say anything but I have a surprise for Karen.

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Starburst Play

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 I saw a mention of  the STARBURST PLAY on  the internet and thought it would be fun to tell the story of its origins. My final assignment with Boise Cascade took me back to the home office in Boise. I was attending a neighborhood pee wee league football game, it was  fun to watch but a little lop sided. Chatting with the coach after the game he revealed his challenge. He said, “I have a lot of great kids but they know only one play!” Having watched the game I was curious what that play might be. He said, “its the STARBURST PLAY! When the ball is hiked everyone runs in a different direction!”

WOW! What a concept and a theory was born. Assemble your management group and draw on a blackboard your typical X’S and O’S  football line up. Ask everyone to write the top three priorities for the company, on a piece of paper and give it to you. See if  the differing priorities don’t represent the ‘STARBURST PLAY’  for your management. To illustrate the point draw a line and arrow pointing in a different direction for each player on the chalkboard. It doesn’t work in football and certainly doesn’t work in business. 

 

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Theories & Philosophies – A Lifetime Legacy

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My life has taken me from church pulpit to sailboat cockpit. I delivered my first sermon to an audience of 500 before I was old enough to drive. I learned to read the New Testament  in the original Koine Greek language and spent the summer between my sophomore and junior college years as minister of a church while the full time minister was on sabbatical. My sailing experience has taken me to many continents and exotic destinations, including, ports of call in the Mediterranean, Athens, Istanbul, Galapagos Islands and Alaska. I have sailed the equivalence of six times around the world including crossing the Atlantic and transiting the Panama Canal both three times. Pulpit to cockpit are the book ends to my business career at Boise Cascade and the founding of T.G.I. Friday’s Inc.

While I no longer practice a religion my early exposure has had a profound influence on my life. Certainly my values and my penchant to apply those values to business. The teaching method of metaphors and analogies obviously comes from this background. I became legendary both at Boise Cascade and Friday’s for my theories and philosophies and the metaphors I used to teach them. The ‘beach ball’, ‘steel pole’, ‘three styles of management’, ‘magic moment’, and many more were created during my decade long career at Boise Cascade. I continued to develop my repertoire and adapt it at Friday’s and while writing the book but they all owe their origins to my roots and now the added dimension of the lessons learned at sea.

It is flattering to see so many of these theories in common use on the internet. There are cartoon versions, flash card versions, one lady has a complete blog on the ‘beach ball theory’ and a hospitality consultant uses the ‘success syndrome’ and ‘four walls’ theories to start his web page. My attorney told me an arbitration class he took used the ‘beach ball theory’ to illustrate several approaches to arbitration. It is not surprising when you think about the wide dispersal of these theories through the managers we trained for the industry. We used to laugh when we saw the training manuals of other restaurant companies with our name just barely whited out.

We supplied the industry with more than just these training theories. Boise Cascade was on the cutting edge of the computing age. Wow! We had one of the first IBM 360’s. As part of the executive team I was sent to  IBM’s school in Poughkeepsie, New York. The basic message taught was, “LEAVE THE NERDS ALONE!”. Operationally, however, we did effectively use this new tool to develop  controls for all aspects of our business. I converted manufacturing controls to the controls for the  restaurant industry and many of these concepts, forms and controls are still in use today. It is amazing the impact we had.  The tools for free pouring bar operations are still on sale.  The diary we kept of daily  store operations, called ‘The Red Book’ must have inspired a product you can buy on Amazon, which looks exactly like what we used is called the ‘FRIDAY MEMORANDUM BOOK’. These are just the tip of the iceberg but the proudest legacy are the ‘Alumni’ that still use and cherish the values they learned from their Friday’s experience; they ‘Bleed Red & White!’

 

 

 

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A LONESOME DOVE SUMMIT

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Lonesome Dove is one of my all time favorite books and mini-series. The story begins in the area of Texas where we will have one of our final creative sessions before wrapping up the book. We will be hanging out, but not like the movie scene above, in and around Bandera, Texas (cowboy capital of the world.). Heavy thinking will be conducted while floating the river pictured above. We have had many working titles and the final will, most likely, be selected by the publisher. The essence of the book is PRINCIPLED MANAGEMENT – The founding theories and philosophies of an American ICON. The final title will convey this in some form or fashion. I am very happy with Mikie’s reformatting and latest draft. Jimmy’s graphics add a nice touch and help set the ‘fish hooks to the brain’ for the reader.

I am very happy to be reconnecting with Friday’s.  Sandy and I will be visiting Nick Shepherd, CEO, Carlson Restaurants and spending a couple of days at his Dallas home. Ironically, his house is near the house I built when I lived in Dallas. We will tour the corporate office, where I am told a conference room has been named in my honor. Wow! I really appreciate Nick doing all of this for me. We will leave Dallas and head south for the ‘Lonesome Dove Summit’ with the brain trust. 

In September I am honored to be attending T.G.I Friday’s, U.K. annual meeting at Wembley Stadium. I have a presentation for Karen Forrester, CEO AND SENIOR V.P.  She has asked me to be the head judge at their bartender competition. While there I will be given the opportunity to teach a class to the senior management and tour a few of the stores in the London area. This experience will give me the final perspective I need to complete the chapter on Karen and her phenomenal success.

On a personal note, I wrote a blog earlier, giving my thoughts on losing weight.  I lamented the blimp I had become while writing the book and becoming addicted to non-stop snacking. I am happy to report I am approaching the forty pound mark………….without Jenny Craig!

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HERE COME DA JUDGE!

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I have the honor of attending Friday’s UK annual conference being held at Wembley Stadium, the theme ‘Update and Celebrate’. Karen Forrester, Senior Vice President & CEO, Friday’s UK, is the best natural leader I have met in my long business career. When she holds one of these events it is truly inspiring. I am presenting her with surprise award, first and only of it’s kind. I am also working on getting an interview the London Times reporter who prematurely reported my demise in a restaurant review back in 1990. Karen has asked me to be the Head Judge at their Bar Champs competition. I am delighted to participate and have already put out the word that “I can be bought!” 

The origins of the many worldwide bartender competitions, including the Bartender Olympics, come as a result of a marketing challenge Friday’s faced in the early 80’s. (Note: This event gained enough fame that the Olympic authorities took note and the name had to be changed……personally I think they should just added it as an event!!!)  As I mention in the book the market place is like a meandering road. One must stay alert and follow it or land in the ditch. In the early 80’s we and the industry at large were faced with declining bar sales. The crusade, which I supported, against drunk drivers and a increasingly health conscious consumer, were the primary causes for the decline.

Most of my competitors responded, as they do today, with discounts, two for one’s, give aways and lavish happy hours. Our approach was to educate our patrons to the better experiences in beverage alcohol. We became the largest seller of Hennessy XO, a high end cognac. We were introducing the latest boutique wines from around the world, especially wines from California . One of our biggest promotions, fun and educational for many, was our entrance into the race to be first to the United States with Beaujolais Nouveau. This is a fun worldwide event. The first year I flew the Beaujolais Nouveau back on the Concord and gave a press party in New York City with Tony Randall as our spokesperson. My last year we flew a FedEx DC-10 full of the wine to Memphis for early distribution. After I left Friday’s, the new management, in order to reduce costs, tried using California beaujolais. It was a non-event??????? By departing from the true event  the promotion died.

We also introduced a whole line of non-alcoholic drinks called flings, mmmmmmm-good. The amazing thing we introduced as part of our marketing plan was entertainment at the bar in the form of ‘Flair’! I call it amazing because of the worldwide phenomenon Flair has created. Tom Cruise was trained by a former Friday’s bartender for the movie ‘Cocktail’. So after all these years it seems fitting that I be one of the judges at Karen’s Bar Champs competition and if I can pick up a little money on the side………………………….so!

Oh, by the way, WE INCREASED BEVERAGE SALES, no coupons, discounting, advertising or give aways. Just pursuing our standard of EXCELLENCE!

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SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED

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Times Have Changed
I have found writing a very enlightening process. Hopefully, my readers will get as much out of reading the book as I have had in writing it. Besides combining the book’s content with my years of experience, I have spent much time researching current trends to make this information relevant for today. In this technology driven age, it seems presentation is paramount.  There are a variety of new forms of communication besides traditional publishing. The attention span of the reader is being trained by USA Today, Facebook and Twitter.  The rate and direction of change is hard for even the professionals in the business world to absorb.

Help Wanted
My working research indicated a clear need. The business world is confused. Young people straight out of college have no direction. Companies are failing in record numbers. I have heard the stories from people I have met and interviewed. It is clear to me that business people can become much more successful. All they need is some help. Frankly, I couldn’t wait to get started because I know what it takes to be successful.

The Solution
I gathered a team of professionals to help me with this important piece of work. Initially, we assembled a wealth of information and sorted it into what we felt was a logical outline. Then we wrote our first draft which had sufficient value to attract a respected agent. Along the way we developed our graphics and worked through our first re-write. Our objective has always been clear. It was not to tell the story of T.G.I. Friday’s or to simply be a tell-all memoir. Instead, we have focused on producing a working manual for entrepreneurs, up-start young managers, or anyone who simply wants to have a more successful life. This life-long collection of tools, philosophies, theories and metaphors are all well suited to the task.

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Life’s Manual
Recently, I had a little unanticipated “think” time while being hospitalized with a tough flu-like infection. I don’t know if it was the morphine or the high fever, but in my delirium, I had an epiphany. What people need is something simple and easy to use that can still give them dramatic changes. Certainly you are familiar with the manuals you receive with major purchases, automobiles and the like. While there is thick, well document version, almost none of us get beyond the Quick Start Guide” and truthfully some of us only use it when all else has failed! So, our vision is to produce a business success “Quick Start Guide.”

The Right Road
Whether you need a start-up, a tune-up or simply a road map, this guide will help you with goal setting, problem solving, and development.  We are hard at work producing the operating manual that will guide you down the road to your greater development. All we ask is that you think while we teach you the ins and outs of a principle-based foundation that will take you and your business the distance.  When you learn “how to think” not “what you think” you will be on the road to success!

Dan Scoggin
Friday’s Founder

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AMERICA’S CUP – NASCAR OF THE SEA

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Sailboat racing used to be compared to the excitement of watching paint dry. With Oracle’s winning of the last America’s Cup in 2010, that all changed. If you have not tuned in I encourage you to do so(www.americascup.com). A standard multi-hulled boat was selected, the AC 45′ and an annual World Series was created. The  AC 45′ exceeds 20 nautical miles per hour or 23 mph (1 nmi = 1.15 miles). The series has taken place around the world every year since the last America’s Cup creating a lot of excitement and a growing audience for the sport. The T.V presentation is brilliant. Electronics capture the race with lines on the water and feedback from each boat. The boats are equipped with multiple cameras and the crews are miked up and all of the above is available with a free smart phone app. Yes! you can tune into specific crews and listen in to the chaos. The app also gives you the real time positions of the boats.

The speeds are incredible and  and crashes plentiful. During the last race we watched one of the Oracle boats hit the committee boat on the start, leaving a sizable hole! In July the competition begins for the Cup itself. July 4th is opening day and the schedule can be found on the web site indicated above. The important thing to note is we are now moving up to the AC 72. Pictured above is Oracle crashing their first boat…..see the crew hanging from the rigging. In another photo you will see the 72′ up on its hydrofoil doing in excess of 40 nmi! You can find great coverage on youTube. The America’s Cup final series for the Cup begins September 7th and if you can make it to San Francisco the races are visible from the shore, they call it ‘Stadium Style Racing’ and San Francisco is the perfect venue! I call it Nascar of the Sea!’ Sorry the infield  is off limits!

 

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