Monthly Archives: August 2010

User Error

Burned car wreck, about 3 Miles south of Carca...

I took a drive yesterday to run an errand and managed to avoid the folks who were busy committing user error out on the roads. We seem to hear every day about some recall or major product issue and I’m sure those things are in need of attention. However, if you ask me the one thing that needs the most attention is us: we, the users. Let me explain. Continue reading

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Filed under Thinking Aloud

Egg On Their Faces

A fried egg, sunny side up.

Some things just make you shake your head and today’s USA Today brought along another one of them. It’s almost as if the aftermath of the BP spill never happened or, at best, as if some folks are either not paying attention or just not getting what they’re seeing and hearing.  I know it’s not Friday but this is food-related, sort of.  It’s really about business and responsibility in my mind but I’ll let you be the judge. Continue reading

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks

Learning Not To Cook

Toque

It’s Friday and the topic, of course, is food-related. I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day and he mentioned that his business used to remind him of a cook and a couple of helpers but now it’s a big kitchen and the cook has become a chef. As we kept talking, it was obvious to me that the guy had NOT become a chef – he was still a cook and that’s the business point I want to make today.

I hear lots of folks complain about chefs (most of them celebrities now) who have six or ten or more restaurants. “How can they run the kitchen from 1,000 miles away?” is the common question. But they can because they’ve learned not to cook and that’s what my friend’s boss needs to understand. Continue reading

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Filed under Consulting, food, Helpful Hints

Why You Do These Things?

Cookie, Anyone

A very long time ago, I had a teacher who taught a class I didn’t find particularly challenging. Like most lads of 11 or 12, I found other, generally disruptive ways to amuse myself (and often my classmates) in lieu of the lesson being taught. As an aside, once I became a teacher several years later, I didn’t find it all that amusing when some of my charges did similar things.
Inevitably, she would reel me back to Earth and ask me in a phrase that the whole class came to know and love “Keith, why you do these things?” No, English was not her first language but it was a language class anyway so not much English was spoken. I bring this up because I find myself asking the same question about something this morning and maybe you can help me answer. Continue reading

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Filed under digital media, Huh?

Changing The Format

A golf ball.

I’m playing this weekend in our club’s Member/Member tournament. No, it’s not televised or even streamed – sorry. But it does provide a business thought I want to share with you. To get there, I’m going to take a few words and explain the format but stay with me – hopefully it’s worth the golf stuff.
You play with one other member as your partner over the course of 3 rounds. Each of the rounds is a different type of competition. The first is a scramble (you each hit and pick the best shot to play next then you both hit from there); the second is a best-ball (you each play your own ball and the low score counts on each hole); the final round is alternate shot (the team only plays one ball and the players alternate shots. One guys tees off on the odd numbered holes; the other on the evens).  Got it?  So what’s the business thinking? Continue reading

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Filed under Thinking Aloud, What's Going On

Grow Up

I’m not sure if you read this article from yesterday’s New York Times. Very enlightening. It speaks of parents who take their kids to college and then stick around, sometimes for days. As someone who has been through this process – twice – I can tell you that it’s awful. Leaving the person you’ve protected since birth hundreds of miles away with strangers is a frightening, difficult event. I still refer to the first time as one of the worst days of my life and the second time was a little easier only because the school is only 90 minutes away (and I can do it in 60 if I don’t mind a couple of tickets). So why should you care? Because it affects you if you hire any young people. Continue reading

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Man At The Top

A little bit of The Boss to start us off this week.  Bruce recorded a song called Man At The Top for the Born in the USA album but it didn’t make the final cut.  He performed it rarely until he released it 15 years later for the Tracks album.  It’s a pretty simple song – kind of reminds me of Hungry Heart married to Ben E. King‘s Stand By Me.

In any event, I was in the car yesterday morning and it came on the radio.  As I was singing along, the thought crossed my mind that the folks who want to be the man at the top should be careful what they’re asking for.  Let me explain. Continue reading

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Filed under Reality checks