Two Failures – and the Customer Service Responses to Them

I spent some time recently helping my son and his family move into a new house.  It’s been over three months since they moved out of their old house in Virginia and they were looking forward to being in their new house in Washington.  The situation was the usual […]

Can You Keep a Secret?

Have you heard of the 3S method? In the West where wolves are a very polarizing subject – either you are for wolves or against wolves – it’s not uncommon for some people want to “eliminate” wolves. But shooting wolves is illegal except when you have a permit. So […]

Workers Will Arise!

I would like to take you back to 1900. Imagine that you are a blue collar worker*:

Your odds of dying on the job are more than 2500% higher than today.
You likely don’t have heating in the winter or cooling in the summer – unless your job involves heat or […]

No One’s Loyal to a Cubical Farm

Enough said!

“I am my position”

In my wife’s family, there was one phrase that would end all discussion on any topic, “My name is Father and…” His position as father allowed him the ultimate disposition on any topic.
Now, my father-in-law usually used this phrase to end those discussions where everyone has had their say […]

Learning Disabilities

When my older daughter was born, I discovered a poster in the maternity ward which I wish I had stolen. I didn’t, but now I wish I had because I can’t find it anywhere and, apparently, neither can others who have looked. Three years ago I was sitting in […]

Vision – Part 2

In our last post, we examined vision statements from Fortune 500 companies and, with the help of A Study of the 2005 Fortune 500 Vision Statements by Bart Kasowski and Louis Jacques Filion, we discovered that only 11% have “real” vision statements. As with the mission statement, few […]

Your Mission Statement – Part 1

One of the classical components of any business plan is the mission statement – the why your company or organization exists. Usually the founders throw together a good sounding statement and move on to the more important parts of their business plan without much thought. But the mission statement […]

SpokaneAMA: How do you recruit?

Here’s our first question from the our latest Spokane Ask Me Anything (SpokaneAMA):  We have too much to do and not enough people. How do you recruit? We are all volunteers.

Recruiting is a lot like dating – both parties must find something in the relationship that benefits them.

For the […]

Thank you, George Westinghouse

Today is the birthday of George Westinghouse (1846), founder of the Westinghouse Company, inventor of the railway air brake, and the rival of Thomas Edison (and George won!) Yes, George Westinghouse championed alternating current (AC) electrical systems while Thomas wanted direct current (DC) systems. As you know, we use […]

What Does Legalized Marijuana Mean for Employers & Businesses?

This is a question we received at the Spokane Ask Me Anything sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners held June 12, 2014.

SpokaneAMA:  Now that pot is legal, what boundaries can I ensure are being respected?

At least in the states of Washington and Colorado, it is now […]

How to Deal with Your Employer Who’s Screwing You

It was déjà vu all over again – someone looking for a new job because things were really bad at their present place of employment.  How bad?  Managers cutting commissions based on under the table deals with customers, arbitrary changing schedules and telling employees by sending e-mails after […]

Succession Planning and Buses

What has succession planning to do with buses you ask?  Everything!  Usually when someone is talking of succession planning they are talking about how a business will continue after the founder is no longer running the show either because of dead or disability.  And that’s very important.  But […]

Why working with family …

Why working with family sucks*There’s history there. “Family” means there’s a 99% probability that you have, at one point, yelled “I HATE YOU!” or “GET AWAY FROM ME” at them or been yelled at by them. If it’s a sibling, you’ve probably been on the giving or receiving end […]

Honest Press Releases: How AOL’s Tim Armstrong Looked Like a Hypocrite and Alienated Employees

Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO
image via wikimedia commons

Once upon a time, Tim Armstrong was President of Google’s Americas operations. He was an idea generator in a complex machine with endless resources and competent executives who balanced each other out. He had a reputation for rallying the troops with coach-style pep […]

The Stagecoach Principle: How Close to the Edge Do You Drive?

I heard a story a long time ago about three men that applied for a job driving a stagecoach over a mountain pass with a narrow road on the edge of a cliff.  The owner of the stagecoach line had each man drive the stage once over the pass, then […]

Shut Up & Listen: The Key to Leadership Success

I belong to a large Facebook group where people discuss social issues and organize activities to help different causes.The group has had trouble with repeated racial conflicts and cultural misunderstandings recently, and members are trying to understand each other better.To help, a black member of the group (I’ll call […]

How to Panic, Pass the Buck, and Alienate Customers: McDonald’s Style

After another embarrassing front page gaffe, McDonald’s has taken down its McResource Line employee site. And issued one of the worst statements possible by way of explanation.
“We have offered the McResource program to help our valued McDonald’s employees with work and life guidance created by independent third party experts. […]

Winning in a Crisis: How Sonic Built Trust, Created Loyalty, and Neutralized a Racist PR Nightmare

We spend a lot of time explaining case studies of what NOT to do – just last week, we discussed How McDonald’s Convinces Employees It Doesn’t Care.  It gets frustrating. So when a company responds to a crisis with empathy, skill, and honesty, I can’t help but crow.

And that’s exactly […]

Corporate Credibility in a Crisis: How McDonald’s Convinces Employees It Doesn’t Care

In case you missed it, McDonald’s is suffering from a serious case of food-in-mouth disease. Here’s the short of it:The CrisisMcDonald’s in embroiled in an intense, messy, very public wage dispute controversy. McDonald’s workers are painting the company as a cold, heartless corporation that exploits its workers – valuing […]