In Disasters, Preparation is Necessary But Luck is Key

I’ve written before about emergency response and preparation here.  But there was one aspect of emergency response and preparation that I neglected to mention – luck.

I bring this up because in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, some Texas politicians are calling for people to NOT donate to the American […]

Waiting Rooms, Use Thereof

I’ve spent a lot of time in waiting rooms – especially since my wife had her stroke.  And while waiting rooms, particularly doctors’ waiting rooms, are not the most fun atmosphere, I find waiting rooms very useful because I’m always prepared.

How do you prepare for a waiting room?

I prepare […]

Planning is Important – But NOT for the Reason You Think

We are always planning – it’s fun and we get to focus on the future where everything is possible.  And Americans are forward-looking people.  We rarely focus on the past except to provide a guide to the future.

But planning in America is usually a terrible process – in fact, […]

Murphy is always present and waiting

Murphy’s Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

The updated quality management standard, ISO 9001:2015, is causing a big stir in the quality profession because it requires risk-based thinking. This is really nothing new because risk-based thinking has always been required in any practical operation. There is little […]

Ignorance of Now

I want you to imagine that it’s December 31, 1995 and you’re asked to pick what is the most momentous event of the year. What would you pick? lists 784 events for the year 1995. Well, what would you pick? Julia Roberts and Lyle Lovett break up? The […]

SpokaneAMA – Increasing Event Attendance

Suggestions for getting attendance at an event?

Rule#1: Have a GREAT event!

Have an event that excites people – whether its excitement, a worthwhile cause, great conversation – something that the attendees will be talking about the next day and week. This requires that you plan in detail with plenty of […]

Success and Failure (Part 3)

On this date in 1846 the Donner Party was preparing to set out for the last stretch to California the next day. At this point they had suffered more privation than most pioneers had. Unfortunately, the sufferings would only get worse as the party was trapped in the Sierra […]

Absolutely Do This Before You Open a New Business Location

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.

When a company looks to open another branch or location, what are the most common pitfalls you see?

When making any significant change to a business […]

#SpokaneAMA Question: Guarantee of Service

By Frank Hutchison

What is the best way to write a “guarantee” on a service business?  I’m a certified health coach and educate and guide others to live their best life.  Some clients will not do what is suggested so I need solid boundaries around my guarantee.
In any service business […]

Spokane Ask Me Anything and #SpokaneAMA Question: YouTube Strikes

By Frank Hutchison
We held the very first (but not last) Spokane Ask Me Anything (#SpokaneAMA) at ITT Technological Institute on April 16th.  We had a blast and all the attendees said they wanted another one!  Well, you will!  We’ll announce the date, time and place when we have […]

Visioning – Then What?

I have recently heard a lot of people talk about visioning – basically, what you visualize is what you’ll get.  Now, I believe in visualization – I even mentioned it in my last blog post – it’s a very effective means to work out what to do when […]

Creating Customer Service Legends

Several years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting the author of Tongue Fu!: How to Deflect, Disarm, and Defuse Any Verbal Conflict, Sam Horn (a woman), when she gave a presentation to the Northern Virginia section of the American Society for Quality.  There was one story she […]

Free Crisis Management Tools: Table Top Exercises

Just after 9/11, Frank helped a community organization in the DC area develop a disaster preparedness plan.  The group coordinated turning neighborhood churches into shelters and coordination centers in the event of an attack or natural disaster. The leadership was completely volunteer – they all had regular day jobs […]

OODA Loop: The Best Business Tool You’ve Never Heard Of

You’ve probably never heard of the OODA loop – which is a shame, because you’re probably already doing it. A lot of the best business and crisis management tools are like that. Most people are already using them, but they call them things like “coping mechanisms” or “common sense” or […]

Black Holes and Consequences: The Physics of Crisis Management

A black hole will swallow everything that gets too close to it – including light. The area around the center of the black hole where something disappears is called the event horizon. It’s the black part of the black hole – there’s stuff there, but you can’t see any […]

Belly Ballot Hoax: Let’s Make Better Mistakes Tomorrow

Back in January, a startup baby name website called ran a “Belly Ballot” contest. They promised to pay $5,000 to an expectant mother who let their readers vote to name their baby. It was supposed to launch their new Belly Ballot feature, which allows friends and family to […]

The Ten Commandments of Responding to Negative Reviews Online (Without Looking Like a Flaming Idiot)


Check out yesterday’s post on business owners acting badly:

How to Lose a Fight on the Internet
A flame war is a internet comment exchange gone nuclear. You’ve seen them. Two commenters talk around each other and never really address the other’s issues, and the conversation escalates to name calling and […]

Crisis Management and Mental Illness: What We Can Learn from Paula Deen

photo credit: lifescript hereIt’s been a bad week for celebrity chefs.In three short days, Paula Deen gone from Food Network darling to being publicly fired by the network. You can read more about it here, but let me sum up: A former employee filed a lawsuit against her charging […]

Godzillas and Frogs: Understanding Potential Crises

Photo Credit: here

Whenever I tell people that I deal in crisis management, their response is, “What type of crisis?”  I can answer with descriptions of personnel, management or even moral crises that I’ve dealt with, but almost every crisis that I have dealt with over the past 30+ years […]

Baby Elephants and Baby Birds: What Does It Mean To Be A Startup?

photo credit here

These days, the word “start-up” gets tossed around so much that we’re starting to lose its meaning.  And the meaning matters. Consider this: a lot of creatures can be classified as baby animals. But when you want to learn about baby birds, it doesn’t make sense to […]