Flush the recession Kool-Aid! Create your own demand!

“Teach a parrot the terms ‘supply and demand’ and you’ve got an economist.”

~ Thomas Carlyle

A lady walked into a neighborhood market one day and spoke loudly over the counter to the head butcher.

“Your prices these days are atrocious, Sal. Joe’s Deli across the street is selling your $10 chuck roast for only $5!”

“I know, Mrs. Haggle. I saw the sign. The thing is . . . Joe doesn’t have any chuck roast.”

The law of supply and demand still rules

So, the law of supply and demand rears its head again, some days a beautiful vision, other days an ugly hag. We’re surrounded by her mystique everywhere we go. Traffic is tied up because there are more cars than highway space. Starbuck’s is backed up because people want coffee faster than it can be made. There are no paper clips in the supply room but there’s plenty of fruitcake left in the kitchen.

Even for tickets to a free concert?

Supply and demand drove markets long before economists appeared … and its jarring prevalence is unavoidable. One of my favorite examples is (more…)

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Can you put a lifetime on a 3×5 card?

Do you think you could distill a lifetime of experiences into a handful of sentences … so that when your grown children read them, they would hold them as dearly as they once held their teddy bears?

I’ve recently published several lists of “life lessons”, for lack of a better term, that keep coming my way from a variety of sources. These lists, scratched on the back of an envelope found in a plane crash, or tucked in a wallet for 50 years, are treasures because they’re personal … and each person believed he or she had captured the unique nature of their humanity.

[pullquote]Can you capture your life lessons on a 3×5 card?[/pullquote]

So, now come the Guideposts of business philosophy taken from the book, Marriott The J. Willard Marriott Story by Robert O’Brien. It’s longer than most … not a note card but still a single sheet of paper … maybe Willard did more than most? Some may seem old-fashioned, others a little harsh for the more indulgent company cultures of the 21st century … but most of them are rooted in sound business practices. Work your way past some of the pedestrian entries to uncover a few nuggets and valid reminders that you can add to your own list.

  1. Keep physically fit, mentally and spiritually strong.
  2. Guard your habits – bad ones will destroy you.
  3. Pray about every problem.
  4. Study and follow professional management principles. Apply them logically and practically to your organization. (more…)

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After Action Reviews = Successful Execution

In an article entitled Five Ways Pixar Makes Better Decisions, Tom Davenport, a Babson College professor, refers to what I call “after action reviews” as a critical element of the creative decision-making used at Pixar.

In my earlier post, Powerful After Action Reviews, you can learn more about this concept, built and nurtured by the US Army.

Pixar uses the concept of “Dailies”

For Pixar, Davenport reminds us how movie makers use “dailies” to review their work in progress, showing movies to other filmmakers every few month to solicit critical insights that often make the movies better.

Nothing we couldn’t accomplish with a Daily Huddle, right? (more…)

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