People can make the difference in business.
That means the level of success is often impacted by how management treats its workforce and how well colleagues jell together as a cohesive team.
At the same time, success doesn’t happen without core components such as products, supply chains, strategy and marketing plans. For the best long-term success, people, products and systems need to be clicking on all cylinders.
As summer 2018 comes to an end, let’s focus on the people/teamwork variable for success. Here are three examples that recently caught my attention from the Little League World Series, Marvel and a Minnesota community civility project. Continue reading
On Monday, Lands’ End announced that its CEO had “stepped down” effective immediately, after only 19 months on the job.
There will be plenty of time for all the post-mortems to be written and dissected. However, I will chime in right now about a glaring aspect of Federica Marchionni’s abrupt departure.
It seems there was a serious disconnect between what she wanted to accomplish and where she was physically located. And that provides an important lesson reminder.
Credit: Lands End
As background, Ms. Marchionni was tasked with evolving the company and the brand. Note this statement from the Chairman of the Board when she was hired:
“We are confident she will build upon the Company’s legacy as a classic American brand with a keen eye toward its future as a global lifestyle brand.”
That implies change. According to The Wall Street Journal, “she tried to fashion broad changes at the catalog retailer.” But: Continue reading
There’s much more to know about General Stanley McChrystal than what happened with Rolling Stone magazine.
Granting inside access to a journalist turned out to be a disaster, and the magazine essay led to the end of his military career. But don’t let what happened in 2010 diminish the superb business advice General Stanley McChrystal offers in his book.
Credit: McChrystal Group
In “Team of Teams – New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World,” the retired 4-star general and his colleague writers share ready-to-implement ideas on leadership, teamwork and organizational effectiveness.
The book’s origins come from McChrystal’s leadership of the Joint Special Operations Task Force and the efforts to defeat Al Qaeda in Iraq. It’s an easy read, and one I recommend.
To get you started, I’ve organized five salient points that I particularly like and believe to be effective.
Winning ideas stand out to me, even when enjoying a fine dinner of fresh grouper and a glass of red wine.
So it was recently at Duval’s restaurant in Sarasota, FL, where I was impressed by the shared responsibility, customer service teamwork of the staff.
According to Joshua Halbrucker, the restaurant’s General Manager/Partner, their approach is simple:
“Treat every customer like they are your mother (and if you don’t like your mother… haha, treat them like someone you love dearly and would do anything for).”
Our waiter orchestrated the evening and was our primary service provider. He was friendly and effective. Where Duval’s stood out, though, was the totality of service provided. The entire team, regardless of title or role, formed a rapid-response customer service unit. Whenever someone passed by our table, he/she did so attentively and ready to act. For instance:
- Need more bread? Coming right up.
- Low on water? Be right back.
- Appetizers finished? I’ll clear your plates.
It was customer-focused versatility in action, all geared to make sure that Duval’s provided us with an excellent dining experience. As one of the managers told me after dinner: “I tell the team to look at the tables as you walk by and if the customers need something, take care of it.”
A few days later, I reached out to Joshua Halbrucker to learn more about the restaurant’s operating philosophy. He answered my questions via email. Look for a number of marketing and business nuggets, some of which I’ve highlighted, followed by my three takeaways for your company. Continue reading
If you want a vivid training primer on how teamwork and collaboration make a winning recipe for business success, cut-up a few scenes from the movie “Burnt.”
Credit: Burnt Facebook movie page.
Starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller, the culinary-themed drama features a two-star Michelin chef (Cooper) trying to rebuild his life and career. He receives unexpected wisdom and inspiration from his sous chef (Miller) in his quest for a third star.
Three scenes stood out from a business perspective. Each one depicts a critical behavior and corresponding performance lesson for leaders and teams.
Plus, keep reading for my Ten Leadership, Collaboration & Teamwork Lessons.
Scene 1. The kitchen is notified that Michelin reviewers are in the restaurant. Chef Cooper (not yet recovered from a beating inflicted for unpaid drug debts) takes charge in a crazed, dictatorial manner that completely unsettles the cooking team. Not the way to instill camaraderie in pursuit of a shared objective! That Cooper is undone by the sabotage of a team member seeking revenge, and the diners are just plain businessmen, is not the point. We’ve all seen some version of this team leader dysfunction play-out in the workplace. It’s never positive. Continue reading