It Is Common Sense; It Is Not Common Practice

outstretched-handTen years ago one of my sons joined me in a few meetings. He was there to witness not participate. His attendance was granted in advance at my request.

On the drive home I asked the question, “So what did you think of the meetings?” Here is what he said to me, “Well I found them to be interesting. I kept waiting to hear something magical and totally off the wall from you. It never happened. I mean tell me if I have this wrong. You basically listen and ask questions. You listen some more and ask more questions. Then when you feel the time is right you offer solutions. The solutions you offer are common sense. Right? I mean like seriously, common sense! Then everyone in the meeting looks at you like you are a genius and they want to know how to do it like that. Then this is where you will follow up and get paid money? Is this right? Is this really what you do?”

My answer, “You are pretty much on target with your assessment. Here is the truth about how this works. People in general are coming from different places in their lives. Today more than ever, people are really focusing on themselves and their business. What may be common sense to you and me – well it may not be common sense to someone else. The other thing we are working on is change. People in general do not like change. It may seem like common sense, but if it will require a change in behavior or a change in a habit it may never stick. The only way to make it stick is going to be through accountability and the incentive to change.”

My son said, “Or a bop on the head!”

My response, “Funny you should say that, even a bop on the head does not always work.”

In fact, it may come as a shock what bop on the head works and which one does not. Think of this one example and there are so many, I should write a book! A man who happens to be a CEO of a large company, enjoys a treat each morning with his coffee. Every single morning the same slice of this well known coffee cake (in NYC anyway).

As you might imagine the coffee cake is made with sugar, sugar, and more sugar, white flour, eggs and who knows what else! After his last physical check up almost a year ago his doctor told him to stop eating these type of foods as his cholesterol numbers did not look good and to reduce his coffee intake as well. His family had some health history and this was more than a precaution with three children, his wife and a few vacation homes there was a lot to live for. Plus as a CEO and a Board member for three other companies there was business to take care of all the time.

Nothing changed – he continued his four cups of coffee in the morning and some days he even had two slices of coffee cake. You would think the medical advice would be the needed bop on the head!

One day he bit into something solid in his coffee cake. He slid the object onto a napkin and it was clearly the clipping of a large toe nail from a person which was in his coffee cake! The CEO never ate coffee cake again! Bop! Do you need a Bop on the head?

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified executive and personal coach who resides in Stamford, CT.

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Technology, Tracking Codes, and Rules May Cause Failure in the Ability to Think

Business OperationsAfter storm Sandy, our street had trees down, branches and more. We knew we were lucky. We know this could have been a lot worse. A tree sat on our front porch, with roof damage and more. This AM our street was clear of debris for the first time since the storm. We know there are others who still have no power and lost their homes, and we were fortunate. The remaining visible evidence of the event is the front roof, the missing fixtures, the yellow tape and signs to not use the front entrance, and instead use the side entrance for anyone coming by the house.

One strange item we noticed. During the last three weeks with a street packed with trees, parts of trees, and other debris packing curb, after curb, plus a clearly marked front porch, each delivery person from large and recognizable companies decided to walk passed the warning signs. They climb over the yellow warning tape to place their delivery item up by the front door. It was time to act and prevent a potential injury.

The two very large and well known delivery companies, FEDEX and UPS, both have a toll free line to speak with a representative. Once the story was told that this was dangerous and is there a way to note in their files that my address should have deliveries to a side entrance, here is the response from each company, both FEDEX and UPS, “do you have a tracking number so we may resolve your issue”?

In a calm manner we went through the story again two more times. “We cannot do anything to resolve your issue without a tracking number”. They each, both FEDEX and UPS, said this ‘resolve your issue’. My issue! This was about their delivery people and their safety! Does technology, tracking codes and rules cause a failure in the ability to think?

If you remember the old board game ‘Chutes and Ladders’, this is what is missing when you have technology and systems dictating your policy manual. There needs to be a way to escape and work around issues, by either sliding under or climbing over the out of the ordinary situations. If your business has real people as customers and real people who interact with your customers, there will be times and circumstances where the ability to think must be built into the system, built into the training, and become part of the manual. One area for this exception should always be around safety. The other areas would be defined by your business. People need to be able to use their common sense in your business.

Allow for a representative to consider what the situation is from the customer point of view and to determine if this is one of the ‘Chutes and Ladders’ exceptions.

Regardless of the size of your company, when people are able to have a discussion and openly ask the non-scripted questions to obtain more information and determine how to solve a situation, the customers will take notice. You will create raving fans for your business.

Contact Mitch Tublin today to review your business operations and inject common sense where lacking. Mitch will work together with you and your team. The improvements will be dramatic. – or call 877-907-8223.