Do You Need to Shake It Up?

shake-it-upThere are issues which present themselves all the time in all business types and sizes. It does not make one bit of difference if you are a large publicly traded company, a medium sized company, a small retailer or a solo-preneur in a service based business.

Here are a few examples of issues that arise:

  • Complacency and doing either the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
  • Taking your customers and clients for granted
  • Trying to do too much and then not providing excellence in any one single thing

What is the action taken when these issues arise makes the difference, like what happened between Best Buy and Radio Shack. Another example is McDonald’s.

McDonald’s, The Golden Arches, an Internationally recognized brand in the fast food category. When McDonald’s opened a store on the Champes Elyses in Paris, France you would have thought the French felt Americans were going to poison their entire country’s food chain! In the last few years McDonald’s reported this one store to be one of the top stores in their International System!

McDonald’s used to be known for good burgers, served fast and top customer service. (Let’s not get caught up in our view of the fast food industry.)

Here is what is happening today.

McDonald’s has a bloated menu. Some items off of the long and confusing menu take up to seven minutes to deliver to the counter. This is a death sentence in the fast food industry. Jim Cramer on CNBC stated he thinks the menu at McDonald’s now is so complex he is fairly certain you need to be a Rhodes Scholar to work the register.  Compare that to Chipotle Mexican Grill where food ordered is typically on the counter in under 90 seconds.

McDonald’s has lost their way. They have moved off track from their roots.

Is there any similarity in this example to a business you know?

What does McDonald’s need to do?

Culture – Food Sourcing – Service

McDonald’s must focus on only three things. Be excellent at these three things every day.

Culture – cut through the bloated layers of management and slice out any layers and silos which are protecting their turf and not producing positively to these three areas. Visit every single location with this message – the food must taste great, be delivered quickly to the counter and with a smile. Create a McDonald’s culture within the company and stores where Culture – Food Sourcing – Service are top of mind and behavior.

Food Sourcing – no one wants to eat a cardboard burger slathered with special sauce on a cotton ball bun. Really look at where the food is being sourced from and the make up of every single menu item. Where is it possible to source food locally? Taste test in the market place extensively. Cut the menu down drastically. This should not take years to do.

Service – dancing with random customers is not the type of service fast food customers want, need or expect at a fast food location. This is not an Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Go back to basics. Welcome each person with a smile. Mom or Dad might be paying right now. Don’t ignore Junior as he may be one of your best customers in the future. Smile as you take the order and repeat everything for confirmation. When the food is delivered ask if they want or need anything else for the third time. Smile and say “Enjoy your meal!”

A huge business like McDonald’s reels back in to focus using three specific actions. They do this and their brand and their business will turnaround.

Where in your business are there three specific actions to focus on and be excellent in?

Mitch Tublin is a business consultant, executive coach and professional speaker on leadership and communications based in Stamford, CT.

A Board of Directors Make Up Will Influence Corporate Behavior

In a prior post I promised to take on the conversation about companies and the changes they need to implement to be successful in the future.  Large public companies are my starting point.  In the last three to five years a bit more attention has been given to the make up of the Board of Directors of large public companies.  In the last year the most glaring discussions were held around the Banks, Wall Street type companies and the mortgage industry as a whole.  The absolute heart of the matter is this – Is the Board and the Executive Team in their job for the quick hit and their personal short term gain or are they in their positions and driven by their compensation model to be in their positions for the long term good of the company they are working for?  If everyone on the Board and the Executive Team are from the Harvard University or Stanford University crew team,, they all may be brilliant, however, they are all trained to row in the same direction all the time.  This is usually not a model for success in business.  It reminds me of the small figures in the back of the family car years ago.  These were the original ‘bobble head dolls’.  Whenever we would go out for a drive the heads bobbed ‘yes’ up and down.  If you were running a large company is that what you want from your Board of Directors?  Just agree and say ‘yes’ all of the time?.  Here is a recent story for you to consider.  Miles White is the CEO of Abbott Labs. .  Abbott Labs is a company that produces a lot of nutritional and weight loss products. Miles White is now on the Board of Directors for McDonald’s. .  So here is my question: who comes out looking better in this deal – Abbott Labs or McDonald’s?  Does Miles White add value to the make up of the menu and food purchases at McDonald’s?  Is McDonald’s able to capitalize on the CEO of Abbott Labs on their Board of Directors as proof they are a ‘healthier’ fast food company?

Promises Promises

My bad! I owe you a few comments on Large companies
first and this will be posted over the weekend. Meanwhile some ‘food’ for thought – what has McDonalds done on their board that should raise an executive eyebrow or two?