Flawless, faultless

The N&O Food Critic recently reviewed a restautant….and gave it a 5- star rating. Seldom do Raleigh-Durhan restaurants receive this stellar review (the last one was in 2009).

What stood out even more was the description of service: Impeccable. The review indicated that the service (impeccable) completed the total picture of success and subsequently the 5-star award.

What if business/organizations set that same standard – impeccable service….memorable  experience? Any enterprise that uses impeccable as its measurement of service certainly deserves a 5-star report.

Getting to that point almost always requires a change in culture. I would like to think that in our businesses we always were seeking that standard. Did we reach it?….unfortunately not all the time….yet we were always working to get there.

The restaurant:

Art & Function

Hidden Radio

A very unique design from an innovative startup.

From the iPad Zite app:

The most interesting element of this design is the simplicity….just turn the cylinder to increase/decrease the volume. Whether it has mass appeal remains to be seen.

Yet, uniquely created products by entrepreneurs is what drives an economy and creates successful businesses.

High Standard


Professional has meant, as I see it….performing at a high level….doing what is right in the right way. Responding promptly and courtesly….all with excellence.

Unfortunately, not all businesses/organizations perform professionally. The initial response would be not to do business with those who are not professional. In some cases that’s not possible.

Currently, we have three billing issues with medical providers….documentation has been submitted….letters written in a courteous manner. In two instances, responses (and non-response) were less than professional.

In all three instances….of course….the correct response should be professional.


“How fabulously cool. Bagger local Hannaford’s just finished #3 state bagging championship. Practiced 2 months. Determined #1 next year!!” –Tom Peters

My first “real job”….bagging groceries at Plumbs in Glenside (Muskegon, MI). The first thing said: “Bag a square bag.” Do it right. And after bagging, deliver the bags to the customer’s car….no problem except in winter when one had to drag the bag cart through 4 inches of slushy snow in the parking lot.

I don’t believe anyone at our local grocery stores have had “bag training”. Of course with plastic bags it’s throw three or four items in and plop the bags into the shopping cart. Unfortunately throwing in carries over to the paper bags.

The photo shows a perfect square bag pack. Cans on the bottom….boxes in the middle….lighter stuff on top. Very simple.

The real lesson is that the idea of packing a square bag was an invaluable lesson of doing the job right. While it may be old-school….it’s still new-school today.


Book (s) = Business Card

A recent Fast Company article described how folks are writing books not to necessarily to be read….but to gain noteriaty….and gain lucrative speaking and consulting assignments.

Books now become consultant’s business cards. While Tom Peters….Oren Harari….Jim Collins….Seth Godin have written numerous books. Their work….I believe stands on its own. Certainly Tom Peters receives large speaking fees….from my perspective they are the result of what is offered in Search for Excellence….Reimagine and his other books. The same holds true for Collins and Godin.

The correct approach for consultants should be helping the client to be better….that’s the real value….not just to gain large fees.

Note: From Tom Peters – “Sure, but point is the consultant’s job is to seek buy in which ultimately come from within.”


Every organization chooses its own audience, and that choice is based on the architecture of the industry, the mindset of the boss and the history of how you got here. But don’t doubt that it changes everything you do. – Seth Godin

In our family business we choose our audience….by the products we sold and the customers we sought to attract. Our location also played a big role in who was attracted to our business.

Early on I sought to change our audience. It was a disaster. We had to stick with who were. Through our active years we changed the business model….not dramatically….yet enough to differentiate our selves from the competition.

Interesting to look back on our business years….the number of similar businesses in our market has declined more than 50%.

How would we have dealt with changes….good question. If we had stayed in business….it would be 51 years old….certainly a new audience.

New Path


“The internet has opened doors, made connections and created leverage. The post-industrial age is here, and it brings with it the opportunity to carve a completely different path–for you, for your team and for your organization.” – Seth Godin

The key word is leverage. To create great businessess….leaders need to use every tool available. While the end result….whether product or service has to be excellent….using the internet to open more doors is leverage. 

To gain every opportunity use the internet as a lever in business development.