Graphics House

Specialty Printing

Every town has little known businesses like Graphics House. In a recent story:

Graphics house has moved into larger facilities in Muskegon. They have also incorporated United Sign which was previously owned by Reid Tool into their business. It seems like a good combination….as United Sign specializes in signage for convenience stores, service stations and recreational businesses.

Seldom heard from businesses….yet they provide the economic foundation for communities.


In Search of Excellence

Thirty Years Old


In Search of Excellence (ISOE) by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman was a ground breaking book on how succesful businesses are managed. While some of the companies analyzed in the book are no longer viable….The ISOE principles are still important today as they were 30 years ago. Its eight principles are: 

  • A Bias for Action
  • Close to the Customer
  • Autonomy and Entrepreneurship
  • Productivity Through People
  • Hands-On – Value-Driven
  • Stick to the Knitting
  • Simple Form, Lean Staff
  • Simultaneous Loose-tight Properties

From my perspective, ISOE changed the art and science of business management. Along with Peter Drucker….Tom Peters and Robert Waterman were major influences on how businesses and organizations should really operate….which is much different from what was taught in the business schools.


From Seth Godin

It might work now and then (kindling), but it’s not a dependable and scalable way to grow your business. You need significant logs, things that keep the system working without a constant stream of promotion. A few:

  • a remarkable product that users enjoy talking about
  • a product with virality built in–something that works better when my friends use it too
  • a community orientation, so that each new user enhances the value of the community, creating a virtuous cycle
  • economies of scale in both production and marketing. As you grow, things get both cheaper and easier to talk about

What Seth is speaking to (above) are quick fixes to get products/businesses/organizations moving forward. Quick fixes are like kindling wood….they get the fire started. What grows a business are the logs….which are longer lasting and sustainable.

This is the subtle part of any enterprise that is often negelected….the day-to-day stuff is what gets most of the attention. Don’t miss the bigger picture.


News Roundup

November 2012

+The best measurement of customer support is whether, after the interaction, the customer would recommend you to a friend. Time on the line, refunds given or the facts of the case are irrelevant. The feelings are all that matter, and changing feelings takes humanity and connection, not cash. – Seth Godin

+ From Springwise: DeerDeter -a device to prevent deer/auto collisions.

+ Leadership Failure: Lack of morals & ethics – Army Generals….Brigader General….Nominated CEO of Lockheed-Martin. No common sense.

+ SAS – Cary, NC: Best multinational company place to work –

+ “The Baldridges did what they did, becasuse they were quality” – From The Global Province 11,14,12. Define your business/organization as quality.

+ Season note: Why do some businesses depend on the Christmas season to survive? – Best Buy, JC Pennys