Lessons From Billy’s Boston Chowder House

July 20, 2015

Billy's Boston Chowder House

My wife and I only recently learned of a restaurant in Los Gatos when a restaurant closed and our usual waitress told us she was going to work there. Last night, we tried it: Billy’s Boston Chowder House in Los Gatos, California. It’s only 3,283 miles from Boston (as they proudly proclaim)!

We really didn’t know what to expect. It appeared the owner may have come from Boston due to memorabilia on the walls. Frankly, that had me a tad bit concerned as a lot of restaurants in Massachusetts are pretty mediocre: too heavy and so so taste. That can’t be said of Billy’s!

My wife had sand dabs. I had a cup of New England clam chowder and fish and chips–a true test. We were wowed by the food, the service and the owner, Bill Reynolds. This former tech executive opened his restaurant 4 years ago. And, he’s nailed it with incredible attention to detail and superior execution.

Bill is following his new passion with great abandon. He’s got a great team that works seamlessly. You could see his cooks smiling and laughing in a hot kitchen as they carefully prepared their guests meals.

We can’t wait to go back. Billy’s Boston Chowder House is a great testament to the Pine & Gillmore book, The Experience Economy. Great food, great service in an inviting environment.

Your test is to provide great products and services as well as great customer service to make your customers want to come back again and again. How do your customers rate your business?

Thought for the week:

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘WHO HOO, what a ride!’” – Sign in store in Pacific Grove, California
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Too Much Ouzo?

July 12, 2015

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Greece had a referendum a week ago and voted “no” to accepting the terms of financial bailout from the European Union. The “no” vote stems from nationalistic pride, not common sense.

While the Greeks were momentarily happy for “standing up to the EU,” Greece now needs to negotiate a bailout that resembles what the Greeks voted against. Huh?

What we have witnessed can only be deemed a Greek government leadership failure that has brought Greece to a state of financial insolvency. The Greek government has failed to lead.We now know how not to lead.

Too many departments and organization fall victim to not leading. Don’t let this happen to you.

Photo Credit: Dennis Jarvis on Flickr

Thought for the week:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Trump & Brand Destruction

July 6, 2015

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Donald Trump joined the GOP presidential race and immediately has shown he’s a force to be reckoned with. What he didn’t anticipate was that his braggadocio would be his undoing and is undermining his presidential pursuits and the GOP.

Some in the GOP may like his “telling it like it is.” When he characterized Hispanics inappropriately, I was appalled–I wasn’t alone. From the Washington Post article Donald Trump is on the rise–that’s very bad news for the GOP:

Latinos are paying attention to what he’s saying, and it can’t help but taint his fellow Republicans. As you might recall, in his announcement speech, Trump basically called every Mexican immigrant in the United States a low-life. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” In response, Univision pulled out of broadcasting the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump co-owns, and NBC dropped him as well. In Mexico, people are making Trump piñatas.

In pandering to the GOP, Trump is guilty of generalizing the specifics of a few to an entire ethnic group. Since he offered his despicable words, he has lost his show “The Apprentice” and been dropped by Macy’s, NASCAR, and other groups not wanting to see their brands associated with the Trump name. Good for them!

Companies need to diligently protect their brands. What are people saying about your brand? Does the commentary about your brand align with your aspirations? If there are gaps, what are you doing about it?

Thought for the week:

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” – Charles R. Swindoll
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Executing A Configurable Product Strategy

June 22, 2015

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If your company manufacturers capital equipment or systems, I’d like you to pause for a moment and seriously consider how easy it is to:

  • Create a quote
  • Book a clean order
  • Plan the materials for an order
  • Build the order
  • Install the order
  • Support the order
  • Know that the order will be profitable

For most companies, there is a big need for improvement. Is your company in that situation?

Do you need help making the complex simple? I can help you with this.

Photo Credit: Alison Christine, Flickr.com

Thought for the week:

“Tell me and I forget; teach me and I may remember; involve me and I will learn.” – Confucius
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Golden State Warriors & Competitive Advantage

June 15, 2015

Fishing Village on Bosphorus River near Istanbul

I’ve never been a basketball fan.

40 years ago, I had an MBA professor who was a huge fan of the Golden State Warriors: Roger Smith, a banking executive. He cancelled classes so he could follow this “rare” opportunity in the NBA playoffs and finals. Roger was correct–it has been rare.

NBA basketball is a great metaphor for business in that teams must focus on seizing competitive advantage in real time. A team can’t wait until the next game, the next quarter or the next time out to make critical adjustments. Seemingly small changes can have a major impact on the outcome of a game.

Many businesses display little sense of urgency for making adjustments to seize competitive advantage even when they know they aren’t executing wel. Next week, next quarter, next year are “good enough.” Not!

What if businesses played more in real time? What kind of engagement would that require of the employees? What level of engagement with customers might that mean?

Thought for the week:

“If you can’t feel blessed for what you already have, why spend your time chasing after what you don’t have? Because, when you do finally get what you don’t have, you are just feeding the never-ending quest for more without taking into account all the things that you already have and building a lifestyle and mindset of gratefulness.” – Rajesh Setty, Gratitude–Grow & Change Your World One Thank You At A Time
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Enterprise Application Deployments–Making The Complex Simple

June 8, 2015

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As we know, it’s not easy making the complex simple. Consider implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. The new system is likely to be at least an order of magnitude or two more complex than the current system making it harder to create efficiencies and have strong adoption.

While the application experts have a strong familiarity with the tool, its definitions and its inner workings, at the end of the day, the people who will rely on the system day in and day out to do their jobs don’t have the benefit of years of experience. They are more like “deer in the headlights.”

And, all too many application project schedules leave little time before go-live to acquaint the users with all that they need to know to do their jobs seamlessly and effortlessly. How long will it take for users to achieve unconscious competence with the new application?

If your focus is making the complex simple, crossing the chasm between the current system and the new system must be a very high priority. Yet, most application implementations leave end users frustrated, dazed and confused creating a bad impression that’s hard to overcome.

At the point of go-live, you want the team energized, not frustrated, dazed and confused. Criteria need to be established not only for application readiness but business team readiness to use the application at the point of go-live. Someone needs to focus on the people who have real jobs to perform.

Thought for the week:

“It’s time to engage more thoughtfully about our planet.” – Heard through Infosys on Twitter
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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  This posting is based on my weekly “Thank God It’s Monday” that helps you and your company thrive! To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Remembering Hank 1999 to 2015

June 3, 2015

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Our beloved Cocker Spaniel, Hank, died at 15.5+ years of age on June 1st. Nancy and I knew how fortunate we were to have him with us every day of his life. As he got older, we knew every day was a bonus day.

We want you to know about him and his magnificence:

• Hank wasn’t a dog—he was our puppy son. We built our life around him not because we had to, but, because we wanted to. He needed us; we needed him.

• Hank had many nicknames, the most common of which are Hanker, Hanker Dude, Mr. Hank, and Zen Man.

• Hank was a quiet, gentle being. His sister, Gracie, a Bichon Frise, who I wrote about when she passed, was a bit more of an alpha—a bit more assertive and protective of us than Hank. Hank earned the nickname “Zen Man” for his quiet demeanor. After Gracie died, whenever Hank would encounter another dog he would simply wag his tail and prepare for engagement.

• He snuggled with us with us every night since 2005 when Hank and Gracie finally wormed their way into our bed. It was easy for him as he had the middle of our king-sized bed while I prayed not to fall off the bed nearly every night given the very few inches of space he allocated to me.

• Hank loved people and dogs. Hank was the “mayor” of our community, greeting everyone he could. He always seemed a bit disappointed when he encountered no people or dogs on his walk. When someone wouldn’t acknowledge him when they saw him that, too, seemed to disappoint him a bit.

• Hank taught children how to be around dogs. He would stand quietly as we taught children how to approach a dog they are not familiar with and how to pet a dog. This was particularly important for children whose parents had come from India or Asia and lacked experience with dogs. The kids loved Hank, their rock star. The kids would flock to Hank just like paparazzi to a movie star. Unlike most movie stars, the adulation didn’t negatively impact Hank’s ego.

• Hank’s hobby was watching Nancy cook. He always hoped to score food which he did. He wasn’t a picky eater. He loved sliced apples. And, puppy treats. If Hank had a nickname for me, it was probably “The Treat Guy.”

• We have always been blessed with great veterinary care. When we got Hank to the vet to be euthanized, his puppy chiropractor, Dr. Deb Sell, (who Hank loved because she made him feel good), was in the office. She turned this somber occasion into a party for Hank. She gave him a number of treats and suggested that we feed him soft, canned dog food to distract him from the process and activity. Dr. Lim of Kirkwood Animal Hospital liberated Hank from his tired body in an amazingly smooth and compassionate process. The experience could not have been better for Hank. We are so grateful for the ease and grace that Hank was able to experience in his final minutes.

Our home is as empty as our hearts at the moment without Hank. We’ll get through this. Our puppies are our kids. They teach us about unconditional love, open our hearts and bring us tremendous joy.

Dave’s mentor, Alan Weiss, wrote in his book Thrive that he thought perhaps God made one mistake in that dogs have a relatively short life compared to ours. He’s right.

We miss Hank. God, you have your puppy back. Thank you for your gift to us. We entrust him in your care until we can be reunited. We have nothing but gratitude for Hank.

Nancy and Dave Gardner


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