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.

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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!
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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.


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!
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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.


Process Improvement Opportunities Are Everywhere

May 11, 2015

 

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NBC11 Bay Area TV news showed an investigative report revealing one building at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, a hospital, routinely calls 9-1-1 to get assistance to move patients from one building on the campus to the emergency room on the same campus.

The 9-1-1 call gets a fire truck and an ambulance dispatched to the campus to pick up the patient and transport to the ER. Each call ties these crews up for probably 30 minutes and makes them unavailable for other emergencies.

What’s remarkable is there is an underground passageway connecting the 2 buildings that are about the length of a football field apart. It takes longer to get the emergency medical system response activated than it would to wheel the patient to the ER in a wheelchair or on a gurney.

The head of medicine at Valley Medical Center said he was unaware of the practice and would look into it.

Executives can’t address issues they aren’t aware of. When something doesn’t make sense, the best practice is to raise the issue to a member of the leadership team, not simply shake your head in disbelief.

Photo Credit: Flickr, Christiaan Triebert

Thought for the week:

“Out of clutter find simplicity. From discord find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” – Albert Einstein
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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.


What I.T. Support Should Be

April 12, 2015

 

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I’m working with a client and occasionally need I.T. support.

The I.T. person who supports me and the entire division is a model for who an I.T. support person should be:

  • He’s very responsive–usually within minutes
  • He responds to requests for assistance from anyone including me
  • There are no hoops to jump through to get his help
  • He gets whatever needs to be done completed quickly and professionally
  • He does everything with a smile

Duane is a standout. I look forward to working with him on any issue that might arise.

It doesn’t matter if someone is supporting internal or external customers–great customer service is something to rejoice about.

Photo Credit: CWCS Managed Hosting, Flickr

Thought for the week:

“People wish because they are afraid to take action.”  Alan Weiss, Thrive–Stop Wishing Your Life Away
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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.


Improvement Via Industry Best Practices

April 6, 2015

 

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Insular companies and cultures miss opportunities to improve and evolve. It’s possible to learn from others within your industry or even outside your industry.

The vast majority of airlines outside the U.S. did not adopt the U.S. standard of never leaving a pilot or co-pilot alone in the cockpit. This procedure was adopted after the U.S. 9/11 terror incident.

After the recent Germanwings plane crash, airlines outside the U.S. have begun adopting the U.S. procedure. Why did it take 150 deaths to make this standard adoptable outside the U.S.?

Lufthansa’s CEO believed that his company had effective processes for hiring and continuously evaluating pilots that would have mitigated any possible risk–an assertion proven invalid.

What ideas and best practices has your company failed to adopt that could be a source of competitive advantage, safety, comfort, growth, etc? Isolating yourself from the business world around you only serves to exacerbate your challenges.

Photo Credit: Steve Hardy on Flickr

 

Thought for the week:

“Ideas must work through the brains and arms of men, or they are no better than dreams.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
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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.