Kim Chambers Amazing Marathon Swim

August 10, 2015

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The accomplishment of Kim Chambers is extraordinary. Here are some excerpts from a story in SFGate.com:

But in the world of extreme marathon swimming, the 30 miles of shark-infested waters between the Farallon Islands and San Francisco is the most difficult stretch to cross. Until today, only four people, all of them men, have accomplished this swim.

Kim Chambers made history this afternoon as the first woman to swim from the Farallones to San Francisco, reaching the Golden Gate Bridge in 17 hours and 12 minutes.

The 38-year-old San Francisco resident took a boat to the Farallones on Friday night and dove into the Pacific Ocean at 11:30 p.m., wearing only a swimsuit.

The sharks mentioned are Great White sharks. I don’t know how she was able to stave off hypothermia or overcome the concern about these great ocean predators. This is an incredible accomplishment.

Kim’s accomplishment is certainly a testament to the power of intention and training. And for that reason, I enter Kim in my Business Execution Hall of Fame.

Thought for the week:

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” – Brian Tracy

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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.

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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!
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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.