So following in from my post last week “Leadership, Or that sinking feeling”, this little gem from Peter Irvine is one of my favorites.
Peter Irvine’s insight on how to work with staff and address all those prickly issues is crystal clear, formed undoubtedly from having to deal with over 200 latte drinking prima donna’s at a large advertising agency. (Wow – there’s an opportunity there for a reality TV show if I ever saw one.)
David’s original question was actually about the culture of Gloria Jeans, and Peter’s answer is alone the lines of a family. But of course every family has it’s bad apple – and David rightly asks the question – how do you pluck it from the tree?
Would you be so offended if I asked you to watch the video? I really can’t add anything to his wisdom – it’s top class.
This is a short follow on from my ‘Good Vibrations’ post and it’s about coming back to basics. What kind of qualities are you going to need to have in order to have staff stick around and for you to create the kind of culture or ‘vibe’ you want in your business? Peter’s summary is terrific.
If the boss is consistent = he/she is approachable.
If the boss is moody = he/she is unapproachable.
Yelling at staff leads to staff not taking risks & making decisions.
Staff not taking risks/making decisions leads to decisions being left to the boss.
Decisions being left to the boss leads to the boss micromanaging.
This all causes stagnation. And makes for one of those nasty situations where staff turnover is through the roof and the boss is a stressed out nutjob.
Yuk. No thanks. Watch the video – don’t be a tool.
When Jess Logan explains marketing it must be something like Einstein explaining the universe. She can boil the art of branding down to a few very fundamental rules that always work. As Jess explains in this video, for branding to be effective it must start and finish by listening to the consumer – by conducting proper research.
You know the remarkable thing? If you work on a campaign for almost any big brand you may think that listening is illegal. As if the customer should be seen and not heard. And after all – research is expensive and doesn’t sell anything. So why waste time on it right? As a part of my business we produce video for brand campaigns we’re often a part of this very flawed practise. We invent ways to talk to people we have never met and will never talk to. It’s absurd, but heaven forbid I recommend taking some of our budget and spending it on research!
We almost never hear about what the customers think about the campaign … and who cares really? If it didn’t work there are so many pieces of the puzzle that the brand manager will usually be able to find something or somebody else to blame.
So what’s the point of what Jess is saying? Put simply, the customer knows your business best but few take the time and money to listen.
If you can take the initiative, listen to the customer, give them the credit for knowing your business better than you do, there is the potential reward of being able to meet their needs with a refined product. That creates a brand that resonates and gains loyal and devoted customers. Sounds win win to me!
“What are you doing about this in your own business Geoff?” I hear a few of you ask? Good question and please feel free to press me for an answer. It’s a work in progress!Read More
Setting the vision mission and values for a business isn’t an easy task. I start to feel like I’m preaching when I start saying how I believe staff should think and feel and what their values should be – so I take my hat off to somebody like Peter Irvine who seems to be able to do just that but in a way that’s diplomatic. What Peter explains in this video I see as crucial for a business. It’s essential knowledge to be able to take control of the kind of ‘vibe’ your business has and to hiring the type of people who will keep that desired ‘vibe’ going and who you will look forward to working with every day of the week. It’s the difference between your business still being the kind of business you want to be involved in after you’ve hired staff member number 20 (or opened your 12th store). It’s the difference between when you, as the boss with the big personality, were the only one in the business, but now your just one of 50 can no longer set the culture for the business.
So what do you do at this point? Peter’s had plenty of time to work it out – and I love he’s ideas on this topic.
Vision, mission and values. Peter is completely unashamed in presenting these right up front to franchisees, staff and suppliers – with no apologies and with an approach that is anything but ‘softly softly’. For Peter they are not just a series of slogans hung on the wall of the hallway between the boardroom and the toilet, in the hope that the latest recruit will somehow absorb them in while popping out for lunch. The core business principles are put right in your face. Like it? Then join the business with confidence. Don’t agree? Then better to find out now than later.
And that’s half the solution right there!
From there Peter believes you can work as partners to build the business. That’s an art in itself, but most likely a bit easier now that it has already been established that everybody is on the same page. Better to risk offending people right up front than to waist time and effort trying to get along once they’re on board and heading in he wrong direction.Read More
We take the cafe culture for granted in Australia. Greek and Italian cafes that served espresso had a presence on the streets of Melbourne and Sydney since the 1930s but it’s not until more recent times that coffee drinking has gone mainstream. Now it seems that we are picking up a coffee on the way to work, meeting clients at a cafe mid-morning and then we’re back again for a long black after lunch. You could argue that Gloria Jean’s was a key player in brining espresso to the masses. I was one of them. Before 1996 I’d never heard of going to a cafe as a social ‘thing to do’. I’m pretty sure that back then all Australian’s just went to the pub – right?
When you look at the success of Gloria Jean’s Coffees in Australia it’s interesting to find out that their evolution from a mediocre coffee merchandise store in America to the now prominent coffee-house franchise, was driven by the search for profitability and a model for expansion. It’s a pretty gutsy move to try and find a way forward when the initial business idea doesn’t actually work, not to mention trying to translate a company to a new country. I can only imagine that for Peter and his business partner it would have been a nail biting experience in those formative years!
The question it poses for you business owners out there is ‘how willing would you be to re-invent your entire business model – in order to make it profitable?’ For any business this is an extreme move. However many will have to contend with this reality in the face of technical overhaul in the way customers socialise, do business, purchase products and go about their daily lives. Just today I read in the newspaper that the DVD-store industry in Australia has been given a life expectancy of three more years. Take that sizeable overdue fees! I’ll soon be a free man. Although after that I’ll likely need a credit card or Paypal to rent movies online – then there will be no hiding.
It’s not just video stores. You only have to listen to Jerry Harvey winging about online stores to start to realise that the retail industry in general is taking a beating. These are two more extreme examples but in most scenarios I’d say business owners have to be ready to take action in the changing environment of technological revolution. You might have a working model today, but you have to be ready to re-invent it tomorrow.
It’s risky, but there is also the potential for great reward. And the comfort we can take from Peter’s story is that it can be done.Read More