Asking the question because I am curious and I am sure someone will know this off the top of their head.
Thinking about big box retail. Some checkout clerks ask did you find everything you were looking for? Some don’t.
If they ask the question and you say yes, they will actually take the time to have someone find that item and ring it up for you.
Is it really economically profitable based on that one extra item to make the checker wait?
What am I missing?
Be Obi-Wan Kenobi, not Luke Skywalker
As a company or a product, our story doesn’t really matter to our customers. The customer does not care who our founders are or why they created the company.
The customer wants to feel like their story is important. Listen to your customer, make them feel like Luke Skywalker.
–Jimmy Fritz the CEO of KennedyBlue.com
At the Sioux Falls Innovation Expo
This is a great article about the value of substitutes in different industries. As a product manager you should always thinking about what products are a substitute or a compliment to your product. Even if the primary substitute is non-consumption, how do you have to build your product to get people off their couch and to make them take an action.
It is worth remembering that many unfashionable large businesses create value in ways that are often under-appreciated. No one will ever write gushingly about McDonald’s or Starbucks or PremierLodgeExpress. But what these large chains do is valuable, even if you never use them. They effectively raise what I call the ‘threshold of crappiness’ in the sectors in which they operate. To operate successfully as a coffee shop or a sandwich bar or hotel (or a minicab firm), you have to be at least as good as a chain or else you fail. This raises the bar for everyone. You can get better coffee in a truckstop now than at Claridge’s in 1990.
Here is a great article from HBR about starting a new job or just trying to cultivate collaborative relationships:
During your first month in a company, take time to ask your boss these questions:
-How do you prefer to give and receive feedback and be kept informed?
-What are your most important goals for the year, and how do they fit into the company’s strategic objectives?
-What are the two to three most critical accomplishments I need to achieve within a year, and how will they be measured?
-What should I accomplish in the next six months?
-In what specific ways can I help you succeed?
–Harvard Business Review
This is a great article on how to be a patient change agent:
- People don’t like hearing that entrenched problems are “totally fixable” (none of us do — not just those “other” people).
- To you, the fix is “common sense”, but to outsiders it may be counterintuitive.
- By definition, a problem that remains entrenched is not “totally fixable” (without a change in context, actors, intent, etc.) On paper it may be fixable. In context, it is not.
At a minimum, ask someone:
Can you describe an elephant in the room that I will quickly encounter, will think is totally fixable, but will be wrong? Why is the status quo difficult to change?
“Sears was the first major U.S. retailer to go public, raising $40 million. That was 1906. On Monday, 112 years later, Sears’ value was hovering around $44 million.” – NBC News
“There’s a Russian anecdote about a man who loved his dog so much that when the vet told him he needed to cut the dog’s tail off he couldn’t do it all at once, so he did it an inch at a time. Don’t be that kind of manager.”
Giving unclear, infrequent feedback has somewhat of the same effect — though slightly less violent. You end up hurting the person receiving the feedback more, even though you’re just doing what your parents always told you empathetic people do: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.
This is where Scott says she’s seen managers make the most mistakes. “No one sets out to be unclear in their feedback, but somewhere along the line things change. You’re worried about hurting the person’s feelings so you hold back. Then, when they don’t improve because you haven’t told them they are doing something wrong, you wind up firing them. Not so nice after all…”
In order to give people the feedback they need to get better, you can’t give a damn about whether they like you or not. “Giving feedback is very emotional. Sometimes you get yelled at. Sometimes you get tears. These are hard, hard conversations.”
Read the full article here.