In our blog last week we mentioned our Quarterly Quality Forum. Here we go again. Part of our QQF includes case study of companies that we admire. Chick Fil-A was our most recently featured QQF company in part because their leadership has such fantastic vision and crystal clear insights about how to run a great company. Dan Cathy is Chick Fil-A’s CEO and “SOB” (son of the boss). His father S. Truett Cathy founded the company over 40 years ago. They sell a ton of really yummy chicken sandwiches ($4 Billion) and have been profitable every year since their founding. Dan Cathy asserts something that our management team really latched on to in our QQF:
"If we have to keep telling people what to do, it means we're not modeling the behavior ourselves and if we're living it every day, we don't need to talk about it”
What a profound simple truth. Keller and Love for Harvard Business Review recently blogged about modeling and modifying behavior. It’s all about mindsets. In their article Keller and Love use the story of four monkeys…
Four monkeys are sitting in a cage with a bunch of bananas hanging from the roof, accessible by a set of steps. Whenever the monkeys try to climb the steps to get to the bananas, they are blocked by a blast of cold water. After a few days, the monkeys give up. Researchers then remove the water hose and replace one of the original monkeys with a new one. Seeing the bananas, it starts up the steps. What happens? The other monkeys, being social creatures, pull it down before it gets blasted with water. This happens again and again until pretty soon the new monkey doesn't bother to go for the bananas either.
Over the next few weeks, the researchers remove the rest of the original monkeys one at a time and replace them with new monkeys who've never seen the jet of water. Even though there's no longer anything to stop the monkeys from reaching the bananas, each new monkey is always pulled down by the others.
By the end of the experiment, not a single monkey has ever seen a jet of water, but none of them tries to climb the steps.
As leaders of a contact center fulfillment business, we know it is important to do our best to model good behavior. And we are thoughtful about making sure our processes and policies are not perceived as cold blasts of water by our people. It’s a great place to work and we’re here to help you.
As we scream toward the end of 2011, we need to pause and reflect on what was perhaps the most transformational years in our 17 year history. By the way we turned 17 on October 31st and celebrated with our rich tradition of a throwing a working day costume party. This year’s “Boo-Bash” was fun and festive but slightly understated given the amount of transformation we continue to manage to and around.
Our 2011 transformation wasn’t accidental. It was strategic based on a new mental model that all of us here at Trase Miller have agreed to subscribe to. We welcomed new clients and along with that many new employees. We reorganized and we embraced the departure of several key long-time employees. And to end the year (with a bang) we are in process of moving our primary reservations/operations center across town here in Tulsa.
Moving as everyone knows can be a real pain – Especially after 17 years. We collect stuff and in a move we must take the time to decide what to discard. The logistics must be carefully planned and executed. We have crack planners and project managers here so the logistics aspect is easy for us. Execution is also not something we fret about. Frank Silzer is Trase Miller’s GM and as he says “we just get it done”. So in the coming week we leave our present home and start a new life in Corporate Woods Tulsa.
Last weekend we held a “New Home” open house for our team members and their families. The new digs are a big hit as people love the building and amenities. More than 60% of our employees came and most brought family with them. Wait a minute - - A day off work and people came into work and brought family with them? WOW! It turned out to be a great day that came about from great team work. Everyone had a terrific time and we have received only positive feedback about the event. Highlights were Prize Drawings, a Scavenger Hunt and a Poker Run...
Any day now big trucks pull up to our doors here to load up. We’re packed and we’re ready. One of our moving companies is Graebel. Prominently painted on their trucks is their corporate slogan “helping people move ahead”. How fantastically appropriate for us!