Who wants some good burgers?
(Excerpt from the book)
One of the biggest obstacles to success in any business is the sacred cow. And I mean getting rid of them, not just re-directing. If you can’t get rid of that way of thinking, you’ll never get out of your own way to be successful, especially if you’re a small business or a highly competitive one.
Sacred Cows, if you don’t know, are those things that every business absolutely states that they can’t do without. Or the fact that we’ve always done it that way and it works – never mind that it works against the customer and not for them. Or the all too famous ‘If we do that, then someone might get into trouble!’
Several of the items standing in the way of the sacred cows and taking them to the slaughter house are;
- Management doesn’t trust the employees to solve customer problems without giving away the ‘store’
- Upper management doesn’t trust their own supervisors/managers to do the same
- They are entrenched like a WWI trench in their thinking
- They hold on to CW – even if it doesn’t work
- The old Major Frank Burns saying ‘If we do that, someone might get into trouble!’
As an employee and on up the ladder you have to convince the ‘powers that be’ that there is a better way. And how do you do that? Don’t just think of a good idea, run it through with your own analysis to see if it it’ll work! Don’t over analyze, but give it a ‘good look see’. If it’s feasible then do it.
Nothing in the business world is ever 100% guaranteed to be successful. Heaven knows, I’ve made my share of mistakes and decisions. But if you are afraid to take the risk and get rid of those sacred cows then you’ll never be successful. And this also means that you can’t necessarily follow what others have done or even your industry association or organization. What works for one may not work for you. Be prepared to plow your own field!
Yes, they all put out best practices and guidelines. And they are fine as far as they go. And of course you’ll be challenged if you don’t follow them. But if you’re wrong, so what!
I’ve worked with a great many people in every single sector of the economy in my career. Clients, co-workers, vendors, & managers all were set in their ways like a 90-year-old Ebenezer Scrooge. They refused to change anything in their way of thinking because they ideas were the sacred cows of the organization.
What everybody needs to do is change their way of thinking and observation. Just because it didn’t work 2 years ago, doesn’t mean it won’t work now. The world changes fast and we have to change with it or fail.
So how does a business get rid of the sacred cows and change the culture to make it better? You have to start with analyzing every aspect of the operation. I literally mean everything, from the ordering and delivery process to hiring the right people (no WBS please warm body syndrome), to discipline, store set up, how many people on duty at a time, and checking people out at the cash register.
When was the last time you updated your employee/policy & procedure handbook? Has it been more than 5 years? Too long, get busy reading, revising, and deleting those sacred cows.
Throw out the CW. Toss those old tired ideas out the window into the dumpster. Try something new and exciting. The worse that can happen is that you fail. So what you fail, it’s something we all need to do once in a while to keep us humble!
Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace/school violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 22 studying workplace/school violence issues.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or visit his Facebook page at One is too Many. Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.