Slaughter those Cows immediately!

by todaystrainingblog

Sacred cows. They are the bane of companies that wish to be competitive in today’s economy. Unfortunately, far too many of them still rely on them to conduct business. If you can’t get rid of those bovines, then you’ll never get out of your own way to be successful.

Sacred Cows, if you don’t know, are those things that every business states that they absolutely 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!’

Part of this is the customer ‘no’ service attitude that is so prevalent in the world today. ‘I can’t do that, but I’ll transfer you to… and maybe they can help you.’ After waiting for what seems like an interminable amount of time, you still haven’t gotten a resolution, someone who can take responsibility, or even a human to talk to you without spouting the innumerable platitudes those customer service reps, and security officers, are encouraged to offer as well.

This attitude is so prevalent because many companies don’t trust their employees to make an arrangement with customers without giving away too much. I agree that trusting a security officer to make a decision about something, in some respects, may not be the smartest thing to do, unless they’ve been properly trained, but how do you know until you try. That is a sacred cow that everyone can do without I believe, along with voice menu systems that drag on forever.

As a security company owner or even an employee or manager in a small business, you have to convince yourself or your bosses that the sacred cows need to be shot, butchered, and grilled for whatever holiday you decide to celebrate. 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 read through. If it’s feasible then do it, especially if it’s out of-the-box, innovative, or creative.

Nothing in the business world, or life for that matter, is ever 100% guaranteed to be successful. I’ve made my share of bad decisions and mistakes. But if you are too scared 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!

“It’s only stupid and a waste of money if it doesn’t work!”

In the security field, there are innumerable sets of best practices and guidelines on which you’re supposed to follow. The same holds true for the government, there is no latitude when it comes to changing something because it won’t work for your region of the country or what you need completed or accomplished. It’s follow the rules or be punished.

I’m not saying that issuing guidelines and regulations are not good things. The problem is those people, companies, & agencies that can’t, or won’t, see the problem with changing something that isn’t going to work. And so many times, they won’t even look at the problem with the people on the front lines to see those issues.

I’ve worked with many people in every single sector of the economy in my career. From hospitality (security, housekeeping, & front desk) to service (call centers, security, fast food, and others) to sales (coupon books and cars), not to mention the clients with all of the security companies I’ve labored for. Only one of them was progressive enough to allow any thinking outside the box to solve problems. Clients, co-workers, vendors, & managers all were set in their ways like a stubborn and bitter old man. They refused to change anything in their way of thinking because they ideas were the sacred cows of the organization and industry.

Far too many times, I discovered what worked in New York City doesn’t work in Mission Kansas. And what worked in Kansas City doesn’t work just down the road in Topeka. What worked in St. Joseph doesn’t necessarily work in Savannah or Maryville Missouri.

What the company, managers, and everybody else need’s to do is change the way they look at things. 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. That means tweak your ideas and start over at another time.

(Look for the 2nd half of this post next week)

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 32 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page,

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