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Sunday, November 22, 2009


I conducted another interview for inclusion in my upcoming book. A recurring theme among the best organizations is that they measure performance. The plan, and they measure performance against the plan.

Measuring performance without an objective standard or criteria to measure against is meaningless. That's what many organizations do, however. They evaluate performance in isolation or against some undefined perception. Performance of suppliers, of employees, and of yourself has to be measured against pre-determined standards or criteria if they are to mean anything. The thing is, people like to be measured. They like to be measured if they can meet the standards or criteria. That's important.

You can't measure an individual's performance if they are not give the tools, training, and resources that are needed to complete the task. The same goes for suppliers. You must act as a responsible customer, and you must tell them ahead of time what they will be measured on and how you will perform the measurements.

Be one of the best. Plan, and measure your performance.

Safeway, My Safeway

Safeway rant # 768...

I must preface this by saying that although I continue to rant about Safeway, My Safeway, I continue to shop there. Why is that? Habit. Difficult to change even with my complaints (businesses like that). I know where the Safeway's are and how to get to them (with Honolulu traffic, that's important).

So, my latest Safeway adventure...

I was near the store just before lunchtime and hadn't brought my lunch that day. So I popped into the deli to grab a quick sandwich to take back to the office. Or I should say I planned to stop in for a quick sandwich. Quick and Safeway never go together. I always tell myself "never go to Safeway if you're in a hurry." The deli was empty, so no waiting. I could get my sandwich and be out of there quick as a wisp (is that a real saying?). As I stood there waiting, and waiting, I decided on the meatball sub, as all you have to do is put meatballs and cheese on the bread, quick as can be.

Well, I continued waiting while one deli worker talked on the phone. And talked. And talked. Then walked out from behind the deli counter and went and talked to the second deli worker who was stocking one of the food cases. He did say "I'll be right with you" as he walked by. After a short discussion worker number 1 went back to the phone. Another "I'll be right with you", just for effect I assume. The phone conversation then proceeded to continue.

By this time I was past ready to leave, but I thought I can't lose this place in line (even though there wasn't, technically, a line, there being just me). Plus I figured that since I got two "I'll be right with you" 's it couldn't be much longer. I was wrong.

Finally, after a good ten minutes (I'm very patient, plus stubborn and by this time curious) I was waited on. And within milli-seconds of worker number 1 taking my order, worker number 2 asked me if I'd been helped. Why, yes I have, thank you for asking after watching me stand there for 10 minutes, thank you very much.

The meatball sandwich making was mostly uneventful, except I only got cheese on half the meatballs. It started out on all of them, but during the transfer of the meatballs and cheese from the microwave onto the bread, the cheese got pushed onto only half the meatballs. Well, at least it was all there somewhere.

So, I eventually got my sandwich and headed back to the office.

I should have gotten salami...

And the lesson is... A customer standing in front of you is your top priority. And, customer service can be improved. Or is one more customer just not that important in this economy?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hawaii Youth Rugby Website Updated

Check out the new and improved Hawaii Youth Rugby website. Hawaii Youth Rugby is making great strides, and the new website is just one of many ways the organization is fulfilling it's mission.

Find news, information, documents pertaining to rules and codes of conduct, contacts, and more. There is a Sponsor's page showing the businesses, organizations, and individuals who have made the commitment to sponsor Hawaii Youth Rugby. And one thing I like very much is that meeting minutes that are posted. I like transparency, and this is a great way to find out what's going on with the running of the organization. Reading the minutes (yes, I do that) gives me great confidence in the organization and its leaders.

Great job everyone!