Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Putting the Bulldozer in Park & Removing the Earplugs

hopkins printing 

Putting the Bulldozer in Park & Removing the Earplugs


A wise man who was a member of The Ohio State University faculty, was known to preach "you have two ears and one mouth and that ratio exists for a reason. Remember, you should listen twice as much as you speak." Listen twice as much as you speak. It seems that this nugget of wisdom is not entirely embraced by the business world. How many companies go through each day with a bulldozer mentality? They have an agenda in mind, they know what is going on, and they are here to execute their plan. The bulldozer mentality is a lethal one. While at the end of the day the company may have cleared the path they planned to, they may have also failed to see or consider all of the opportunities that were thrown under the two ton roller.

The opportunities that lie crushed in the bull-dozers wake of destruction are often customers. Instead of focusing on executing a drawn-up plan, businesses should be focusing on their clients. "Customer-centric" is becoming one of the biggest buzzwords in marketing for a reason. The evolution of technology and increased access to knowledge has resulted in an empowered consumer. There is nothing preventing the customer from pulling out their smart phone, Googling "company who can XYZ" and having a list of thousands of businesses who are eager to offer their services. The power now lies in the hands of the consumer and companies need to put their bulldozers in park and listen up. A company who takes the time to listen to their customers knows what they want and can more easily produce it to satisfy the customer's needs. Satisfying customer needs to their exact specifications can give companies an advantage over of the thousands of other companies on the Google result list who would just offer a generic solution.

 At Hopkins every one of our employees strives to make the customer the priority. From our conscientious CSR teams to the direct point of contact of our sales reps, our every move is made with regard to the customer. In an effort to increase this relationship with our clients we sent out an email a few months back to check in with them. We asked questions: why are you buying from us? What are your expectations and are we meeting them? What benefits do you derive from working with us? What could we do to better your experience?

You can see some of the responses on our website.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

To Get Results, You Gotta do the Work

All to often people want the outcome without the work it takes to achieve the goal. Within a company the leadership has to drive the change and the improvement. Often companies hire consultants or coaches and then hope that the outsider will do the work. There is a blogger I read called Got Boondoggle. Recently he wrote a blog entitled To Get Results, You Gotta do the Work. Below is an excerpt from his post.

Don’t hire Lean consultants to do the work for you and expect to become lean. Any improvements we might see will not stick. Lean consultants can teach, motivate, influence, demonstrate, coach, yell, scream and cuss, but you will only get results by doing it yourself.

Don’t delegate continuous improvement to your lean department. Kaizen is everybody, everyday, everywhere. A culture change towards becoming lean MUST be led by the top, no other way!

Just like you can’t sit on the couch eating ice cream and expect to lose weight, you can’t sit in your office looking at the computer screen and expect to improve your processes.

Too many executives don’t want the labor pains, they just want the baby.

YOU have to get up and get moving. Go to gemba. Don’t say I can’t, I don’t want to hear I can’t. Do what you can. Go, Go Go. You better toughin up. Improve something every day. Again. (Wow, I could get used to this!)

This tells me that no matter what type of organization you are a part of - the change comes from the top. If you're at the top make sure the improvements are part of the overall corporate strategy and then get in the process and drive improvement.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs - A Legend Is Gone

Below is a letter from Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, to the employees of Apple.


I have some very sad news to share with all of you. Steve passed away earlier today.

Apple has lost a visionary and creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Steve have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor. Steve leaves behind a company that only he could have built, and his spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple.

We are planning a celebration of Steve’s extraordinary life for Apple employees that will take place soon. If you would like to share your thoughts, memories and condolences in the interim, you can simply email

No words can adequately express our sadness at Steve’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. We will honor his memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much.