The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2013 - (Page 44)

SALES & CRITICAL INPUT MARKETING What Looks Good on Paper BY DOUG CARTLAND I ’m not kidding… A contractor needed to tear down a house to start a new construction a few years ago in Georgia. He showed up, looked the job over, revved up his machinery and proceeded to tear down the wrong house. Really! The wrong house! Someone was living there (thankfully not at home at the time). If you would’ve stood at the demolished home and looked over your left shoulder, you would’ve seen the house that should have been torn down about 100 yards away. I can hear Maxwell Smart now: “I missed it by thaaat much.” The foreman of the crew gave this explanation: “This house (the one he destroyed) lined up perfectly with the GPS coordinates we were given.” There are so many questions I would ask that foreman if given the chance (Did you check the address? Did you peek in the window and see that it was being lived in? Did you make a phone call to be sure?) But suffice it to say, it’s amazing how right some things can look on paper. Speaking of GPS… I had a friend over one afternoon and we were going to drive separate vehicles to a picnic. I had been to the site of the picnic a few times, but he had a GPS. So I thought I would follow him. I thought maybe the GPS would give us a better way to get there than what I knew by having actually driven it. The GPS did take us the shortest trip in miles driven. However, what 44 MHEDA | should have been a one hour journey if we had gone the way I normally go, took a full hour and a half because the GPS didn’t consider lights, elements of traffic, construction, etc. The GPS has coordinates and statistics and diagrams and sometimes a nice voice, but there is a difference between the GPS and me…the GPS has never actually driven the streets. A GPS can tell me theoretically the best way to travel around my home, for example, but it doesn’t know shortcuts that I know; it can’t inform anyone which streets my village is slow to plow in the winter and offer an alternative route; it doesn’t have in its coordinates the neighbor who flags me down constantly to talk, and whom I avoid at all costs. I know these potential obstacles because I have, day in and day out, experienced the drive. Leaders, too, sometimes have coordinates and statistics and diagrams and even a nice voice, but often not the daily practical experience or When I’ve hired people, I never felt that I was just hiring them to do a job for me; I was also hiring them to bring me ideas about how they could do their jobs better. the day-to-day know-how that adds incredibly vital meat to the decisionmaking bone. A couple of years ago, I was consulting a large, very well-known manufacturing company. One of the senior execs is an engineer. The senior team decided that they wanted to get 30 percent more out of the manufacturing floor. The engineer went to work to see if there was a way to do it. He spent months drawing and drafting and studying, adding and subtracting, measuring and calculating. Finally, he had his plan in place. He decided that, yes, it could be done and he knew exactly how to do it. The company then spent two weeks implementing his plan. They moved machinery, changed processes and reorganized most everything. In all of his research, however, the senior exec never asked for input from the people who actually do the work. As he began to make his changes, the employees began giving him feedback, explaining why many aspects of his plan would not work. He ignored their concerns; he considered them nay-saying bellyachers. Finally his plan was in place. It didn’t work. Three months later they put everything back the way it had originally been. The cost to the company was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Too many times, leaders make decisions based on what should be correct. They make decisions by what looks right, by theoretical truths and by what makes sense on paper.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2013

President’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Ask Your Board
MHEDA Member Profile
At Work
The Next Economic Cycle
In Case of Emergency – Disaster-Proofing Your Supply Chain
Annual Convention
Convention Program
Exhibitors' Showcase Floor plan
Absorption Measures Performance and Sustainability
Exhibitors’ Showcase Product Guide
The Parachute Congress Made
Get Your Game On
An Expert, Advisor, Resource and Single Point of Contact
What Looks Good on Paper
Instilling Work Ethic in the Emerging Workforce
How to Get People to Do What You Want Them to Do
Search Engine Marketing Value Proposition
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA University Calendar
MHEDA Milestones
New Products
Index of Advertisers by Product Category

The MHEDA Journal - Second Quarter, 2013