Tradition or Mission?

Many organizations—and solo practitioners—think they have a mission when, in fact, they simply hold on to tradition. Sears is a big time example, and the “entrepreneur” who’s giving the exact same speech as five years ago is a small time example. A mission is a reason d’être. It is a reason for your existence, what Peter Drucker called a contribution to society. Tradition is often hidebound, a rut that is comfortable but circular. A mission is often a call for …


Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 11/05/18

Alan's Monday Morning Memo

My agent is selling one of my new book ideas with the working title, It’s the Customer, Stupid. I recently called the police department in Providence to find someone and received very courteous help. I called the deputy jury commissioner about being asked to serve on a grand jury and received very courteous help. I went to the local Dunkin’ Donuts and (again) when I got home, the order wasn’t correct. The Dunkin’ Donuts owner here has also banned employees …


Why the Police Should Run Dunkin’ Donuts

I called the police department in Providence to find someone, and received very courteous help. I called the deputy jury commissioner about being called to serve on a grand jury, and received very courteous help. I went to the local Dunkin’ Donuts and (again) when I got home the order wasn’t correct. The Dunkin’ Donuts owner here has also banned employees from providing free, broken donuts or biscuits to dogs in the cars because he claimed to be “losing his …


Just Hit the Wall

I was a fair squash player but an excellent racketball player (I love a sport where you can miss the first time and hit the ball the second time if it doesn’t touch the floor). I learned to control the “T” and I had high acceleration. But I became highly competitive when I learned that not every shot could be a “kill” shot. You can’t expect to score a point with every stroke. Sometimes—often—you merely have to stay in the …


When Did “Work” Become A Dirty Word?

There are increasing articles (viz.: today’s Wall Street Journal) about how to retire in your 40s! Then there are the people who proudly proclaim, “I retired from teaching 25 years ago, at age 52!” I give you Kant’s categorical imperative: What if everyone did that? Good luck catching a cab, or finding a place to eat, or getting a dentist. The idea, it would seem to me, isn’t to take from society, imagining that after X years you’ve provided your requirement, …




Maybe I’ll Just Stay Where People Are Polite: Dumb-Ass Stupid Management

Nassau has pre-clearance for the US, one of the relatively few places you can do this. So we went through Bahamian formalities and then Global Entry. Every Bahamian official was pleasant and friendly (as was the case arriving). The US immigration agents chatted, while they made Global Entry people wait, then we were questioned quite rudely. You’d think, with a cushy spot like Nassau, the immigration people would be in a good mood. Why do you work in a job …