Why They Don't Survive

24 November 2003

A lot of companies begin and cease with never so much as a clue as to why. The reason is simple most of the time. They are unprepared to do business.

If you open at 8:00 a.m., then be ready to take customer calls at 8:00a.m. If you are a retailer, make sure your clerks know how to make eye contact and say, ”thank you for your business.” While I don’t frequent many drive-thru food lines, the last one I visited had a clerk that was uniquely gifted with an ability to open the window and poke a bag through it without ever looking in the direction of the person to whom they were handing the bag.

Lately, my frustration has been quality and business improvement consultants. Emails, discussion board postings and phone calls to this sorry lot go unanswered. It’s as if they’re afraid someone is going to learn what they know and take business away from them.

But, there’s more to it than that. In too many cases they are as devoid of business excellence as those they criticize.

The ones I’m trying to talk to stand to make some serious money if they simply act interested. The problem is they all have superiority complexes, but without good reason. If they continue to fail in the simple ways of business, their expertise in more complex work will be wasted.

These Six Sigma Black Belts, Lean and Deming experts are acting as if they have the only lifeline to business excellence and success. Yet, many of them wouldn’t know how to make a marketing plan or respond to a sales inquiry if their livelihoods depended on it.

I’m about ready to declare that the consulting methodology elitists are vacuous inbreds who talk only to themselves about how the rest of the business world doesn’t ”get it.” The tools in their toolkits can be learned by anyone. Nevermind their clever little labels and initials for one another. Either they are good business people or they are not. Either they are people of their word or they’re not!

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