Milkshake moment

October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

This story is from the book “Milkshake moment”. Well, it is my version from the book. So this guy, the author of the book(steve), goes to a hotel after a long day at a conference. He is really tired and decides that he wants to reward himself by having a vanilla milkshake. He calls downstairs to the concierge and asks if they have what he desires. The guy looks thru the automated system they use to place orders and reports back that they don’t have it. So Steve asks if they could send to his room vanilla ice cream, half a glass of milk and a long spoon, all the ingredients needed to make a shake of his own. So why didn’t the concierge at the hotel think of this? As steve points out that the hotel employee could have charged him any amount he wanted. Was the system making the hotel employee stupid or at the very least constraining his behavior? Was the system stopping him from being creative?

How many times have you heard this line: I know this process(choose yours) does not make sense, but that is the process we have at our organization? Why hasn’t that person stating this line stopped and said but this process does not make sense? And if they have stopped and asked this question how easy it is for them to change it? Are things really that rigid within an organization and if they are how can they really adapt to changing customer demands.

I wish more organizations could see that they have adults working for them and treat them with respect and dignity providing them the freedom to be creative. We build processes and systems and then leave them in place constraining creative behavior. More organizations need to realize the effects of complex and rigid systems.

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