Friday, December 23, 2005

Wine and Cheese Management ...

The title of this post probably sounds a little strange, but hopefully after a bit of explanation you will understand.

First, I deliberately mispelled my title so that it would be easier to read and pronounce. It is supposed be spelled, "Why-ne and Cheese Management".

The first part is so simple that even a two year old would understand it. If you have ever been around a two year old, you know that their favorite word is "Why". Why is the sky blue? Why are we going to school? Why do I have to wear these pants? (Some two year olds have some clothing issues, but that is a story for another post.)

From a business management perspective, Motivation is tied directly to WHY and if you give a compelling "why", your team will figure out a way to get it done. If you don't give a "Why", (and depend on "just do it because I said so"), you are limiting yourself to a solution that is not necessarily the best it could be. Think about it.... if you give workers the "why", they will use their own experience, dedication and creativity to come up with the solution. They may even ask for your suggestions (and learn from you by combining it with their own ideas), but in almost every case the result will be a better job in a shorter amount of time with improved moral and dedication for the next job.

The second part of the Wine & Cheese management approach is "The Cheese".

You might think that this part would be pulled directly from the popular business book, "Who moved my Cheese", but you would be wrong. The Cheese is about recognition and appreciation.

The Cheese comes in when you snap photographs of people doing things RIGHT. ("Say Cheese"... I'm about to take your picture.) These pictures should then be posted in public places with a brief explanation of why* this person is being honored.

* notice the use of "why" here also.

This educates, encourages and reinforces the key principles and practices that you want in your organization. It is also a great way to use your web site to extend "the face of your company" beyond your own four walls.

So, now, go out and have yourself a Why-ne and Cheese party !

It will make life more fun for you and your whole organization !

Dave Wheeler

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