We have written on the problem of senior executives and entire management teams ignoring problems in their businesses. We have tried to make sense of this problem with a variety of theories which, admittedly, none of which seem to resonate or strike us as compelling. This phenomenon for sure exists. We have simply not been able to explain easily it or put pithy nomenclature around it.
Dominick's is a grocery chain in the Chicago area that just announced they plan to leave the Chicago market. They are looking to sell their 72 stores to a variety of competitors. Dominick’s has roots in Chicago since 1918 the year that Dominick DiMatteo opened a deli. The deli turned into a small Italian market called Dominick’s Finer Foods.. A second store was opened in 1934 in the depths of the Great Depression. After World War II, Dominick DiMatteo and his son Dominick transformed the first store into the emerging grocery store concept with great success. Over the years they grew their chain to 99 stores.
A friend of ours, Khatchig Jingirian, the President of Smythe and Cross Fine Jewelry in Los Altos posted the following on Facebook. I graciously fired my first customer today.
Our Principal, Mark Gavoor, met with Lon Blumenthal today. According to Mark, "Lon is an impressive supply chain thinker and consultant." Mark and Lon discussed many shared issues and concerns in the management consulting profession. Among the many things they discussed was the ineffective management practice of beating a dead horse. Lon pointed Mark to a discussion posting by one Tom Snell, a Project and Account Manager at an electrical contracting firm in Southern California, on LinkedIn. Them observations are both brilliant and funny. What often makes funny things brilliant is often the degree to which they reflect the truth. And there is a lot of truth in these observations.
We heard an interesting story of a small business. The charismatic owner of a company wanted to launch a new product based on his own idea. When the product was ready to go, the owner presented to the sales staff. The presentation included the benefits of the product and instructions on how the product should be pitched to customers. At the end, the owner asked the sales team if they had any questions and what they thought of the new product. One younger salesperson raised his hand asked a few pointed questions to get more clarification on the market that this new product was intended for. Not particularly satisfied with the owners answers and viability of the new product, the young salesperson then asked, "Maybe next time you might consider asking the sales team what they thing the market needs are."