Last night I had a rare few minutes to watch some TV. The Eagles were playing and I figured I would catch a few minutes. That never happened.
I have never been an over the top football fan. For years I watched and frankly enjoyed the hype. It is good to be a part of things. In the last few years my interest and enthusiasm has waned. The Eagles signing Michael Vick may have had something to do with it but I am not evolved enough to look into the true reason or frankly care.
In my search for the game the first thing that came on was Undercover Boss. I have only ever watched a few episodes of this show but every one has been good. This show preaches something that I have speaking about for years. The people running a company should know what everyone in the company is dealing with.
It is my experience that similar to following a football team people want to get behind the company they work for. People will give a company their all and will even overlook the warts that are apparent if they feel that they can make a difference.
If the upper management took the time to find out what really happens in the front lines they could effectively make decisions to take the business to a place they never knew imaginable.
Even though I appear to be a hopeless pollyanna I am not a person who reads self help books. That said I read a business management book 10 or so years ago that struck a chord with me. It described how a top executive at Burger King mandated that anyone in an executive position must spend at least a day a month working in the field.
This approach would help so many organizations. The bicycle industry definitely would benefit from this. The market is so varied throughout the country it is good for people to see what goes on in different parts of the country. I have heard from many people (and thought it myself at times) that the industry is a bit too So-Cal centric.
Rick Vosper has a great take that is loosely related to this topic. Well related in the sense that it hits on the topic of the state of retail. Add Rick to your list of Blog’s if you are interested in the Bicycle Industry.
The part of Undercover Boss that is a bit over the top is the part that makes the show “Prime Time” worthy. The fact that the boss has to hide from his employees and then upon his reveal he rewards different people he worked with.
If you are managing people or an organization take note. Don’t ask people to do things that you wouldn’t do yourself. Get down in the trenches, scrub a toilet, fry some fries, turn a wrench. To go one step further, get outside your area, visit another part of the country, or go to a different location. Different people will teach you things about your business. As a wise person once said “Listen, that is why you have two ears and one mouth”