Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thanks Jack Astors!

Recently, I met a colleague at Jack Astors. To be fair, it's not my first time there!

When you ask for the wifi username and password, it's comes with this wonderful little explanation:
Thank you for visiting us today. We offer this time limited wireless access service at no charge and we offer it on an as is basis with no support services. We appreciate your business and we want you to have a good experience using this service but we do not employ computer experts in our restaurants so you must help yourself. Having said that, we would like to offer some steps that should help you establish a connection to our wi-fi service. These steps are not meant to be comprehensive instructions, just helpful hints in case you need some assistance. We ask that you please not ask your server for assistance as they are not trained to assist you with this service.
I've been trying to figure out why I like this so much - it is just the wifi instructions after all. Thinking:
  1. it's clear
  2. it's appreciative
  3. it's honest 
  4. it's got personality
  5. it says 'we get it'
  6. it's helpful
  7. it's well written
  8. it's not overwritten
  9. it's good for their staff
  10. it's good for their customers
This simple, well done execution actually helped me feel better about the Jack Astor's brand. That's something I'm sure won't surprise my customer experience friends but is frankly a little scary given how almost insignificant it is in the scheme of running a Jack Astors - or any operation.

Better buy whoever wrote it a beer!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Assessing RIM's Approach to Corporate Governance

Yesterday, RIM's stock closed at somewhere near $19 on the TSX. The stock has fallen off so much that the value of the Company hovers around it's book value.

As a key role of the Board of Directors is to protect share holders, it got me wondering about how well RIM's Board has performed it's governance duties - and why there hasn't been more focus on RIM's Board.

Based on RIM's definition of the role of their Board from their website, here's my assessment:

Board Responsibilities from RIM Company Site
Rating (1 low – 5 high)
Ensure that a culture of integrity is created throughout the organization
Not taking accountability for the Company's performance is a powerful signal.
Oversee and approve the Corporation’s strategic initiatives and implementation of such initiatives
Key strategies have failed and implementation (BBX, Playbook) has been chaotic and disappointing.
Assessing the principle business risks of the organization.
The Company's product and infrastructure strategies are key risks the Board apparently missed.
Overseeing the Company’s compliance activities, including the areas of legal/regulatory compliance…
The Company appears to meet it’s basic legal/regulatory obligations however it’s approach to disclosure (below) is questionable.
Monitoring the Co-Chief Executives performance.
Tough to argue that the co-CEO's have performed well. Even worse, the co-CEO's are also the Co-Chairs of the Board, making it impossible for the Board to fulfill this responsibility.
Adopting and monitoring a disclosure policy for the organization.
RIM has consistently failed to announce the departure of key senior execs, raising a question about what else the Board has deemed not material.
Monitoring the integrity of internal control and management information systems
Developing the Corporation’s approach to Corporate governance
What approach to Corporate governance?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Following up the Sock Thing

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about tangled cords on our electronic devices. Having solved that mystery, I finished the post by saying I was about to search Google for the mystery of missing socks.

I was kidding.

However, I'm easily distracted and with a little encouragement I've done it. And, there is no answer.

But. I saw a great work-around.

The sacrificial sock.

Instead of tossing a simple pair of (2) socks into the wash or dryer, toss three. Not only is it a great use of those orphan socks, it helps protect the integrity of the pair. It's a truly inspired idea.

Which got me thinking of sacrificial other stuff. Like my friend, Mr. Amazing BBQ dude. When I asked him how how he does it perfectly every time he said "simple. Sacrificial steak. I always have an extra one (or it could be yours) that I cut into while it's cooking.".

Which explains a lot.

Then there's the sacrificial blog post. Like this one!

Have a great day!

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