Craig's Blog

From Louisiana to Mississippi I spent the day in Mississippi with another great HR group. So I’m supposed to start the talk at 12:15, lunch is 11:45, and usually it works out better if people are pretty much finished with their meal because of the audience involvement in my talks. I noticed some of the folks were finishing up their preset salads and the wait staff were in “wait mode”. I went to the head of catering and asked if they could start dropping the main meal and he said he couldn’t until everyone was through with their salads. I asked if the main meal was ready to go. He said, “Yes”. I mentioned that there were wait staff just hanging out, he said, “I Know”. Then I asked him the most obvious question, “Why not?” He said, “Because, we have to wait until everyone is finished with their salads”. “How come?” And then (I know you know what he said then), “Because that’s how we’ve always done it”.
I had to laugh. In 7 minutes I was starting my talk about all the things that get in the way of successful organizations, on “getting out of the box,” on creativity and innovation, and here was the best example in real time of what happens when we drop into, “we’ve always done it like that”. It stifles creativity. It stifles common sense. It stifles customer service.
I laughed hard, but not as hard as the audience when half way through the talk, my mind was thinking ditty and tidbit at the same time and being a bit slap-happy from a few days on the road, instead of saying, “A little ditty,” what came out from my mouth was “a little titty” Whoops. No way out of that one.