The ends and the means

“Do the ends justify the means? Is it worth lowering your standards and giving up your principles in order to find a better outcome?
Many times, the means are the ends. How we choose to act changes who we choose to become.
The way we choose to get to where we’re going defines what it’s going to be like when we get there.”

… Seth Godin

Counting beans

“If you have to serve chili to 1,000 people, holding back just one bean from each person means you end up with a tidy savings, and almost no one is going to notice.
If you run a call center and hire people who make a dollar less an hour, who are less supported, or less trained, or less caring, the impact on each interaction will probably seem pretty small. Of course, if you have a thousand operators, you just saved a lot of money.
And, if you make cars and you figure out how to replace a bolt with a slightly less resilient one, very few drivers will notice, and if you make 200,000 cars a year, that might be enough to pay your entire salary.
You’ve already guessed the problem.
Some people will notice that the portions are a little skimpy. Some customers will be annoyed enough to switch to another company. And some people are going to die.
When we add up lots of little compromises, we get to celebrate the big win. But overlooked are the unknown costs over time, the erosion in brand, the loss in quality, the subtraction from something that took years to add up.
In a competitive environment, the key question is: What would happen if we did a little better?
Organizations that add just a little bit every day always defeat those that are in the subtraction business.”

… Seth Godin

“Price is the last refuge for the businessperson without the imagination, heart and soul to dig a bit deeper”

Maybe your customer isn’t trying to save money

Perhaps she wants to be heard instead.

Or find something better, or unique.

Or perhaps customer service, flexibility and speed are more important.

It might be that the way you treat your employees, or the side effects you create count for more than the price.

The interactions in the moment might be a higher priority.

Or it could even be the sense of fairplay and respect you bring (or don’t bring) to the transaction.

Price is the last refuge for the businessperson without the imagination, heart and soul to dig a bit deeper.”

Seth Godin

 

 

Give up and go up goals

“You will benefit when you tell lots of people your give up goals. Tell your friends when you want to give up overeating or binging or being a boor. Your friends will make it ever more difficult for you to feel good about backsliding.

On the other hand, the traditional wisdom is that you should tell very few people about your go up goals. Don’t tell them you intend to get a promotion, win the race or be elected prom king. That’s because even your friends get jealous, or insecure on your behalf, or afraid of the change your change will bring.

Here’s the thing: If that’s the case, you need better friends.

A common trait among successful people is that they have friends who expect them to move on up.”

Seth Godin