Saturday, August 7, 2010

WW/WDW - what???

Back in about 1984 in Denver I came across a great management idea, thanks to Jim Ronchetti and Myron McClellan. Jim and his wife owned a restaurant in Evergreen, and it seemed he was having some staff problems.

So one day he announced that he was closing the restaurant and laying off all the employees. He called them together, gave them no warning, and that was that. You're outa here!!!

But then he offered them an opportunity to apply to be hired (back). He told them things were going to be different. Hereafter, they would be expected to think and act as partners, not employees.

Upon the advice of Myron McClellan, the restaurant installed a board in the kitchen and called it the WW/WDW board. That stood for What Worked; What Didn't Work.

If an employee noticed another employee doing a good job, he was to write it on the board.

If an employee had a gripe, he was to write it on the board. The kicker was, he couldn't just complain about it. He also had to write to write a solution on the board.

So, if the busboy was always late, a serving person could write that on the board. And he had to write down what the busboy could do to arrive on time (and sober). Like, drink less the night before; set an additional alarm clock; line up a friend to call and wake him up, etc.

Customers immediately noticed the improvement in service in the restaurant and said so, with their tips and with comments to the owners.

This will work at the McHenry County Sheriff's Department. Well, maybe not the tip part...

Myron was a consultant and also an organist at a large Denver church at the time, and he had been a professor of religion and literature at Princeton University. Now? Mentor, mystic, musician, and philosopher.

Jim is traveling in Australia.

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