Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Project: The Walgreen’s Way: Prompt and Proactive

The enterprise started like any other. Named after the surname of a brilliant man.

This business was born of a necessity and based on education and experience. As a pharmacist, he interwove medicine and the mediocre.

A man, sick himself, found his vocation and that man was Charles Rudolph Walgreen.

He becomes the drug store and a retail location providing knick-knacks, non-pharmaceuticals and soon would food and beverages that sold just as well as his original concept.

When things were going good, things were good. But when things were slow, Walgreen did not allow the business to stop. In less than 40 years he opened 110 stores. How?

Because when things got slow, he decided to not do the norm and accept the fact that his fiscal year was safe. He questioned how could he beat the competition but also satisfy his clients and keep them happy? He questioned how could he make things better? 

Thus he created the 2-minute drill.

The drive-thru, delivery service and microwave dinners seem impressive now, but Walgreen set a standard that created word of mouth advertisement so positively it could possibly be why Walgreens is the largest drug retailing chain in United States.

So what was this drill that deserves such laud and honor?

It’s 1893 and you live close to Walgreen’s south side Chicago location and called them in for non-prescription items, Walgreen would answer the phone and repeat the items enunciating the name of the caller, their address and their desired products. Loud and clear. In doing this, Walgreen’s assistant could accurately collect all the items while Walgreen continued to keep the caller on the phone discussing weather and whatever else might be happening on the social calendar. 

All items collected, the assistant Caleb Danner, set out to make the delivery as Walgreen was still talking to the client. And then the doorbell rings. The client excuses himself or herself from Walgreen’s conversation and finds their order at the door. Astonished at the speed of delivery, Walgreen set the standard for customer service and all through his Two-Minute Drill.

So what’s your 2-minute drill? How will you set your company apart from others or improve your morale? How will you redefine customer service?

-The Green Couch

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Project: The Green Couch Initiative

We tweet, post messages on Facebook, encounter people in impromptu meetings and set up sessions on The Couch. All with one intentional goal: To inspire people to speak, follow and fulfill their dreams.

We’ve formed an ever-expanding community of entrepreneurs that spill their risk-taking gutsy. Some whom are new to the game, others who are just beginning to pursue their dreams. Some getting their first taste of success, some their first taste of failure.

And so continues our purpose, to create a safe virtual and physical environment in which people - in which you- can,

1.)  Speak [your dream] Sometimes it’s literal – we need to voice it, we need to shout it. It’s like we say around here, “If it’s not a Hell Yeah! it’s a No!” Put some oomph behind your declaration. It may be to yourself, to your family or in your business proposal, but it’s time to speak it.

2.)  Follow [your dream] Follow up and follow through. Now that you’ve spoken up, it’s real. And there are people watching you follow your dream and who might want to follow along. Part of that business proposal can include an addendum that includes, “The Hell Yeah Guide to Making it Happen!”

3.)  Fulfill [your dream] Setting a deadline, meeting it and moving on to the next milestone? That’s called success. But there’s a reason they say reach for the stars. 1. Because they are so high, you’ll always push yourself to work upwards and 2.) Because there are so many you always have another star to reach.

 And when that happens, when you find another star, you have an opportunity to Speak [your dream]…

-The Green Couch

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Project: SuPEERiors...Respect in The Workplace

Can your boss be your friend? Or is that bull? Is that just sucking up? Is it just a grown up case of teacher’s pet?

Sure you may see them as your peers and there may even be a sense of genuine camaraderie – he or she is a person whom you trust and can fully rely on both on and off the work campus. You’ve been given the privilege and honor to call them by their first name. You know the family and are invited to the annual Fourth of July BBQ.

But where’s that fine line? How to co-exist with your colleagues who may not have that intimate relationship or turn off that friendship when it comes time to take instructions or maybe reprimands?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. We know what it means to Aretha Franklin, but what does it mean to you, your company culture and most importantly, your suPEERior?

Here are a few ways to recognize the fundamentals of respect and to implement them no matter the relationship status of any of your peers:

  • Remember Your Position: That whole pubescent catchphrase, “You’re not the boss of me?” Yeah, you need to leave that at the door when you enter the building. It is that simple. Remember who hired you, who signs your paycheck, who has ownership of the title and who has the experience. You have never been in their position, so it does not matter whether you think you are right, they have the executive rights.

  • Take Responsibility: If you mess up, fess up. It is the lesser preferred avenue of honesty, but it is the type of integrity that will not only keep the relationship strong, but will enable the office momentum to stay strong. Rather than delaying the progress of the project by trying to figure out whodunit, or trying to resolve the aftermath once an issue is found, if you mess up, fess up.

  •  Do Not Complain: No one likes it. It makes you look bad, the company look bad, and your boss look bad.

  • Read The Employee Handbook and Corporate Emails: There are reasons rules are written, and emails are sent. Maybe some of the mandates are outdated, but being aware of the culture of your company and the history is vital to the representation.

  • Ask For Advice: It goes back to that whole experience thing. Whether it is a dissatisfied client, a disruptive inner office conflict or performance review, ask your boss how you can improve the situation and no matter what the cold hard facts are, face them and conquer them

It can be a team of two or two-thousand; no matter how large a company can grow respect is essential to any relationship.

-The Green Couch

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Project: How to Be Creative In a Corporate World

It is easy to lose sight of "you" in a universal system. Even in the name of solidarity, there has to be a way to find a way to capture a sense of solitary refinement; a way to create a space that is singularly yours.

Here’s how we get in touch with our space and add a touch of our taste:

  • Color: We are in love with Poppin: now this is a company with an array of bold colors. Their vast supply of office accouterments can help liven up many sections of any office – both on the go, in or on the desk, supply closet and even actual furniture pieces.

  • Casual Fridays (or Fiesta Fridays): While some may be finding it hard to shake off Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off, sometimes you need to shake off the stress and start off the weekend early. De-stressing at work and ensuring that you’ve established an ambiance that encourages friendship, communication and a little bit of liberation can be found in creative business clothes and some zesty food!

  • Extracurricular Activities: Who said your co-workers cannot be friends? Whether it is 5ks or soup kitchen volunteerism, it is important to strengthen your relationship and build more than your company community. You are a leader in your neighborhood; respected and admired - when you step outside of the concrete walls, explore the avenues to find additional ways to be a resource. It will feel amazing to be seen as a team and feel awesome to work as a team.

  • Wall Art: Whether it is post-it notes, whiteboards or chalk drawings, our hero’s quotes are the fuel to our emotional and mental fires. It can be a satisfied client, a historic fictitious character or esteemed politician or poet. Daily reading of positive words is like a personal testament to our struggles or our success similar to displaying a trophy for all to see.

Sometimes you just need to see a little bit outside of your space. Just like fine dining and acquiring new tastes, explore ideas outside of your own cubicle and see what you can find around your own box. Think what could compliment your style and take baby steps towards that goal and go beyond.

The corporate world is a necessary place - it keeps us aligned, but it is the dotted lines that tell us where we can cut, and we all like to keep a pair a scissors handy, do we not? (Good thing Poppin sells them, eh?) So find your dotted line, get creative, cut it and show off your personality in your workspace!

-The Green Couch