I have to admit. I am an erratic planner. Sometimes I can build a disciplined plan, all steps outlined and looking out 12 months. Other times I'm pretty impulsive, and actually act on that impulse (and hope they work!) Sometimes, I let the following quote take over
"The Ultimate Inspiration is The Deadline" - Nolan Bushnell
So a deadline hit me about 36 hours ago. It's a birthday. TODAY is my wife's 50th birthday. Restaurants are closed (or dramatically modified with take out only). Kids are being home schooled. Even our local bakery is shut down, what's a husband to do?
Long & somewhat hectic story short:
Our team pulled together what I consider as something to be proud of. They made a 50 lb, 50th Birthday "card." Made out of blue stone. Custom cut. With 4 people cut out. A balloon. A heart. Custom engraving. Even our dog Bruno made the "cut."
Some Take Aways...
They resisted their natural/rational instinct: "ARE YOU CRAZY!"
Multiple times we thought we were "pushing the envelope" on a piece (like the thin areas of the family silhouette would be too thin and would simply break. Challenging to re-design. Ultimately we said "worse comes to worse it breaks, start over."
Blue Stone performed dramatically different than our normal concrete......the dog made the cut, as did the 4 humans. That would not have happened with concrete.
Maybe the biggest take-away or feeling that I had reminded me of my old days (or years, like 20!) in food manufacturing. We used to perform new product tasting panels about once a week. There was a simple rule of thumb. Every now and than, a product was special. People would return for 2-3 samples because it tasted THAT good. We'd all make mental notes when this happened, it signaled a winner.
At PAVERART, the equivalent to people coming back for seconds is the team gathering to admire it an extra minute or two, and attempts to get the right picture. That happened here.
Maybe a bigger take-away?
Businesses that survive a crisis will get "BUSINESS AS USUAL" out of their vocabulary, their thinking, and most importantly their BEHAVIOR. There is nothing usual about this current crisis. I would argue that people's behavior needs to dramatically change to have the best shot at surviving....
If you make 5 calls a week, make 50. If you experiment with something 1-2 times per month? Make that 1-2 times a DAY. Get the shop in order. Reach out. Engage. None of this is a guarantee. But it gives you a punchers chance.