The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

In Hot Water

On November 16th, 2015, posted in: Uncategorized by

frog in potA frog placed in a pot of cold water that is slowly heated will not perceive the danger and will be cooked. Seems implausible. How dumb is the frog? Of course, such an occurrence would never happen to a business leader, a well-informed student, or any other human being, for that matter. The truth of the matter is that we’re all frogs boiling in water at some time or another. Hasn’t our lovable friend, Kermit the Frog, found himself in a number of heated situations with that pig of a girlfriend he has?

I guess the simple analogy is that when we see ourselves slipping into some hot water, we should probably have an exit plan. The fact is that on so many occasions we stay in the boiling mess and, as is the case with frogs, we succumb to the heat. Figuratively speaking, we boil ourselves to death. I can cite numerous examples where “shut up for your own good” was the directive I ignored. I’m smarter than a frog, right? I think not — at least some of the time. I boiled, baby, boiled.

Framed in the context of decision-making in the business world, we have seen many examples where the water is boiling and change is imminent, but nothing is happening. As customers, we see the slow boil taking over the business and wonder: “Where is the leadership? Do they see what we see? They must, right?”

Think about our friends at McDonald’s, or as my 4-year-old grandson calls them, “Donald’s.” How long have we witnessed the boil taking place? The menu on the drive-thru signage kept getting bigger and more unwieldly, the wait time kept getting longer and longer, and the order accuracy kept getting further from accurate. The water at the golden arches was boiling. Consumers were boiling as well. Hard to believe it, but the good folks at Big Mac Land were cooking themselves. People were leaving in droves. Chipotle has become the popular destination.

Finally, the leadership at Big Mac Land has crawled out of the boiling water. Menus have been culled, new protocols have been established for order accuracy, buns are being toasted longer, burgers have been seared to make them juicier, restaurants have been cleaned up, and the special sauce of Big Mac claim has been reinstated to its original recipe. And I, for one, am thrilled.

Look, I don’t go to Donald’s very often, but when I get the hankering for something fast and full of “bad things” for me, I want the experience to be great.

Hopefully, Ronald McDonald and his buddy the Hamburglar have made their way out of the hot water. Likewise, here’s hoping that Kermit (of frog fame) has seen the last of his own hot water.

Businesses are notorious for missing the boiling hot water. Can you believe it?

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