Verizon Wireless is now running its second round of Susie’s Lemonade Stand TV advertisements.Â The commercials feature actress Michelle Bennett playing cute-as-a-button Susie whose product and business acumen combine with Verizon to build a successful small business â€“ all seemingly overnight.Â At the end Verizon triumphantly announces, “The small business with the best technology rules!”
But the ad, which tells a great little story with a great little actress, is based on a false premise.Â Technology by itself, never rules.Â In the highly competitive and complex world of modern business, it is only the judicious use of carefully selected technologies by highly-disciplined people and organizations that rule.
Jim Collins in his groundbreaking book, Good to Great, Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t, states categorically that “good to great companies used technology, as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it.Â None of the good to great companies began their transformations with pioneering technology, yet they all became pioneers of the application of technology once they grasped how it fit with their [Hedgehog Concept] and after they hit breakthrough.”Â This statement is all the more cogent in that it’s based on careful research and empirical evidence, not cuteness and feel-good emotions.
In The Quest for Remarkable Service this author pointed out that, “Alone, technology can do very little, but as the capstone of the other carefully crafted and consistently implemented disciplines, it becomes a powerful partner in a club’s quest for remarkable service.”
Lastly, in an article entitled Do You Know What Your Club Management System Can Do? I reported that, while CMS companies provided feature-rich software, most of those features went unused by club operators.Â What seemed to be lacking was not technology, but knowledge of technology and the discipline of how best to use it.
Don’t get me wrong, Susie’s Lemonade Stand is a great ad!Â It tells a warm and fuzzy story of a winning character’s entrepreneurial spirit and success, but it doesn’t tell the greater and truer story of the underlying disciplined efforts necessary for that success.
Thanks and have a great day!
This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers â€” those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.
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