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Happened to see this on CNN just now.  http://money.cnn.com/2013/01/31/technology/innovation/blackjet-uber-jets/  I've thought for a long time that this would/will happen eventually.  The industry splitting in two - small jets providing high-end service for the <5% who want it, and airborne buses the other 95%.  The small jet thing has been tried before w/o success.  Too expensive and not convenient enough.  But I think the industry will get there someday.

1 year, 7 months ago on What Not to Do: Eight Lessons from Airports

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Great stuff, Gini.  The power of deciding what NOT to do is immense.  If I ever get my head actually writing a book on this, it will be called "Fire Away!"

 

At the risk of seeming self-serving (a risk I incur at least several times a day), here are three blog posts I wrote over the past couple of years about my airport experiences. The stories are true, I promise a few laughs, and there's some sexual humor.   If that doesn't get you to read them (Sex Sells), what will?

 

http://dwallace12.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/pain-in-the-ass-ism/

http://dwallace12.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/be-still-my-traveling-heart/

http://dwallace12.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/security-theater-2/

 

Regarding #4, the airlines have a business model problem.  In the late 90s, 10% of passengers - those in the first 15 or so rows of the plane - accounted for 40% of revenue.  By the early 2000s, both numbers had fallen by half - 5% of passengers accounted for 20% of revenue.  Those numbers haven't gone up, and have probably gone down.  The airlines would love to figure out how to break the plane into 2 pieces, but they can't.  SWA and perhaps Jet Blue, unburdened by legacy, have business models that provide a good experience for the 95%.  The rest are stuck trying to figure out how to provide differential experiences on a single set of assets.  Very difficult, which is why they now make the basic service so uncomfortable that many people will pay to avoid pain. 

 

In Competitive Strategy (which his students, me included, lovingly referred to as "The Old Testament"), Michael Porter described industries with low entry and high exit barriers as producing returns that are both low and volatile.  Over its entire history of ups and downs (see what I did there?), the airline industry's ROI has been. . .0%.

 

Lastly, I went through O'Hare last weekend and had time to try Bayless.  Not  bad, there were seats at the bar on Sat AM, and I even got an outlet!

1 year, 7 months ago on What Not to Do: Eight Lessons from Airports

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LOL Gini, where have you been?  As you know, I write blog posts about nothing all the time :-).

 

As to my suggestion for a topic. . .first I should say that when I lose my mind, which I do all the time, the first place I go look for it is in the gutter because that's usually where it is.

 

With that in mind, I'm interested in the John Allen side of the Petraeus scandal.  I don't care who slept with whom.  Anyway, that's my story.  But I am curious about the 20-30k emails he exchanged with the hot social climber from Tampa.  How much time does the average email take to write, or to read.  If you multiply that by 25,000, how much of the time he was supposed to be spending leading Marines (including my nephew) and soldiers did he actually spend e-canoodling with the social climber? 

 

And the penultimate question, a philosophical one. . .was that or was that not a worse transgression than Bill Clinton getting his cigar smoked by Monica L while on the phone with Rep. Sonny Montgomery discussing the deployment of US troops to Kosovo?

 

I can only say one thing in my defense. . .you asked!

1 year, 10 months ago on The Seinfeld of Blog Posts

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 @jelenawoehr Jelena, I deal with this issue in my work all the time.  See comment responding to PMayze below. 

 

I agree, no one should be fired without knowing why and being given a chance to correct.  The foundation is having a set of core values that truly define your culture.  These have to be real, not aspirational.  "Real core values" are the principles of behavior, belief and attitude the violation of which will get you fired.  These frequently are not the values in the framed plaque on the wall.  Be clear about what the real values are.  Repeat them often.  Make them part of performance feedback.  Use them in every decision involving hiring, firing, reward, recognition and promotion.  That way, no one is surprised.

 

When someone is not demonstrating the company's values, they absolutely should be given a chance or two to make changes.  But values are pretty deeply rooted.  Changing them is difficult and rare.  Not having the company's values doesn't make someone a bad person - just a poor fit for that particular company.  If you really live your core values, people who have them will be attracted to your business. People who don't will leave, usually of their own accord.

1 year, 10 months ago on Fire the Prima Donna! Three Reasons it Will Save Your Business.

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 @AmyMccTobin Amy, you have no idea.  My actual blog posts are at http://dwallace12.wordpress.com.

1 year, 10 months ago on Fire the Prima Donna! Three Reasons it Will Save Your Business.

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 @pmayze Thanks!  First time ever that the words "less pompous" and my name have appeared in the same place.

1 year, 10 months ago on Fire the Prima Donna! Three Reasons it Will Save Your Business.

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Great stuff, Gini.  It took me right back to a conversation you and I had over coffee three or so years ago :-).

 

Pmayze has it exactly right as well, although I use slightly different words to describe it.  You want 100% of your people to be "Right Person/Right Seat."  Right Person means they fit the culture.  Right Seat means they fit the job.  The 2 x 2 gets you this:

 

Right Person / Right Seat - a keeper.  Find more of these!

 

Right Person / Wrong Seat - fits the culture, but doesn't fit the job.  Try very hard to find a role for this person in which he/she will excel.  If you can't, then give them a hug and help them move on.

 

Right Seat / Wrong Person - this is the prima donna, someone who is great at the job but doesn't fit the culture.  Fire this person for all of the reasons Gini cited.

 

Wrong Person / Wrong Seat - fits neither the culture nor the job.  I disagree with PMayze that this person is benign. He/she is toxic to the culture.  It is an easier decision to release this person from the company because he/she doesn't perform well.  That doesn't make it less toxic or less important.

 

I agree completely with, and have personally witnessed, Scott Eblin's three reasons to fire the prima donna.  I would add one more. . .if you're clear about the values that drive your culture and you hire to them, you'll replace the prima donna with someone who propels the company forward rather than dragging it down.

1 year, 10 months ago on Fire the Prima Donna! Three Reasons it Will Save Your Business.

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 @ginidietrich  @Dan Wallace I agree completely.  A gift horse landed in their lap (which seems like it might hurt), and did great things with it - in ways that tapped into a strong current in the culture.  Worth taking a couple of days to get that right, again IMHO.  Plus, they gave whole new meaning to the phrase, "Want to come up and see my etchings."

2 years, 5 months ago on Etch A Sketch Hits PR Mecca With Romney Gaffe

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Romney guy's mistake was telling the truth.  They say it's the worst thing you can do in politics.  OA's response may have been slow in today's world, but still brilliant, IMHO.  Left/right knob plays perfectly into what drives most of us crazy about politics today.  They should just move the knobs further away from the middle. 

2 years, 5 months ago on Etch A Sketch Hits PR Mecca With Romney Gaffe

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