Last night’s episode of Mad Men, ominously titled “The Flood,” sucker punched viewers with the assassination of Martin Luther King. It was light on business and heavy on the characters navigating through their personal dilemmas. Don Draper showed affection to his son Bobby while admitting the lack of a real father figure in his life likely explained his inability to do the same for his children. Pete Campbell, struggling with his recent dislocation from his family shows empathy for the tragic assassination. Peggy hopefully contemplates the idea of kids with Abe and Joan made an effort to bridge the gulf with her secretary Dawn.
This week we’re exploring another business lesson to be learned from Mad Men; expect the best from your people. This one might be more of a stretch and may not be as episode specific but is important none the less. Employers who set high standards get high quality outcomes from their people. This translates into a better customer service experience for your clients. If you set a low bar, expect mediocre outcomes. Author and business consultant John DiJulius understands this well and is worth looking into (http://thedijuliusgroup.com/johndijulius). He believes high standards begin with hiring the right people. Don Draper is famous at asking a lot from his creative people and will quickly send them back to the drawing board if he feels their proposals for clients are incoherent or ineffective. Presumably it is this drive for quality work that has helped their spin-off advertising firm grow and weather the loss of their large tobacco client from two seasons ago.
In my experience, employees will rise to the occasion of high standards if you expect them to achieve. If you clearly communicate objectives, offer support and direction needed to achieve these goals and set realistic and measurable objectives, you’re in a strong position to capitalize. Celebrating this achievement is equally important and reinforces the importance of working toward hitting the goals. This week the Volano crew will head out to the movies Friday afternoon. Our development team has worked hard with our clients and have earned a half day of hooky. It may not be martinis at lunch Mad men style but we’ll take it.
January 19, 2021
Software development is a team-based endeavor because of the complexity involved in launching a new system. Gone are the days when one developer can be point on the whole back-office software stack. It now takes multiple specialized roles to (appropriately) fulfill the software delivery lifecycle. A typical software project requires: Leadership Product management Project management […]
January 13, 2021
One definition of rot is the process of deterioration. Something that decays over time. By this standard – software rots like food in the Nebraska heat. It’s true. If your software isn’t regularly updated, it deteriorates and breaks down. Consider this – software is written to work at a moment in time…but time marches on. […]
January 4, 2021
OMAHA, NE, January 4, 2021 – In late 2020, Volano Solutions announced it has changed its name to Volano Software and launched a new website: www.volanosoftware.com. The name change was made to more accurately reflect what the company does, and the website was designed to be more informative and user-friendly to clients and prospective clients […]
June 2, 2020
According to LinkedIn technology (software) has a higher overall turnover rate than retail. With that, it isn’t a matter of if, but a matter of when. Volano has engineered a culture of “by developers, for developers” and this helps our retention. In fact, most of the folks that work at Volano have been here +5 […]
June 2, 2020
It is hard enough to build a successful business, and few want to invest time and resources into worrying about an Intellectual Property Assignment. But alas, you must do your homework. Fortunately, we make it easy for Volano customers. When asked – “Who owns the software and IP for my project?” – it is an […]
May 28, 2020
Many of us remember the grade school game Telephone. It was funny to see how a simple message would get garbled as it was passed along from person to person. But it’s not as funny when that message is a critical business requirement that will be turned into software that will power your business. Yet, […]