Dave’s Fables: Napkins Shouldn’t Be Bibs

napkinsNapkins Shouldn’t Be Bibs…This was the headline in today’s paper.  Well, at least it was the headline on the page where the crossword and Sudoku puzzles live.  Monday is my favorite day to tackle the daily puzzles – for those of you who regularly turn to the newspaper to exercise your mind know that the puzzles will get harder as the week progresses.

I read the headline again…“Hogwash”, I grumbled, “Napkins can be bibs.”  I know for a fact that on airplanes if you look closely at the cloth napkins, they actually have a buttonhole for proper “bib alignment.”  That article should have been titled, “A Napkin Worn as a Bib at Times May Not Be Cool…but at Times It’s the Perfect Solution.”   

You can quote me: “Making an assumption or sweeping statement that anything should be done one way or this way only…is definitely wrong!” or…to be more politically correct, “might be wrong most of the time!” 

Here is my reasoning: In today’s business world, everywhere you look it is protocol after protocol. Protocols are fine if they are squarely focused on the product’s standards – what it is and how it works. Where a protocol falls short is when you add ever-changing variables like human emotion.  Then your product or procedure must be customized to meet or exceed the customer expectations.  It is a blend of the two! The product’s protocol + the individual’s unique needs = “Legendary Result”.

Examples:  a water pump you order today – part No. 23462, should be the same as part No. 23462 you bought last week.  A spa treatment called the Wrap-Wrap you enjoyed last month and the month before…you should be able to sing along during your next treatment.

It makes better sense to treat your potential revenue opportunities the way they want to be treated – “no protocols.”  The world is just changing quicker than ever before – what worked yesterday is definitely old news today.

If someone wants to wear a napkin as a bib, embrace the idea.  It all boils down to this common denominator – do what is right by the customer, make the experience worthy of a repeat performance.  If wearing a bib enhances the outcome – why not!

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