General Ranting


Just in case you missed it…

(click for photo credit)

(click for photo credit)

…the blog has a new home. Point your interwebs toward dannyfranks.org or dfranks.com!

The blog is temporarily down for a little upgrade. We’ll be back soon and very soon with a new and improved look.

Meanwhile, I’d like us all to meditate on this picture of the man who saved the world again. You’re welcome, ‘Merica.

Jack-Bauer

In other news, my WordPress dashboard tells me this is the 100th Thursday Three For All. That calls for a celebration. Or a realization that I’m really, really lazy and just like to curate other people’s stuff.

(Let’s go with the first option. It sounds better.)

 

Discretion. (via @ThisIsSethsBlog) I’ve long wondered how we could put something like this into practice for church volunteers. Got any suggestions?

How much do you trust your people to do the right thing?

Consider giving every person on your team a budget—$1000 a year? $200 an incident? and challenging them to spend the money to make things right, to create efficiency, to delight.

 

Inside President Obama’s Secret Schedule. (via @OKnox) Whatever your political bent, try to set it aside for this article. It’s a fascinating look at the art and science of handling one of the biggest jobs on the planet.

In classic Washington fashion, there are also presidential meetings called “drop-bys” that sound casual but are actually meticulously planned. Sometimes a meeting gets that label to dampen expectations that the president will stick around for a long time. Other times, there are questions of protocol — for example, it’s appropriate for the national security adviser to schedule a meeting with a given ambassador or international figure who might not rate a formal sit-down with the president. Then the president just “drops by.”

 

Astonishingly detailed 19th century sand art jars. (via @LaughingSquid) What did you expect? They didn’t have Twitter to keep ‘em busy.

clemens1

 

Find a common thread to tie unrelated jobs to your career plans. (via @Lifehacker) This article was the impetus for Monday’s post, Don’t Waste Your Day Job. If you’re working a job that’s not necessarily your dream, you need to read this:

Whether you worked retail, then helped a friend start a corner store, and delivered pizza at night, and now you’re going in for an office job, you can highlight how retail helped you learn to work with difficult people, how building that store from scratch got you familiar with the pace and stress of a fledgling, startup business, and how delivering pizzas at night taught you a thing or two about dedication and off-hours work.

 

How to set up your desk: an introduction. (via @MattPerman) God bless the What’s Best Next guy. Matt makes me feel better about being obsessed over stuff like this. Fellow org nerds, unite.

I don’t want to say here that there is only one right way to set up your desk. There are some pretty tricky situations given the setups that are often thrust upon us, such as odd-shaped cubicles or, if we have an office, uncooperative room layouts. And personal preference also plays a huge role as well.

The problem I found, though, is that these factors lead many to give the advice of “just do what works for you.” Which really gives no guidance at all. The result, I found, was that I had to think about my desk a lot more than I wanted.

 

Guy covers “All By Myself” during an insanely long layover. (via @22words) This will make you rethink your next night alone at the airport.

Jesus Hates Religion. He Really Does. (via @FoxNews) Boom diggity. Read it. Remember it. I know I need to.

I think we as Christians have a reputation as conversation stoppers. When we engage people on the other side of an issue, most of the time, the conversation doesn’t end the way we want it to. It gets stopped short or our side of the issue ends up being misrepresented. And that’s largely our fault.  We prefer to be heard, as opposed to actually listening. We want the benefit of the doubt, but we’re reluctant to give it. Instead, we lead with our idea of what’s right and wrong – our belief – instead of leading with love.

 

First Things First. (via @_Jeff_J, HT @JasonYoungLive) Love this. Let’s not get so caught up in the bells and whistles that we forget the basics.

Second mile service behaviors will not create “wow” experiences if our guests are blinded to them because of the absence of excellence in 1st mile services. We can’t wow our guests if we can’t meet their most basic expectations. It doesn’t matter how many bottles of lotion, packs of mints, or what type of flowers adorn our restrooms if there is no toilet paper or the floor is dirty, or the garbage needs to be emptied (ever found yourself in this situation?). The “wow” simply doesn’t land.

 

An Octopus Unscrews a Jar from the Inside. (via @LaughingSquid) Welp, I’ll never sleep again. This is horrifying.

 

 

Five Spectacular Ways to Create the Worst Customer Experience(via @jeanniecw) I get it: they’re not customers, they’re guests. But still, how many of these are our churches guilty of?

4. Recruiting the wrong people

Your employees play a huge role in driving your customer experience. If they’re unhappy, unfriendly or just plain bored with their jobs, that will translate into a miserable experience for your customers. Companies like Southwest Airlines and Zappo’s have made it a huge part of their culture to make sure they recruit the right people.

 

Treating People with Kindness(via @ThisIsSethsBlog) No need to click through. This is the whole post. And it’s great.

One theory says that if you treat people well, you’re more likely to encourage them to do what you want, making all the effort pay off. Do this, get that.

Another one, which I prefer, is that you might consider treating people with kindness merely because you can. Regardless of what they choose to do in response, this is what you choose to do. Because you can.

 

Oregon Man Lives in a Retired Boeing 727 Airliner That Is Parked in the Woods(via @22Words) I want to go to there.

ss-120712-airplane-home-09.ss_fullssssss

Secrets of Consistent Customer Service: How to Be Great Again and Again. (via @micahsolomon) How’s your church doing on the consistency scorecard? Do you deliver the same (or better!) “wow” experiences each week?

The summary statement for a standard should include the following:
1. Why the service is of value (why we’re doing this in the first place)
2. The emotional response we’re aiming to have the customer feel
3. The expected way to accomplish the service. (Point three should be formulated in a manner that allows judgment and discretion to be used in all but mission-critical situations.)

 

Six Lies Grads Will Be Told. (via @mikeleake) This surfaced on Pastor J.D.’s blog last week, but dang it’s good. And I may or may not have heard that same speech the night before I read it.

5. Throw away the map and write your own story! Forget what the generations before you have taught. You live in the now and you write history. This sounds great now but I wonder what you’ll think about this quote in twenty years, when a new batch of grads are being told to throw away the map that you’ve been writing. We need history. There is nothing new under the sun. There isn’t a new story to write. There’s only the Grand Old Story to embrace and enjoy.

 

9 Clever Business Cards You’d Want in Your Wallet. (via @entmagazine) Based on what you do for a living, what would your “build your own business card” look like?

A mechanical engineer named Bryce Bell created the “Cardapult,” a business card that doubles as a catapult.

(click for photo credit)

(click for photo credit)

It’s that time again, campers. Thursday: where I serve up the stuff that’s been rattlin’ around in my skull this week. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy…

 

Lighten Up, Christians, God Loves a Good Time. (via @CTMagazine, HT @_MichaelKelley) Send this to a stuffed shirt you know and love. And remind yourself of it, while you’re at it. I know I need to.

Look over our day-to-day lives. How do we parent, for example? Rules. Fears. Don’ts. Don’t jump on the couch. No gluten in this house. Get down from that tree. Quiet down. Hold still. We live as if God were an infinite list of negatives. He is holiness, the rawest and richest of all purity. In our bent way of thinking, that makes him the biggest stress-out of all.

 

Six Reasons You’re Losing High Capacity Volunteers. (via @cnieuwhof) This has sparked more than a few discussions over the last couple of days. See if it does the same for you.

3. You’re disorganized

Few things are more demotivating than giving up your time as a volunteer only to discover the staff person responsible didn’t set you up to succeed.

The tools they need to do the job are missing or incomplete. The rest of the team is late.

Or maybe—worse—they’re not even 100% sure what they are supposed to do or how they are supposed to do it.

You can always find people who will put up with disorganization, but many more will simply give up.

And high capacity people will make a beeline for the door.

 

If you can spot what changed in Google’s new logo, you have an amazing eye for detail. (via @22words) Don’t anybody ever call me OCD again.

Here’s the updated version…

Google Logo - After

And for reference, here’s the previous one…

Google Logo - Before

 

Leaders Light the Way. (via @JasonYoungLive) A post by a new friend over at his newly-launched blog. If you’re a guest services geek, go ahead and add Jason to your RSS feed. Trust me.

1396360931764 I recall being in the middle of significant changes in my own area of responsibility. I shared a new vision with my staff and 850+ volunteers. As we rolled out the plan, there were elements that worked really well and other elements that created pain for both the team member and my staff. Having been in situations like this several times, there are five helpful reminders I have used and continue to do so when communicating vision with volunteer team members. and staff.

10 Things Organized People Do Every Day. (HT @BradHoffmann) I wanna be this when I grow up.

6. They spend 10 minutes at the end of each day tidying up. It’s easy for your space to get a little messy as the day progresses, and in all likelihood, by the end of the day you may have accumulated a pile of dirty clothing in one corner and scattered papers in another. Set a timer and commit to tidying up for 10 minutes. It will make you feel accomplished, up your productivity for the next day, and you’ll sleep better too.

Evernote’s Espresso Bar. (video) (HT @evernote) I share this not only because the concept is cool, but because of the CEO’s attitude towards serving his team members:

The original idea is that we would hire people to staff it, but when the espresso machine actually showed up, I thought, it’s just not the right image, [to hire baristas to run it]…so I thought the thing to do is now that we have this very expensive espresso machine is to staff it with the world’s most expensive baristas. …All of our [executive level employees] are required to serve at least one hour a week.

Book

The Art of Reading, Remembering, and Retaining More Books(via @Buffer) Speaking of speed-reading, you’ll have to do it to this lengthy article, but there’s some good stuff here.

 I look at books as investments in a future of learning rather than a fleeting moment of insight, soon to be forgotten. I store all the reviews and notes from my books on my personal blog so I can search through them when I need to remember something I’ve read.

 

Pleasantly Persistent: 5 Rules for Effectively Following Up(via @dailymuse) We all have to “circle back around” at some point. Here’s how to do it without being pushy.

The average person can get a few hundred emails a day. That makes it pretty tough to respond to all of them, and things naturally fall to the bottom of the list. If you don’t get a response, it doesn’t mean that someone’s ignoring you—it just may mean that he or she is too busy.

 

How Long Does it Take to Watch… (via @Premium Funny) Admit it: most of you are just as geeked about 24 coming back on as I am. Sadly, fans of Jack Bauer have wasted the most possible TV time of anybody out there. (Instead of “wasted,” I prefer “investing in crucial knowledge or else the terrorists will win.”)

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