intent is not always clear

One of my favorite topics is intent. I intended to… Well, it was created so that (INSERT RANDOM INTERJECTION AS TO WHY).

First, my retail experience shows that you do not mess with a person’s money, their meal, or integrity. Any of the previous seem to set people into a frenzy. A drop of blood in the piranha pool if you will. I, to this day, still struggle with one of them myself. If you said money – you are right but that is more of a subject that I can conquer in one blog – or should spend time on in a “business topic” atmosphere.

Anyway, back to the story… I am an impatience fast food customer. I am the person that typically accepts some issues because – hey, I am in business. I understand that when you say “no” to something – you are mostly following what you were taught, or told. One of the biggest pet peeves that I have is customer parking at McDonald’s. You order something that is not ready – for-what-ever reason and they ask you to pull

English: McDonalds' sign in Harlem.

English: McDonalds’ sign in Harlem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

forward to a lovely numbered (if you are lucky) spot. If not I think they take some generic description of your vehicle so the runner can take you your item a short time later.  Now, the customer is parked so the driver through operator can watch their times. McDonald’s has chosen to monitor that as a KPI. In theory – if you’re times are out of control – then the business process is. If you should be at 60 seconds start to finish, then they are trying to hit their numbers. When it is rush hour – and the line is backed up, I agree that parking is the right thing to do. Logically, if

you are kept at the window then you are holding up each other drivers time and the issues compound killing your shift/day average. Now, if I am the only customer in line, and no one is ordering I tend to get irritated to pull forward. Yes, I said I was impatient. However, as the husband to someone who worked the McD’s – I have been brought up to speed as to why they do that. But is that really solving anything? The intent is not always clear. The root cause of the supply issues will never truly be identified to be corrected.

Consider the next time that you are a part of decision making in an organization. Perception can carry magnitudes. In the case that I got to vent above, I was the irritated customer who was annoyed with someone executing the plan. Good job to them who do, even in spite of all the confrontation they must get. Yet – what are we really measuring if we make work arounds for rules? There are times when we need to accept the data – as it may – and work up to that. Simply not understanding the why of the what – is a terrible situation to be in; not to mention that the intent and actual messages differ so widely.

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