Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami: Transform Your Business Using the Five Principles of Engagement discusses the common paradox that happens to businesses that have been around for a while. It’s a paradox where businesses disconnect from their customers. These businesses become so focused on themselves that very simple things, like delivering a product to a customer, become confusingly complicated.
This is the reasoning behind the choice of title. Snowblowers were repeatedly delivered to a business in Miami because the company had become preoccupied with things other than the frontline.
What is Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami About?
As the book points, businesses don’t intend to become less customer-focused as they develop. It happens as a result of three things increasing in size and complexity: policies, personnel and processes. These problems evolve innocently enough (“Let’s have a meeting about this”) but then develop into daily meeting-go-rounds where leaders constantly go from meeting to meeting to talk about the work that they aren’t doing.
The book, in particular, focuses on three key disconnects that contribute to these inefficiencies :
- Communication problems (constant meetings, constant emails, etc.)
- Information problems (withholding information, data silos, duplicate information, etc.)
- Motivation problems (lack of engagement)
Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami provides five principles for breaking out of these unhealthy disconnects and the problems they cause.
Going back to the problem of snowblowers in the Miami store, this issue didn’t happen just once. It happened consistently. For a while, the store’s manager reported this error, but nothing was done about it. As a result, the manager stopped reporting and just accepted that the store would have snowblowers coming each Florida winter.
In this simple example, one can see the breakdown in communication, information and motivation the book is describing. Communication about the snowblowers was ignored and ultimately hidden. The information system that maintained the inventory was not up to date and didn’t catch the consistent error. Employees were motivated to hide from the problem instead of finding the solution.
As the book points out, these simple errors get embedded into our business systems. With each inconsistency, the business sabotages its own goal of keeping employees motivated and doing their jobs and customers motivated to keep buying products. The aim is to avoid making the problem worse. Instead, Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami? is designed to help businesses recognize these issues before the impact the bottom line.
Author Stephen Goldstein is a consultant, speaker and business chairman who assists CEOs with engagement. He has a 35-year history serving as a corporate leader.
What Was Best About Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami?
The best part of Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami? is the concrete examples and straightforward advice that is focused on the mental “traps” that sabotage an organization’s performance. Goldstein doesn’t write detailed case studies. Instead, he selects everyday experiences (a customer returning merchandise, a fruit stand owner who experiences his first lawsuit, etc.) to show how common these “traps”are. He then offers simple strategies for how these mental traps can be avoided in the future.
What Could Have Been Done Differently?
Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami? does an incredible job of detailing why problems occur and how they can be prevented in the future. One area that might deserve further exploration is identifying the problem in the present. As the book readily admits, looking at your business with a fresh perspective is difficult. More content on the warning signs might help leaders identify when things are heading down the wrong path.
Why Read Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami?
Why Are There Snowblowers in Miami? is primarily designed for the audience for which Goldstein consults and advises — business owners and executive leadership. The book offers principles for that audience to keep in mind when evaluating their businesses. The book also provides suggestions for implementing solutions. With all that being said, the principles of maintaining focus, being transparent and communicating on a regular basis would benefit every small business leader.