One of the Big Box stores promotes itself as being open 24 hours, leaving you to infer that it means the whole store is available to shoppers. This would be a myth.

The pharmacy and deli are closed. Ditto for the bottle redemption center. There were no “human” cashiers; only self-service. And most annoying of all, customer service closed at 10pm so there was no way to do the return that was the reason for our trip.

To them, each of these areas is its own little fiefdom with separate rules for the different kingdoms. To me, it is all part of one store and, if the store is open 24 hours, that means the whole store should be.

Take a look around your organization from the customer point of view. Do you function like the 24-hour store where parts of your organization do things differently than others and aggravate customers who don’t see the pieces as being separate? Do you provide what is convenient for the customer, even if it’s inconvenient for some of the staff? Or do you provide excuses for why something is not instead of taking ownership of the process as a whole?

If you promote 24-hour service, deliver it — or stop claiming you do.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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