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John Pearson Associates


Issue No. 29 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting delivers a creative example of out-of-the-box thinking in The Program Bucket. Plus, I recommend a book on execution—how to get things done.  Peter Drucker said that “vision without execution is delusion.”



Starbucks tempted all us last Thursday with a free 12-ounce cup of premium drip coffee at their “National Coffee Break” across America. The freebie was enjoyed by us coffee addicts only between 10 a.m. and 12:00 noon.  A very creative full-page ad in the Los Angeles Times got my coffee juices going the day before. Did the promo work for Starbucks?

At my Starbucks experience in San Clemente, Calif., the corporate HQ’s vision was implemented, but surprisingly, the execution was lukewarm. Outside the store, I was greeted by a “Wanna free cup of coffee?” cheery team member who poured my caffeine from a decidedly non-Starbucks 10-gallon institutional coffee dispenser. Miss Perky handed me my topless coffee cup and made one more slash on her tracking sheet. I was Customer #54. No signage, no aroma, no inside-the-store Starbucks ambience. No satisfaction.

It’s all about detailed execution—so read this week’s book, ">Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done.  Co-author Larry Bossidy writes, “My job at Honeywell International these days is to restore the discipline of execution to a company that had lost it.  Many people regard execution as detail work that’s beneath the dignity of a business leader.  That’s wrong.  To the contrary, it’s a leader’s most important job.”



Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:

1. Be blunt!  Describe a visionary project we launched with big bucks and flair, but stubbed our toes on the detailed execution side.
2. Think of a project where we executed the details with precision—and it was a thing of beauty.  What did we learn from that experience?





Insights from the Management Buckets Workshop Experience

When you create a culture where team members think outside the box—in radical ways—you might be shocked (and blessed) with the result.  Review your master list of programs and products and then ask your team to really think outside the box.

Example: The folks at New Line Cinema saw the opportunity to make The Nativity Story movie (released last December) a year-round resource to the faith and family market.  So The Nativity Story DVD will be released tomorrow, March 20, in time for Easter.  I had the privilege of writing the leader’s guide, 8 Ways to Use The Nativity Story DVD in Your Sermons, Youth Group Talks, Sunday School Lessons or Small Group Gatherings.Download this free seven-page PDF at

In our Management Buckets Workshop Experience, you’ll receive remarkable tools for encouraging out-of-the-box thinking in The Program Bucket, just one of the 20 Critical Competencies Required for Leading and Managing Today’s Nonprofit Organization.

Email me to reserve space in the May 9-10 Management Buckets workshop or the May 11 Nonprofit Board Governance workshop, both planned for Orange County, California.



Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:

1. If consumers will buy a Christmas DVD before Easter, what might our donors or customers do differently if we gave them the opportunity?
2. Nominations are now open for the best “Out-of-the-Box” idea here in the last 12 months. Who should we honor with a $100 Starbucks gift card?


Download the Management Buckets brochure



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