Cooler Heads Prevailed

February 24, 2018

Call me Mr. Do-gooder. I like to hand out business advice to the “needy”. It is my small way of giving back to the community. I am tired of seeing people fail because of inexperience. They may have a viable concept but inevitably run into unexpected obstacles.  While I may not be the most successful voice in the crowd, I have learned a lot along the way. Some of it may be valuable to you or others. Everyone has a major or minor predicament now and then. No road to riches is perfectly smooth.

I can also arbitrate disputes. Recently, I was involved in an argument between a colleague and his delivery drivers. People are the meat of any business. Productivity was affected by the complaint that the storage garage is too hot. The drivers are also responsible for loading their trucks and they practically suffocate on a warm day. They might as well not come to work on a hot one. There are no windows to open to let fresh air enter. It makes the job more than unpleasant and something has to be done. My friend tried to remedy the situations by offering more frequent breaks where the employees can sit outside and relax. This is fine but a mere Band Aid on the problem. I think he needs a larger vision.

It would be too costly to find another warehouse, so he had to become practical with ideas. I suggested a series of large garage ceiling fans spread over the entire space. Floor models would get in the way although they might be equally effective. No, the ceiling it is. He agreed. I helped him order the right ones that had adjustable speed–more than the normal low, medium and high. When the fans were installed and the crew pronounced the idea a big success, my friend and I were both ecstatic. Here is a prime example of how cooler heads will prevail. (Sorry but I like my puns to be literal). Nonetheless, my colleague went on to praise my negotiating skills as I had been able to understand the needs of both sides of the argument. The fans bought in bulk were far less expensive than moving the garage. They were also a way to retain good staff. With everyone appreciative to the max, productivity boomed and profits rose. This is what business is all about. This example is the essence of enterprise in a nutshell.

I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination. I simply helped my friend open his eyes. He was so fixated on cost that he failed to see all options. Here was a problem with an obvious solution. A consultant is a guide of sorts and not necessarily an expert in any one field. I like this role as it allows me to help more people in various industries.