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Oxford England

  • The End of the Road
    These photos are separated from my Travels album because Oxford is something of a second home. I still manage to visit it several times a year. So the pathway between Manotick and Oxford is well trodden and I can likely do it with my eyes closed - and probably have on more than one occasion.

Royal Roads University

  • Hatley Castle
    This series of photographs was taken over the last few years. I have stayed at the campus of Royal Roads on several occasions and I have been repeatedly impressed by the grounds. They are in many ways a little-known treasure.


  • Kafka Statue
    Here is a selection of pictures I have taken during my travels over the last few years. I am very obviously an amateur photographer and it is not uncommon for me to forget my camera altogether when packing. What the pictures do not convey is the fact that in these travels I have met, and gotten to know, a great many interesting people.

Manotick Ontario

  • Springtime in Manotick
    Manotick Ontario Canada is the part of Ottawa that I call home. Much of Manotick stands on an island in the Rideau River. Interestingly, the Rideau Canal, which runs through and around the river, was recently designated a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. So this means that the view from my backyard is in some way on a similar par with the Egyptian Pyramids - although the thought strikes me as ridiculous.
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« Popular History at its Best | Main | The Barnaclization of Systems »

November 23, 2008


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Joe Gollner

Sad as it is to supply comments on one's own blog, I could not resist added a further illustration of the point I was trying to make with this post.

Rocky Wirtz is currently at the helm of the Chicago Blackhawks hockey franchise. This organization had, through years of penny-pinching, dwindled to near collapse - both on the ice and at the box office - until Rocky assumed control and took it in a starkly new direction. With the team acquitting itself admirably in the knock-down-drag-out contest that is the Stanley Cup finals and with the organization surpassing its 50th consecutive sell-out, the question must be asked "what did Rocky do to achieve this turnaround in literally a couple of years?"

Well, Rocky - bless his soul - tells us exactly what he did:

"When people go to a restaurant, they want to see the owner. They want to be able to talk to him, able to tell him if they had a good meal, or great meal. Or even a bad one. It's the same way with this team. If someone is happy with something we did, I want to know. And if they don't like something, I want them to tell me."

He made it a point, from the outset of his tenure, to sit in the stands with the fans - and in the beginning, when the team's fortunes were low, this would have been an "interesting" experience. The point being made was that you were not going to learn about the business, and about the customers in particular, sitting in a corporate box insulated from real feedback. From the perspective of the now sold-out crowds, part of their excitement comes from encountering a genuine business where the ownership is actually interested in providing value and making sure it can improve upon that value.

It is said that Rocky, as the visible face of the team's ownership and management, is as often pursued for autographs by fans as are the team's young stars. And the arena regularly echoes with the chant "Rocky, Rocky, Rocky!" There are not many businesses, anywhere, who can make a similar claim.

All in all, I think it is a dangerous precedent - at least from the perspective from many other approaches to doing business.

Jose Joaquin Perez Krumenacker

I Love your Restaurant Metaphor.
If we accept that the Client (generic for customer) is the End User of the Good or Service he Procures from the Market, then in Real Fact he (she) is the Very Heart of the Market.
A Clever Owner will Always Be the Heart of His Own Company and Play the Role of Director, thus Feeling Whatever the Long Term Feelings his (her) Client Feels.
Business on the other hand have become insensitive to Real Client Feelings by appointing representatives of their share holders as "managing directors" and by forcing "executive managers", and through them all their staff, report to their blurred short term and interest oriented vision.

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