Log Entry No. 29: Dogs, Chickens and the Web

The Family Outcast (TFO) lives in a small mountain town in CO. with his mutt, “Orlo”.  Great place, many interesting dimensions to this small burg.  But this entry is not about the town, but TFO and his mutt.

The start of all this? One day out in the yard with his dog, Orlo, the mutt, decides to oft one of the neighbor’s designer chickens, yes, a designer chicken… he charges the bird; It was ugly, and the bird was pushing up daisies by the time TFO dragged his mutt off what remained of the chicken.  And, to even make it better, the owner of the bird witnessed dog-eating-drumstick_origthe murder.  The owner of the foul files a complaint with the local magistrate against the dog and TFO. So TFO has to make a court appearance, ha,  and ante up many bucks, ha, as well as accept a court order which restricts Orlo from the neighbor’s yard (and chickens).

TFO complained about his bad luck to the family… what is one man’s bad luck can be another man’s entertainment. The family thought it was hilarious!

Sometime later, TFO becomes a target to; let’s call them, “the boys”.  TFO was always a target!

After many libations and great stories, the designer chicken incident shows up in the story telling.  The boys decide that TFO needs chickens so a web search ensues to find a way.

The boys decide that TFO needs chickens so, on that same evening, a web search ensues and they, in a matter of minutes, find THE site. The writer cannot begin to describe the near disabling, gut wrenching, tears producing laughter that accompanied entering the order for chickens on the website.

In three days TFO’s postmaster in that small town dials his number and informs him that there is a package he needs to pick up.  TFO walks to the post office.  The postmaster presents him with a box with holes in it and a lot of peeping going on inside.  Yes, chickens for TFO !

TFO is furious, takes the box, and gives it to a nearby farm, and makes a number of calls searching for which one of “the boys” is responsible.  Everyone lies.

If you need chickens …   Here is the link:  https://www.efowl.com

TFO really isn’t a family outcast… we just keep telling him he is!

BTW, one of the interesting facts about that small mountain is that the Grammy’s (the actual statuette) are manufactured in the basement of an old but yet active downtown hotel.

A very interesting place to visit!

***** S&E *****

 

Retaining Talent – “The Gauntlet”

There are some very obvious statements we can make about successful retention of talent. It is important as:

  • It drives the business
  • Sets great examples for all employees
  • Success statistics are great recruiting “tools”
  • It is a testament to talent management process
  • It supports the best face of company
  • Presents continuous challenges and opportunities
  • Minimizes talent losses

How to retain it:

  • Secure the support of top management
  • Create related budgets to fund the process
  • Teach your managers to keep their “ear to the ground”
  • Have a strategy and continuous improvement practices in place
  • Involve employees in related process improvements
  • Expect bumps along the way
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate

Seek out best practices of other companies and consulting firm views on the subject – a great way to stay ahead of the competition, obtain fresh views on the subject, and build and internalize a process that just may be benchmark worthy. You know you have arrived when other businesses are seeking out your advice because you have great success stats in talent management and retention.

About “The Gauntlet”

When it is obvious that talent losses are forthcoming, or, a talented professional gives notice of leaving the company, create a team of “A” level managers to meet with the “defector” to point out the advantages of staying with the company.  If the business has a good talent management process and success statistics, these are great topics for discussion as the departing professional runs the “gauntlet” of discussions with the “A” level managers, to include the top manager/leader of the business.  It is also a great opportunity to reinforce the anticipated career path in the business.  I have seen this work many times; on occasion airline tickets are involved to connect the professional to the right leaders.  An airline ticket is far less expensive than losing the talent, the cost of replacing same, related retraining, and the certain impact on peers, other parts of the business, and customers.

Related links:

http://www.hrmorning.com/10-most-effective-employee-retention-methods

https://www.thebalance.com/top-ways-to-retain-your-great-employees-1919038

 

***** S&E *****

Riding the Great Allegheny Passage !!! (GAP)

Five of us just competed the Gap trip from the Eastern Continental Divide in Maryland to Pittsburgh, Pa. This is the second year for the trip for me. Rigorous; always a life experience, enjoying the great outdoors for five days.

At the start !

Here is a summary:

 

Distance: 146 miles (225  km), 5 riding days on a crushed limestone path through the woods, tent camping at night.

On back or bike: Handlebar bag, backpack, rear saddle bags, and stuff on luggage rack .. About 40 lbs.

Fully packed bike at left.

Carried: Maps, clothes/shoes for 5 days, personal hygiene stuff, rain gear, tent and related equipment, sleeping bag, night lighting, tunnel lighting, extra bike parts and repair tools, energy bars and similar, medical emergency stuff, some food, folding table and chair, all in, about 65 items.  You say chair?  Your seat is thankful to have one after hours on that bike seat!

 

 

 

Rafting: our riding trail passed through a white water rafting area so we did a half day raft trip.

 

 

 

 

The Team Relaxing… we did a lot of relaxing!

 

Weather: rain for 3 of the 5 days; 2 of those days 2” and 3” downpours. We just rode through it.  Good news — dry nights and mornings so setting up camp and morning takedowns and re-packing the bikes, no rain !!!

Raccoons: Attack on last night — they made off with about 10 power bars and riding energy packets.  Where’s my gun!

At right, taking a break!

Equipment failures: None

Injuries: One – a broken metacarpal (hand) on the raft trip on the third day.  The dude completed the ride — tough!

***** S&E *****