ANNUAL RAFFLE: 2005 Raffle Preseason | About the Raffle | 2004 Raffle Winner



Vol. 17, No. 46, May 16, 2005


This Reveille Home Page | The Friday Program: Corporate Story Telling | Danielle Departs | Rotary First Harvest Breaks 100 Million | Friday Potpourri | Salvation Army Doughnuts & a Classification Talk | Students of the Month: Derek Benach & Fernando Rubio | Mini-Assembly: Community Service | A Photographer’s Life | New Member Proposed: Tom Harrelson | Web Fun


Traveling with Rotarians, a Trip to Slovakia with John Martinka and Peter Powell. A report on their interesting trip on behalf of Computers for the World. Bring a guest, a potential member and enjoy a buffet breakfast. Glendale Country Club, 7:00 a.m. this Friday.


It’s wrap-up time for the BBRC’s Rotary Foundation Annual Giving campaign. Just a few members left to give the club 100% participation in this year’s effort. If you haven’t made your commitment, please contact Don Chandler (Ph 425-974-6218) immediately so your gift can be sent to RI in time for credit in this Rotary Year. Thank you!

APB out for Rotarian who left a packet of scholarship applications at the Press Table. No reward offered. No questions asked. Email Club Administrator or call 360-863-0861

The Friday Program:
Corporate Story Telling

x0516Clark2Evelyn Clark, author and speaker on the value of telling good stories gleaned from company files, told her audience about the benefits of spinning these stories to explore the character of the company.

Her talk embraced the tale of three companies. “Storytelling is such an important thing. It puts a real-life stamp on how the company does business and reflects not only on the company leadership, but the employees who work there.” She told the well-known story about Costco Wholesale, a company that always strives to provide the highest quality at the lowest price.

Costco had been selling Calvin Klein jeans at $29.99 for years. The Costco policy guidelines say that they should expect no more than a 14% margin on any product sold. A vendor called one day with a special buy. A large shipment of Calvin Klein jeans were available at a reduced price to Costco. In fact, each pair was $7.00 cheaper than normal. Costco’s customers were conditioned to pay $29.99, but this special buy penciled out to be $22.99. This still allowed the company to hit their 14% margin. So, they bought the jeans and sold them at the reduced price, not only keeping faith with their own guidelines, but earning respect from both the vendor and their customers.

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance had been around since 1857. They followed the adage of "doing the right thing." When a train hit a cow, many claims resulted from the wreck. In fact, the claims went out the roof. As told in a book entitled “Around the Corporate Campfire,” the challenges of filling claims resulting from the terrorist attack on 9/11 were made more difficult by the confusion and panic surrounding that day. NML made sure that premiums were taken by hand to the company to make sure the claims would be covered. The company paid out enormous amounts of money to make sure the claims were processed in just seven days.

Tell stories about the people in your company ... and how they make the company succeed.

The world of business is dominated by left-brain thinking. Business runs on facts and figures. Ms. Clark stressed the need to pay more attention to right-brain thinking. High tech and high touch can go together when innovative ways to do business emerge. CEO vision is often hard to put into the job at hand.

x0516ClarkJohnsonThe story about the $248,000 round of golf was an actual tale from the Armstrong Machine Company. David, the boss, was on the golf course when Jerry, his manager, found out about the availability of two machines that the company had intended to buy when they could afford them. Jerry found them available at much lower prices, but the two still cost $248,000. As David relates it, “Our credit limit was only $20,000 at the time.” But David, the boss, backed Jerry, the manager, when Jerry made the decision to buy these two machines. In the end the machines made it possible to provide better service and the company recouped the initial expenses. The major story here was the boss backing the decision to his manager.

Stories told about companies help the success line go up — 70% of workplace learning comes over relationships with co-workers. Only 30% is credited to training. “Built to Last” ­ if the leadership can communicate their vision and core values, the results will be in the success of the company.

How to apply stories? Fedex rewards their drivers because they are the ones who make the commitment to excel and to meet the high standards of delivering packages.

x0516MayAcknowledge problems by pulling out stories tell the real character of the enterprise.

You don’t need to forego a $28 million profit or forego a $250,000 round of golf when the stories that can be told have such a positive impact on business.

For her presentation, Evelyn was awarded a certificate noting a donation of 1220 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables had been made available to area food banks through Rotary First Harvest. Thanks to Larry May for his introduction of the speaker.





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