June 19, 2009

Hat, what did we screw up this week?

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Clover is built to make mistakes, lots and lots of mistakes. Now I know some of you read that and say “oh… That explains…” but let me finish. Besides being yummy our mistakes are special in 2 ways:

(1) they are cheap
(2) we learn as much as we can from every one

This is at the core of our philosophy. We train our staff to focus more on trajectory than absolute position. So we’re constantly asking the question: what didn’t work. Sometimes we even talk about what is working.

Ask anyone (especially Leah) and I’m the undisputed king of screwing things up. But we all run our own little experiments, spanning menu adjustments, operational innovations, training approaches, etc. This is why Clover is evolving so quickly, on so many fronts, in such a robust way.

One of our less formal learning mechanisms is Thursday night drinks. I buy (iced tea for Hat and Jerry), everyone talks. The picture above is from this week’s drinks. Which column do you think represents the failures?


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