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The Milkshake Moment: Overcoming Stupid Systems, Pointless Policies and Muddled Management to Realize Real Growth Hardcover – April 18, 2008

3.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Growth. It's the central focus of every organization, the underlying goal of virtually every business project, product launch, non-profit initiative, or community campaign. To grow, an organization must encourage creativity, flexibility, and the overall capacity for individuals to recognize and respond to opportunity at every level. So why, then, do so many organizations, both big and small, continually find ways to shoot themselves in the foot?

In The Milkshake Moment, growth guru Steven S. Little shows you how to identify and overcome the stifling behaviors built into your organization and lead the way toward substantive change and real growth.

Building on the frustrating true story of his inability to order a simple milkshake, Little explains how well-intended systems meant to increase satisfaction can often produce the opposite effect for both customers and employees. The "Milkshake Moment" is that precise instant in which an organization's individuals realize that they are allowed to do the right thing— to serve the interests of others in order to grow the organization—instead of following arcane internal procedures that actually hinder growth. Little clearly demonstrates that only when we remove our own self-imposed barriers can we begin to seize growth opportunities in any organizational setting.

The Milkshake Moment helps you develop both the actions and the attributes of a true growth leader as you learn how to:

  • Foster "grow" versus the status quo

  • Understand the difference between "the managed" and "the led"

  • Break the cycles of conformity

  • "Develop" policies that promote growth

  • Hone your judgment

  • Uncover the BIG secret to service

  • Resolve the "people problem" problem

  • See your future opportunities more clearly

Packed with fascinating examples of behaviors that drive an organization's growth and those that throw it into reverse, The Milkshake Moment mixes up a refreshing blend of engaging reading and actionable advice on how you can help your organization reach another level.

From the Back Cover

Praise for The Milkshake Moment

"Little gives leaders a crucial reminder not to be their own worst enemies in their quest for growth. You'll never forget the hilarious milkshake story that gives the book its name. This book will help your organization get out of its own way."

DAN HEATH, coauthor of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

"Little's milkshake story is straightforward, compelling, and irresistible. It teaches leaders a hundred vital lessons on growth.

Sip it slowly and enjoy."

ROD BECKSTROM, coauthor of The Starfish and the Spider:The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

"Little is a gifted storyteller, and his stories always lead to practical ways for organizations to reach another level. The Milkshake Moment is not only a great read, it is truly a call-to-arms for all of us looking for growth in the twenty-first century. Read it today so you can mix it up tomorrow."

JON GORDON, author of The Energy Bus: Ten Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work,

and Team with Positive Energy and The No Complaining Rule: Positive Ways

to Deal with Negativity at Work

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470257466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470257463
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #910,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Steven Little explains that "a Milkshake Moment is a brave action, be it big or small, that furthers the cause of growth in an organization. Milkshake Moments materialize when individuals understand the organization's true purpose, honestly believe it is their job to fulfill it, and are given the tools and the freedom to make it happen." These remarks remind me of what William L. McKnight, then CEO of 3M, said in 1924: If you put fences around people, you get sheep. Give people the room they need." In stagnant organizations in which little (if any) room for initiative is provided, Little acknowledges that a would-be growth must possess "the guts to stand up and say, `This idea is contrary to everything we say we believe.'" That's a Milkshake Moment.

My take on this book is that Little has written it for two separate but related audiences: One consists of would-be growth leaders whom he encourages to take whatever initiatives they sincerely believe are required by what their organization's stated values; the other consists of their senior managers who must create and then sustain a culture within the workplace that encourages, recognizes, and rewards Milkshake Moments. These senior managers must also be growth leaders who "clearly communicate an organization's true purpose and grant individuals permission to do whatever can be done ethically to achieve it."

Long ago, Andrew Carnegie hired Napoleon Hill and directed him to interview the world's most prominent businessmen and learn the secret(s) of their success. Carnegie paid him and all of his expenses. He also wrote letters of introduction for Hill who then began a two-year assignment. After completing the last interview, Hill returned to the United States and met with Carnegie to report on what he had learned.
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Format: Hardcover
I liked this book. It had the feel of a printed copy of a well-written and well-organized blog. The points made will usually make sense, but sometimes you will have to stretch your mind to get them. Arguably the six sections the book is split into are really chapters. And the chapters are really just point headings in those six sections. The sections and chapters in this book are titled as follows:

I. The milkshake moment
II. Foster "grow" versus status quo
III. Put purpose before profit
IV. Insource crucial judgment
V. Address the "people problem" problem
VI. Care for customers

1. It was a dark and stormy night
2. Half empty or half full?
3. This is not a customer service book
4. A brief history of organizations and man(agement)
5. Toddlers and trust
6. Some shocking behavior
7. Lessons from the cubicle farm
8. The managed
9. The led
10. It's never about money
11. The wizard of westwood
12. Profit pushers
13. NoClu Motors, Inc.
14. Purpose in the plan
15. You gotta serve somebody
16. Edicts made on high
17. Peeves from below
18. Participatory policy making
19. How `bout them promegranites?
20. Come harter or high water
21. The people problem polka
22. Eric's excalibur
23. Why people work
24. Home team drops the ball
25. The big secret to great customer service
26. Even geniuses struggle to serve
27. It takes a hero
28. The future is already here ... some folks just aren't getting the memos

The author says at page 14 of the book "A milkshake moment is a brave individual action, be it big or small, that furthers the cause of growth.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A friend of mine let me borrow his book. Wow, the guy makes sense. I made it suggested reading for my entire company. I purchased a copy for my Kendel just to use as a reminder of houw life should be when I am tired and would prefer to choke the customer rather than treat them as they should be treated. Makes me look forward to serving my customers every day.
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Format: Hardcover
The author opens the book by explaining how he goes to hotels, Reads room service menus and looks to see if they have milkshakes. Then he looks to see if they have ice cream and milk offered on the menu. When he finds out they do not offer milkshakes on the menu he then goes in attempts to order one. Of course he probably is howling mad laughing and how the staff runs around trying to figure out how to do this for him. I was not amused. This sets the tone for the entire book. His message is that critical thinking should be in sourced. He does not however offer any good advice on how this should be done. This book is mainly a sounding board he uses to bash the retail sector. Let's not forget the people who work retail or manage retail businesses for large companies are often the ones were tasked with enforcing bad rules not making them. I found the content to be neither informative nor did he have any profound ideas on which to draw in order that we might be able to run our business more efficiently. Reading this book is kind of like listening to one if your friends or neighbors complain about thier job or talk about how they had a bad experience when trying to return thier iPod at wal-mart. No thanks.
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