Talk to the Waiters

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
  • Global reports take too long
  • Our people don’t understand how to do it
  • Need to simplify

“Then he told a story about a friend who owned a popular restaurant whose revenues had been declining. The friend hired a consulting firm, paid them a lot of money, and implemented all their advice. Revenues continued to fall.

The frustrated and bewildered friend reported all this to Trump. “I told him,” the president said at our meeting, “‘You wasted your money. Talk to the waiters. Talk to the cooks. Talk to the busboys. They know. They know what’s working and what isn’t. They can help you fix this faster than any fancy consultants.’”

After a little searching I found a “waiter” named Jane whose actual job was database administrator and who knew the reporting product from hell better than anyone. Jane shared my love for long, detailed emails and within a few weeks we had written a series of short novels to each other trying to hash out why reporting had become so difficult at her company.



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