Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Outdoor Meetings Rock at Costless Express

It was great to see some of our staff holding a meeting outside today, taking advantage of the last few days of warm sunshine. What's on that flip chart?

We have spent a lot of time over the past year focusing on growth and learning. It seems there is always more to learn from outside sources and each other. Funny how that is??

One of our 10 Core Values is "Learn, Educate, Innovate" and it's our staff that has really embraced the idea of constantly pursuing new ideas and learning. An example of that are monthly sessions we call the "Sweat Box".

How the Sweat Box Sessions work is like this: We gather all our staff and tell them they are all equal shareholders in a company called Costless Express 2.0. There is no Org Chart, processes or departments. We need to walk thru the entire process from when a customer calls until the order is delivered, every step of the way. What happens in the Sweat Box session (about 4 hours) is we create departments, positions, draw out flow and justify everything. What happens is we uncover current systems and processes that are out of date. When you are in new company design mode, the fresh ideas are limitless as long as you can put aside the evil saying "but that's not how we do it here".

There are times when we looked at an old way we were doing something and just start laughing, because we can't believe how obvious it was that the process was so bad, compared to creating a new 2.0 process.

Our Sweat Box Sessions are moderated by Dr. Dave, our company business and personal success coach. As Dave says, "If there isn't any passion in the meetings, there won't be any change." I will admit, there have been a few fist poundings on the table, raised voices and even a few tears by participants during the exercises, but Dr. Dave has a way of making everyone feel positive and energized by the end of what are very long days.

We have held a few sessions to date, with more to come. The last session I wasn't invited to; change needs to come from within, not from the top down, so Dr. Dave decided I should not be present. I'm proud of our staff, we really have a great group and I love seeing those outdoor meetings.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What A Bag!

Our purchasing department is continually looking for the latest and greatest in products for our customers. I'm always impressed how they introduce a new line that is a little out of the box from what we normally sell. We love to give freebies to our customers from samples to value added gifts with purchase, and I loved the Elle lunch bag line when it was put on my desk. Stylish, functional & eco-friendly! How could we go wrong? It was the perfect thank you to our customers for being the great people that they are.

Michelle with one of the lunch bags

Erin had taken a picture with some goodies in it and I thought, why not add treats too? So with our fabulous suppliers rallying last minute, we were able to add some yummy additions to the bag. All in all, the lunch bag was well received with us being able to give away 120 bags in total! We had completely run out.

We have had some requests from our customers if they could purchase them, and we were able to obtain a few more. So for those that would like to get this fabulous bag, it is now available. The Elle Lunch Bag can be ordered by item # 395083 for $24.99. We were able to get a limited quantity, so when they are sold out, we can't guarantee when they will be available again.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Five Minutes of WOW!

Here is a video presentation I was asked to do for our Office Products buying group CIS.

They were asking us what some of the factors have been to our growth year over year. I was unable to personally attend the September Toronto conference so I grabbed our video camera and filmed 5 minutes about some of the main success factors (and Books) that I think make Costless Express REMARKABLE!

Have a watch - but go easy on me, I did it in one take. It was really quite fun so... to my good friend David Chalk the famous public speaker - "Watch Out!"


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Zappos Tour Part 2: Culture Makes a $ Billion in Sales!

Here is part 2 from our August 16th tour of Zappos.

Donavon the Culture Evangelist and tour guide for the day takes us to a hallway at Zappos HQ to explain about their Growth Milestones and Culture.
Have a Watch!

Many more episodes to come.