The Milkshake Moment

The Milkshake MomentThe Milkshake Moment: Overcoming Stupid Systems, Pointless Policies and Muddled Management to Realize Real Growth
by Steven S. Little

Here’s another author who grabbed my attention by capitalizing on several of my five keys for choosing a book (Tips for Choosing a Great Book) … a catchy title, table of contents and jacket content.

The title “The Milkshake Moment” obviously catches your attention and curiosity, and the picture on the jacket creates an attractive visual with a large scoop of ice cream teetering on the edge of a traditional ice cream scoop over a half glass of milk. I’ll share some of the table of contents a little later in this review.

The author defines “A Milkshake Moment” as a brave individual action, be it big or small, that furthers the cause of growth. The book is about that precise, critical point in time when members of 21st century organizations realize they are allowed to do the right thing—to serve the interests of others in order to grow the organization—instead of following arcane, arbitrary rules, processes, and procedures that actually hinder growth.

Steven Little explains his attempt at ordering a milkshake from room service at a fancy hotel. The hotel didn’t have milkshakes on their menu and the room service personnel didn’t quite know how to handle the request. The author asked if the hotel had milk, ice cream, a bowl and a spoon … the answer was yes. The author ordered these items and made his own milkshake.

Little uses this simple example to point out that the room service personnel were stuck in a process. Just because they didn’t sell milkshakes doesn’t mean they couldn’t have provided one. They simply didn’t have a “process” in place to do so.

“A Milkshake Moment” can only be realized when growth leaders clearly communicate an organization’s true purpose and grant individuals permission to do whatever can be done ethically to achieve it.

As I reread the previous few paragraphs, I have to admit that this concept is nothing more than common sense and should obviously be practiced by any organization striving for true success. However, the more you think about it … it’s more like uncommon sense simply because it’s seldom practiced by anyone and all of us have numerous examples that would clearly demonstrate a philosophy almost opposite of what’s described above.

Organizations (companies) can grow if their leader or leaders encourage creativity, flexibility, and open-mindedness of subordinates. They’ll grow, change, and improve if they have lots of people who have the capacity to recognize and respond to opportunities. That’s the message of this book.

Little does a great job of explaining why so many organizations, both big and small, continually find ways to shoot themselves in the foot. By sharing a series of engaging stories, Little encourages organizations to get out of their own way by scrapping arcane processes and procedures that do little to serve the customer, frustrate employees, and hinder growth.

Here are some of those enticing chapter titles I promised to share:

  • This Is NOT a Customer Service Book
  • Toddlers and Trust
  • Lessons from the Cubicle Farm
  • The Wizard of Westwood
  • NoClu Motors
  • Peeves from Below
  • The People Problem Polka
  • Why People Work
  • Home Team Drops the Ball
  • The Big Secret to Great Customer Service
  • The Future Is Already Here … Some Folks Just Aren’t Getting the Memos

(This book review was originally published in 2009 as one of the Top 10 Books – Edition 19.)

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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