Early this morning as my wife was on her way to work at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, she ran over something a truck dropped in the middle of I-270 and ended up with two flat tires (as did a whole slew of other people). By the time I reached her, AAA was there lifting her van onto their flatbed truck. I gave her my car and then I hopped into the tow truck. At that point, the tow truck operator asked me, "So, which tire shop would you like me to drop you off at?" At which point I was stumped. Since every tire shop seems just like any other tire shop, I said, "Whichever shop is closest (partly because AAA has an inane policy of only three miles of free towing)."
Now, the reason I bring this up is because I’ve never been to a remarkable tire shop. I’ve never seen one or heard of one. And once we arrived at Mr. Tire, it was just like every other tire shop I’ve ever seen. And I kept wondering, "When will a tire shop hire a woman to come in and change the place?." If some tire shop was willing to hire a woman and ask her to make the place remarkable, I bet they could own the market!
Mr. Tire, like every other tire shop had lots of gray walls with nothing but tires on a few of them. The bathrooms were bare (and not recently cleaned—and I was there at 7:15 a.m.). They had the obligatory couch, TV and coffee service—but nothing special. And the area where the work was done was the typical dirty floored mess. In other words, there was nothing remarkable about it. It was just like every other shop—run primarily by men (men colors, men starkness, men mess . . . yawn!)
But what would happen if a woman came in and changed the experience? What if she created a comfortable place to wait and work? What if the restrooms were the kind you actually wanted to use? What if the shop were spotless and clean? What if the food service was first rate? Etc. A woman could create a buzz that would have people lining up for service (especially since more and more women are on their own and taking care of items like care maintenance).
Making any organization a Make it Remarkable organization is possible anywhere at anytime (including tire shops). All it requires is a little thought to be different. To differentiate. To not be like everyone else. To bring in diverse people to bring in different perspectives (like women). And a willingness to let words like beauty, art, memorable, creative, gorgeous, fun, and astonishing to be added to your vocabulary.
So as you look at what you’re doing, how can you make what you’re doing different than every other organization/school/person/accounting group/church and/or agency? Sameness is boring. So, how can you make it different?