What’s Wrong With this Picture?

Last week, I found myself working in a small town in Wisconsin, about halfway between Milwaukee and Madison.

I decided to check out the local supermarket, as I don’t like to eat out at restaurants every night of the week if I can help it.

As I went down the deli aisle, I was confronted with more varieties of sausage than I knew existed.   I also saw prepared jello molds that I never would have guessed  people would go to a market and pay money for.

As I circled around, looking for an edible selection for my dinner, my eye stopped on the the deli case.  After scanning back the mayonnaise-laden offerings, I spotted my prey:  a Rotisserie Turkey Breast.  I asked Norma, the delightful woman behind the counter, if she could would slice up a quarter pound.

Norma also steered me to the premade salads, all of which contained copius helpings of iceberg lettuce. 

Turkey and salad. 

Not a bad meal for a Wednesday in Central Wisconsin.

I took my meal back to my hotel room to eat.   As I opened my shopping bag and pulled out the turkey, now safely tucked into its plastic deli container, I noticed the list of ingredients.  

Only three ingredients.  Nice, simple natural cooking.

This is what I read:

  • Turkey Broth
  • Turkey Seasoning (Salt, Modified Food Starch, Cultured Whey, Milk Protein Hydrolysate, Sodium Phosphate, Cooked Ground Chicken and Natural Flavor, Onion Powder, Cooked Chickenskin, Yeast Extract, Chicken Fat, Garlic Powder, Dried Whole Eggs, Maltodextrin, Turkey and Chicken Broth, Natural Flavors, Enzyme Modified Butterfat (Butter Oil, Water Sodium Phosphate, Lecithin) Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 80),
  • Sodium Phosphate

Notice something missing?  I did.

Turkey Breast.

Suddenly, I went into a panic.  Was this food(stuff) that I was about to eat actually turkey, or just a manufactured product, formed into the shape of something resembling turkey breast?

Sometimes, we get so caught in the details that we lose sight of the big picture.

I’ve been in countless meetings where teams get so hung up on a point or two, or a procedural issue, or who’s going to be first to do what, that the outcome gets completely bulldozed over.

We’re all “selling” something.   Make sure you focus on what that big thing is, and make sure your customer knows what it is they’re getting. 

Otherwise, you’ll end up like me, a customer questioning what they just bought.

Which doesn’t exactly inspire repeat business.

This entry was posted in Communication, Customer Service, Leadership, Management. Bookmark the permalink.