I recently spent two weeks meandering around Scotland, a fabulous country that I highly recommend as a great place to visit. As in all my travels, I was reminded of some business lessons that any business can benefit from.
1. Celebrate your heritage, honor your elders, and pay tribute to the epic battles won and lost. One of the highlights of the trip was when we toured Kerr Castle in Jedbergh with the world’s leading expert on the history of the Kerrs! Every business has their own origin story and tales of epic battles – keeping your history alive is a great way to strengthen your culture and inspire people to build upon the success of previous generations. And honoring your employees when they hang up their kilts, so to speak, whether it’s by recording their stories to preserve them, or creating a “Veterans Wall of Fame,” is a fabulous way to honor them and build a legacy.
2. Celebrate your uniqueness and remember big isn’t always better. We toured the Edradour Whiskey distillery in Pitlochry, which bills itself as the smallest distillery in Scotland. The tour guide boasted about how other whiskey distillers are jealous of their smallness, envying the fact they still run a very hands on, traditional distillery. We often get so wrapped up in trying to be the biggest or the ____est that we forget there’s a lot to be said for being small and for focusing on quality over quantity. Celebrate what makes you you and don’t worry about chasing everyone else.
3. Treat your customers like guests. There’s a reason we opt for B&Bs when we travel – we prefer the individualized treatment and the incredible hospitality we receive that you tend not to experience in a larger hotel property. And those B&Bs that we enjoy the most are the ones that truly made us feel welcome. Most businesses could benefit by adopting a B&B mindset: treat your customers as individuals with personalized attention, look for those small touches that make a big difference, and make your customers feel like you are welcoming them into your home.
Michael Kerr is an international business speaker who speaks on inspiring workplace cultures and humor in the workplace. He is the author of six books, Including Inspiring Workplaces – Creating the Kind of Workplace Where Everyone Ways to Work and most recently, The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank.
“Just wanted to say “WOW!” Our group has had many speakers over the years, but none the likes of Mike Kerr.”
Richard Dansereau, President, NAPA Autopro BDG
“Michael Kerr is one of the best speakers I have seen. I highly recommend him!”
Veronica D. Bouvier, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Aspen Properties Ltd.
“Mike held the full attention of our senior management team for a full FOUR hour
presentation – no small accomplishment!”
Martine Rothblatt, CEO, United Therapeutics
“Our participants rated you as the speaker with the highest quality and relevance.”
Lana J. Larocque, Alberta Human Resources