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24/7 Software Blog

“Starbucks announced on Monday it plans to eliminate plastic straws from its 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020,” writes Jennifer Liberto in their recent NPR article entitled “Starbucks: Goodbye, Plastic Straws.”

According to Liberto, “The company will broaden the manufacture and use of what some in social media have dubbed the ‘adult sippy cup.’ It's a plastic strawless lid that will come to replace single-use plastic straws that now inundate its coffee shops.”

“The company says the move, when fully implemented, could mean a billion fewer plastic straws across its stores each year. And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world,” Liberto explains.

"For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways," Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer for Starbucks, said in a statement, according to the NPR piece.

While reading Liberto’s article, we quickly recognized how Starbucks’ drive as a sustainable organization offered a lesson for change to be applied to your organization.

Yes, the “adult sippy cup” can educate your team.

And in fact, it’s a two-part lesson we’ve identified.

Did you happen to catch it?

Don’t worry if you didn’t. It doesn’t entirely jump off the page. For a moment, we had to contemplate the nuances ourselves.

But, it is valuable, and we’re going to discuss both parts below.

So, are you ready?

You’re stoked for this week.

Today is the first day in your new role for a new organization.

You’ve been waiting for this moment for several weeks.

No more waiting!

You did it.

You sit down at your new desk, in your new office, and take a sip of tea out of your new motivational mug.

“This is going to be awesome,” you murmur to yourself.

You call your operations manager to give you the details on all the processes.

You’re not wasting any time to get started.

Shari picks up the phone.

You ask her where to log into your real-time communications platform and where the internal process can be reviewed.

“Uh, we just know what to do,” she replies.

“We use a number of different tools to manage different parts of the operation,” Shari continues over the phone.

You take a pause to catch your breath.

“You what” you exclaim.

Silence.

You don’t even know what to say.

There are many problems with this.

Do you see them?

You know you have to handle this immediately.

Your excitement quickly turns into anxiety.

Agree?

You’ve inherited an inefficient operation.

So, what are you going to do?

A lot of options begin running through your mind.

"Early leaks of new designs had stirred anticipation for Apple's new smartphone — and on Tuesday Apple delivered on all the predictions with a $699 iPhone 8 and a $999 special-edition iPhone X (as in '10')," writes Alina Selyukh in their recent NPR article entitled "Apple Unveils Three New iPhones, But The Watch Sends Shares Up."

Selyukh continues that "The 10th-anniversary iPhone is the biggest redesign in years, with an all-screen front that eliminates the home button and can use facial recognition to unlock the display."

That's not all either.

According to the NPR article, "CEO Tim Cook says that the Apple Watch has now become 'the No. 1' watch in the world — beating even traditional watchmakers like Rolex."

iPhone X.

No. 1 watch in the world.

Apple doesn't rest on its laurels, does it? Then, why should you?

Question: Do you believe your operation has made its latest iteration to "Operation X?"

If not, what's inhibiting you? We think we know.

“The next-generation Ford Focus will be built in China and exported for sale in the U.S., Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday, abandoning a plan to build the small car in Mexico. Production of the new car is scheduled to begin in 2019,” writes Bill Chappell in their recent NPR article entitled “Ford Shifts Focus (Again): Car Will Be Imported To U.S. From China, Not Mexico.”

According to Chappell, “Ford says the move will save it $1 billion in investment costs and will make it "a more operationally fit company." It also promises that "no U.S. hourly employees will be out of a job" because of the move to China.”

A more operationally fit company? Now, we’re interested in this recent development.

“Ford is coming off a record year in China, having sold 1.27 million vehicles there in 2016 — a 14 percent gain over 2015. That figure includes vehicles made in China by Ford's joint ventures, as well as Ford and Lincoln imports. When it opened its sixth assembly plant in China back in 2015, Ford said it could build 1.4 million vehicles a year in the country,” the article continues.

The NPR piece continues that “For Mexico, this is the second dramatic shift from Ford in 2017. The new Focus originally was to be built in the central state of San Luis Potosi, but the company canceled construction of a $1.6 billion plant there in January.”

“Back in November, Ford's then-CEO Mark Fields said the company would move forward with a plan to build the Focus in Mexico. But under new CEO Jim Hackett, that plan has changed again,” Chappell explains.

Ford, being a large corporation, got our attention with this shift.

According to a recent NPR article entitled 'It Was A Mistake Of Epic Proportions,' United CEO Testifies and written by Camila Domonoske & David Schaper, the CEO of United Airlines was “in the hot seat on Capitol Hill” Tuesday morning.

The NPR article states that CEO Oscar Munoz was “answering pointed questions from members of Congress about last month's incident in which a United passenger was dragged off a plane.”

"’It was a mistake of epic proportions,’ United CEO Oscar Munoz told representatives, as he explained how United has changed its rules moving forward. ‘In hindsight, clearly our policies broke down," explains Munoz in the article.

We agree with both statements. But, did this “mistake of epic proportions” or the ‘policy breakdown’ need to happen?

No - which is why many other airlines were questioned.

Domonoske and Schaper’s article explains that “executives from other airlines” were present as well during the examination.

Their report says that Congress scrutinized “customer service problems across the commercial aviation industry and considers legislation to better protect airline passengers.”

Why does it always take a devastating incident to drive change? Why don’t you regularly review your processes to avoid potential breakdowns altogether?

“Kevin Butt's job is to find cleaner ways to power Toyota. One of the hardest places to do that is at the automaker's sprawling plant in central Kentucky, a state where nearly 90 percent of electricity still comes from coal,” writes Jennifer Ludden in her recent NPR article entitled “Big Business Pushes Coal-Friendly Kentucky To Embrace Renewables.”

According to Ludden’s piece, “Butt points out a new engine assembly line, where a conveyor belt moves in a slow circle. He says it was specially designed with a more efficient motor. There are also enormous fans overhead and LED lights, all changes that save millions.”

"I mean, what company doesn't want to reduce their energy bill," he says in the article.

We couldn’t agree more.

It’s critical for an organization to streamline costs and “reduce their energy bill.”

But, we’re focused on the principle of improvement at a higher level. We’re looking at the Meta problem, which is being a reactive operation.

Ludden’s article and the efforts of Kevin Butt offer great insight into the need for a different way of doing that helps not only your business – but the customers you serve.

Do you agree?

Even in a state where 90% of the electricity comes from coal, trailblazers like Butt are challenging the current situation (or status quo) to improve their business.

They’re also helping to “clear the air” for future generations.