P/PC Balance

27 Jul

In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey relates the importance of what he refers to as the P/PC Balance.  He uses the fable about the goose who lays the golden egg to illustrate his point.

For those of us that can’t remember that fable, the story goes that a farmer one day discovers that his goose laid a golden egg.  On a whim, he takes it to town to have it appraised, and it turns out that it is solid gold.  He’s rich!  And so it continues–day after day the goose lays just one golden egg.  Eventually, the farmer’s greed gets the better of him, and he kills the goose in order to retrieve all of the eggs at once.  However, he finds the goose empty and now he has killed the only way to produce the eggs in the first place.  So now he is neither rich nor able to get rich.

In this story is a solid truth.  Effectiveness isn’t the amount that you produce (the golden egg), but is a function of what you produce (the egg) and your capacity to produce it (the goose).  It is very important to keep the two in balance.  That is the P/PC Balance: production to production capacity.

Suppose you intend to become a district manager upon taking over your first restaurant.  Your goal is to produce the best service times, the best food cost, and the best bottom line so that the powers that be will notice you.  So you work your people to the point of physical resentment to get the service times, you sell every bit of food in your restaurant, and you don’t purchase anything unless your current DM makes you.

What are the results going to be?  Well, you might get noticed and promoted, but what is your successor going to face?  She will find that turnover is outrageous, no one likes or trusts management, and morale is low.  She will discover that no customer loyalty exists because they are being served poor quality food; which is disastrous in a business that is built on repeat customers.  She will find that all of the equipment needs major overhauls because simple maintenance wasn’t done and parts weren’t purchased.  Production exists, but the capacity is dwindling.

Find the balance and maintain it.  Doing that alone will increase the effectiveness of your management skills tenfold.

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3 Responses to “P/PC Balance”

  1. Tom Humes July 27, 2008 at 1:07 am #

    Nice Site layout for your blog. I am looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

  2. Dan Waldron July 27, 2008 at 1:16 am #

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  3. cheritycall October 28, 2008 at 2:46 am #

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