"Live-Blogging" CASE VIII

[Compiled from previous posts with some added links and context. I know this is counter to the spirit of "live-blogging" but I just can't help myself. I'm a perpetual editor. ]

Opening plenary. Lots of flight-themed metaphors. Howard Behar, former president of Starbucks is the first speaker. Just advocated for the secession of Cascadia. (I agree. Howard, call me.) Behar isn't prepared to talk about Canada either. I feel better.

Howard Behar seems like he'd be great to have a beer with. His first point: be yourself regardless of your context. If you have to be a different person to be at work, it's no good. This is also about setting a mission and values, and living up to them. Behar calls this his 'one hat' principle. Next: live up to your values, and be prepared to pay the price to do so.

Second point: The person who sweeps the floor should choose the broom. Behar just told the story of how Frappucino became a $6 billion business, after almost being killed by the powers that be because 'we don't do that'. The idea is that you need to let your people try new things (choose their broom). If you don't, "they will never make a mistake, but they won't do anything else either."

Behar also points out that people are not assets. They are unpredictible humans with personal problems, and should be treated as such.

Point #3: 'Care, like you really mean it' Behar does seem like he cares about humanity, so this isn't as cheesy when he says it as when I type it. Behar said that laying people off should be embarrassing to executives (as it apparently is in Japan).

All in all, a well-delivered talk on what could have been a tired topic. (It's about the people.)

Addendum: I received Howard Behar's book, "It's Not About the Coffee" as a gift for speaking at the conference. I am looking forward to reading it, and I'll report back.