Thursday, October 28, 2010

Nordstroms Employee Handbook — short and sweet

I was struggling this morning with some corporate communications issues and I stumbled across this post in the Signal vs Noise blog from 37 Signals. What a radical idea - tell the people you hire that you think they're smart and that you expect them to act that way. Period.

"For years, Nordstrom’s Employee Handbook was a single 5×8’ gray card containing these 75 words:

Welcome to Nordstrom

We’re glad to have you with our Company. Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service. Set both your personal and professional goals high. We have great confidence in your ability to achieve them.

Nordstrom Rules: Rule #1: Use best judgment in all situations. There will be no additional rules.

Please feel free to ask your department manager, store manager, or division general manager any question at any time.

During this time, Nordstrom had the highest sales per square foot performance in the retail industry – by almost double. [thx Ian]

(Via Signal vs. Noise.)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Jaime in Uganda

My oldest daughter, Jaime, is in Uganda now, working at a maternity centre just outside Kampala. We had fun the past few weeks watching (and helping a little) her get ready for her trip. As you can see by the photo below, she did a great job of tracking down a lot of supplies to take with her. Like most maternity centres in Uganda, and throughout Africa, there is never enough of things that we tend to take for granted here in Canada.


I've always known that Jaime was a great writer. She is a keen observer of everything around here and she sucks up information of all kinds. She's a voracious reader and listener of podcasts (remember her top 5 podcasts list?) It's been great having her living with us again for the last year, after she finished university. We would often talk about the politics, especially US politics, which she has a particular interest in. And of course, we never missed an episode of The Daily Show.

Jaime has also become a pretty intense football fan, especially the NFL - just like her Dad and her brother, Cory, who is a rabid Kansas City Chiefs fan. (Why? No idea.) It's been nice to have someone to watch the games with.

Now she's going to put all those listening, reading and observing skills to good use. She's keeping a blog called Jaime in Uganda of her adventures, and if the first few posts are an example of what's to come, it's going to be a terrific read. She has a great eye for detail and an effortless writing style that's a pleasure to read.

I've set up Jaime in Uganda on her website at Its a WordPress blog, which I had fun putting together for her. I've just added a subscription link and you can also sign up to have new posts emailed to you, if you prefer that. But I hope you'll check out her blog, subscribe and leave some comments. I know it's going to be fun to follow and I'm sure she'll appreciate the company.