|This is not as silly a situation as it sounds. It highlights a common
Management comes up with some specific new initiative.
Often the initiative is in reaction to a competitor's product. All the
minions rush off to do management's bidding. No one bothers to look at
the whole system.
It is easy to argue who is at fault. The minions blame
management for not thinking things through. Management blames the
minions for a stupid oversight. Everybody can blame the store for not
going out and buying longer straws, despite that they wouldn't have the
snazzy Subway logo on the paper cover. The store owners just shake their
heads and blame the whole home office.
The real fault is always
with management. But in this case management's failure is not having a
marketing function or department. By marketing, I don't mean sales,
which most companies stupidly call "marketing".
A marketing function is
living a day in life of the customer. A marketing department would at
least have visualized how a customer would use the new cup. Perhaps the
would put some prototype cups in a store and asked customers what they
When told that it was stupid to have straws shorter that the
cup, marketing could then have tasked the minions with changing the
straws or selecting two straw lengths for the stores.