Management By Department Stores and Dogs

I was in a local department store today during a noon break. The check-out clerk noticed that an item that I was purchasing had a wrinkled bar code. “Oh, no – not a wrinkled bar code,” she whined. (She’s a Millennial – so probably comes by the expectation honestly that everything is to be easy – no competition throughout her school years, trophies for all, and all that.) My response was, “So, you’ll have to type it in.” Only then did she distract herself from the “disaster” of the wrinkled bar code and move to . . . doing the work of the job. But, while Millennials and their behaviors are fascinating, my larger point is this – dogs are superior managers to humans and lessons can be learned from them. When a dog is faced with a barrier to something he’d planned on, he quickly reassesses and selects a way of managing the situation – a way to get through the barrier, or another path, another direction, another opportunity. I have yet to see a dog stop and obsess about a path that’s blocked – they either manage to go through the obstacle, or go on to Plan B – happily.
There are always management lessons to be learned from dogs and their innate management abilities – more tomorrow on this ongoing learning process!
And, I’d be delighted for you to share your dog management stories – I’ve had a book in the works on the topic of dogs and management for two years now – working title is: Sunday on The Hill. The time is approaching when all that I’ve learned regarding management from the ten dogs that I’ve known well will be put down in print. This blog is the beginning of that formal process.

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