Legislating the Sun

Legislating the Sun

I live in Arizona, in the "Valley of the Sun". This is the place where all winter we flaunt our clear blue skies, our spring training baseball, and the fact we can give our kids bikes for Christmas and they don't have to wait till April to use them. (Of course, from June to August we are all visiting family and friends in cooler climes...but I digress.)

Arizona doesn't legislate the sun. We don't participate in the daylight savings time nonsense. But most other places do which means in the summer we are at the same time as California and in the winter we are the same time as Utah.

The standard argument for daylight savings time was that it saved energy. You needed less lights, so you saved energy. It seemed obvious and everyone seemed to have bought off on it and now the nation happily believes they are doing their part in saving energy by participating in daylight savings.

But it seems that no one really looked at the data. USA Today had an article recently describing research done at the University of California in Santa Barbara that showed that daylight savings does save energy used for lighting but that it used even more energy on heating and cooling costs. So the net effect is participating in daylight savings actually uses more energy. Now this is not an article intended to start "digital fisticuffs" about daylight savings. But rather the interesting point that people and governments think they are saving energy when in fact they are expending more.

Does that happen in your business? Do you assume that your customers are happy with something you do or provide when in reality they don't like it? Remember back in the "continuous improvement" business craze of the 90s the phrase "In God we trust...all others bring data". That is still true. Get the data and know what you know.

"What you don't know might kill you" could also be "What you think you know could kill you". So the point is get some data, some fresh live real data of how your customer's feel. There are lots of ways to do that. I personally feel that Promoterz is a great way since it provides a way to continuously monitor the heartbeat of your company rather than just a twice a year "exam". But whatever you choose, do it. You will be surprised at what you learn from the ones that really know. Your competition will be doing it.

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