Lessons from the North: Volume one

There is a town, in north Ontario.  All our changes were there too.

As the scheduling stars align, we're fortunate enough to go back there to share time with family and friends.  

Through this process we sometimes unplug temporarily from our usual existence and inevitably, reflect on where we came from, where we've been and the culture that partially shaped our outlook on life.

Mostly, it's the simple things we take for granted that produce the most obvious and powerful insight.

Like the Country Haven restaurant.  

You know the type.  Hole in the wall Mom and Pop shop. Can't find it online (and never will). Regulars look like well considered and curated accents of the space. You couldn't make a better holiday breakfast if you studied with culinary elite for life.

What struck us as worth sharing wasn't the food or the decor. It was how customer-centric the entire operation was.

Even the menu is wholly (and literally) about the customers.

As you pay the bill on the way out there's a shrine to patrons long past, honoring those customers that once contributed to their whole.

People don't go there just to eat at a restaurant.  They go for the powerful sense of community.  To participate.  To belong.

As you go about building social capital within your business or organization, think about why your customers are coming to you.  Is it just for a website?  Or to is it to build an engagement machine?  Is it just for a special event? Or is it to craft a remarkable sensory experience that creates a lasting impression and enduring connection to your brand?

It's not just about what you do and how you do it that matters as you compete for attention in the 21st century digital landscape.

It's why you do it.

Rock on Country Haven and thanks for the introspection...and the deep fried hash browns.