Where’s Your Donut Hole?

Donuts are good.  But I like donut holes better. Donut holes are a great concept: take something considered waste, and turn it into something unique yet familiar.

Get creative in finding the positive.

Terry managed a team of customer service reps for an upscale hotel chain. They were all good performers until the nature of the job changed from service rep to sales rep. Some reps struggled. It seemed to Terry that the reps who were the most knowledgeable, friendly, and personable were the worst at selling. These experienced reps just couldn’t hit their sales numbers. Unfortunately, the performance standards were inflexible: miss a quota for four weeks, find a new job.

But that gave Terry an idea. What if he repurposed those “poor performing” reps and turned them into something new? Terry ended up taking the 5 reps with the worst selling record and creating a concierge service program offered to the top guests of that hotel chain. This concept later evolved into the Starwood Preferred Guest program of the Westin family of hotels.

Look around you. Some of your worst employees are donut holes. Where can you use them? Look at the products that you throw away. Where’s the donut hole? Remember that proposal you created for a specific client, the one that outlined your process and capabilities? So the client didn’t bite, and you wasted resources developing it. Why not modify it and put it on your website as a freebie? The time you wasted in developing the proposal will pay off with any new sales you generate as a result.

Where average leaders see waste, great leaders see wins. Where’s your donut hole?

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