The Power of “AND”

Written by: David McClaskey, President, McClaskey Excellence Institute

Sustained excellence is based on a few principles well applied. As is my habit, I do a lot of reading and studying of business related books and articles. I find it to be thrilling when I discover that respected authors’ profound thoughts align with each other and with the practices of Pal’s Sudden Service (Pal’s). It is great seeing the synergy of multiple authors stressing the same underlying concept. In many cases, they each independently came to the same conclusion. It is always fantastic to find those key principles that underpin excellence. We then make sure we are stressing these points in McClaskey Excellence Institute classes like our “Achieving World-Class Results” class.  In particular, we show how Pal’s embraces and implements those principles to create sustained excellence.   Continue reading

Creating a Culture of Accountability

Written by: David McClaskey, President, McClaskey Excellence Institute

accountabilityThe question: “How do I create a culture of accountability?”

I recently was asked this excellent question from a class attendee and consulting client. It may be a question that you have asked.

Let’s start with the word culture. Culture is defined as a set of commonly occurring behaviors which occur within your organization. I have observed four common behaviors in organizations whose culture includes a high degree of accountability: Continue reading

All Decisions Are Not Created Equal: Use of Pareto Thinking

Written by: David McClaskey, President, McClaskey Excellence Institute


It is been said that a person’s quality of life today is a result of decisions s/he has made and actions  taken as a result of those decisions. We make many decisions every day. But the impact of those decisions on our life is not equal. There are some decisions, usually a very few set of decisions, that had a very high impact result on our lives. I know this is true for me personally. Early in my career what I decided to major in college (Industrial Engineering) and where I would take my first job (Eastman Chemical Company) had a profound influence on the extraordinary quality of which I find my life today.

Continue reading

What is the biggest mistake usually made in strategic planning?

Written by: David McClaskey, President, McClaskey Excellence Institute

The answer: Selecting too many strategic objectives to work on.

At McClaskey Excellence Institute, we are privileged to work with the leadership of organizations to conduct two-day strategic planning workshops. We have done this with just about every type of for profit and non-profit organizations. The most challenging and important part of these workshops is to help the leadership select the vital few 1-4 strategic objectives that are going to have the biggest impact in the direction they want to go. Leaders typically want to pick way too many objectives. This has a tendency to doom the implementation before it is even started.

Continue reading

The World’s Greatest Planning Tool: The Pareto Principle

Written by: David McClaskey, President, McClaskey Excellence Institute


How would you like to learn a planning tool that is both widely applicable and easy to use? Such a tool has been generally known since the 1940’s so it has stood the test of time.

Joseph Juran, one of the leading quality gurus of the 20th century, defined and popularized the Pareto principle in the 1940’s. The Pareto principle states that 20% of the items from a given system create 80% of the effect. For example 20% of the items in inventory account for 80% of the value; 20% of the students in a class create 80% of the problems; 20% of the customers a business has account for 80% of the revenue. Continue reading

How Not to Listen to the Presidential Debates

Written by: David McClaskey, President, McClaskey Excellence Institute

Have you listened to one or more of the current Presidential debates? Do you come away relatively empty in terms of any useful new information? Would you like something that can help you cut right through the “smoke” and get to the meaningful content? I will outline a few steps that will give you the maximum opportunity of extracting any useful information there might be in a Presidential debate. The wonderful thing is that you can use these same steps to get the maximum amount of useful information from any conversation, article, or any other source of communication.

Continue reading


Written by: David McClaskey, President, McClaskey Excellence Institute

In the 40 years that I have been consulting and teaching about performance excellence, one model has stood out above all the others in relation to identifying excellence in management. Sometimes the exact words are not used, but if you know the pattern and listen for it, you can detect the pattern of the model. What is this “magical” pattern or model? Why is it useful and how is it used? Continue reading

Pal’s BEI Introduces a Drive-Thru Series for 2010

Written by: David McClaskey, President, McClaskey Excellence Institute

Would you like to see how a company obtains the fastest drive-thru time, while also being the most accurate and friendly?  Sounds impossible?  Come see how it is done.   At Pal’s, a car leaves the drive-thru line every 18 seconds;  accuracy that is 10 to 50 times that of its competition, and hospitality so effective, that people come back to Pal’s 3-4 times more often then they come back to our best competitor’s store.   One of our customers, A&W Canada, has been able to reduce their drive-thru times by 1/3 as a result of attending Pal’s BEI classes.  This has enabled many more cars to be served resulting in over $50 Million dollar per year increase in the total revenue. 

I am pleased to announce the start of our “Drive-Thru” courses.  No, we have not figured how to do training as you drive-thru. (I wish!)  We have figured out how to help you learn the secrets of consistently running a great drive-thru operation.  Many stores and businesses depend on a drive-thru. In an increasing number of businesses, drive-thru is the preferred method of service.  As such, in many businesses, drive-thru sales has been the leading channel for growth.  Attendees of our Achieving World-Class Results classes have asked if we could add some special classes about how to be world-class in drive-thru accuracy, speed, and hospitality. This year we have introduced two such courses:

 See firsthand a drive-thru restaurant that achieves world-class hand out speeds, accuracy, and hospitality.  These courses are designed to help you not only understand the approaches used, but also the logic behind these approaches so you can improve your results by translating and implementing what you have learned. 

The Drive-Thru Speed and Accuracy class focuses on workforce capability, process management, customer satisfaction, leadership, LEAN principles, and information analysis.  This class also includes a behind the scenes tour of a Pal’s Sudden Service restaurant as well as a Q&A session with Pal’s CEO Thom Crosby. 

The class is ideal for QSR franchise executives, owners, and store general managers who want to improve their drive-thru performance.