‘Bill Jones’ Rules for White House, State, IRS (Wall Street, We Wish!) and Your Business Too

Bill Jones Higher Post, Broader ViewREMOVE THE DOUBT — THAT’S ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING HEADS MUST ROLL when certain types of screw-ups occur. So after the IRS’s targeting of  Tea Party groups to search out 501 (c) 4 violations made such big news, the acting head of the agency had his “resignation asked for and accepted.” Could he have survived in the job if he’d broken the findings  to the President himself simultaneously with firing the hands-on people involved? Maybe.

And maybe even if he couldn’t get out in front of the news, but had acted quickly to remove those most responsible. That’s what Hillary Clinton and her management cadre at the State Department did after the tragic news from Benghazi broke; when she “accepted responsibility” for inadequate security at the Benghazi post, it was clear she was speaking in code — it happened in her agency and she was handling it: The faulty decision-makers were already on the way out the door .

We’re still waiting to see what the fallout will be after what looks like excessive phone monitoring of the AP in an effort to find the recent big leaker.

Even more, we’re still waiting for Wall Street and banking to “accept responsibility” and clean up after the financial crisis, the “liar’s loan” mortgage mess and the wrongly foreclosed housing.

In a small-business context, when a client’s order has been screwed up, it’s up to you to ‘fess up, clean up, sometimes even pay up, and show what action you’re taking to be sure it never happens again. A change of employees, a new procedure, or taking over that dawn delivery route yourself — whatever will “remove the doubt.” That’s a business fundamental.

Bill Jones to Jeffrey Krusinki: What were you thinking (with)?

Bill Jones Life Too Short Groping

As has widely been reported, less than two weeks ago Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, head of the Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, was arrested and charged for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in a suburban parking lot in Virginia.

The fictional Bill Jones was the voice of career advice in the 1920s and 30s posters put out by a British printing company. Though the advice here was meant in another context, it’s not hard to imagine what Bill Jones would have thought about sexual assault or harassment, or derailing one’s career in this way.

Rhetorical Rhinos and Flights of Inspiration

A GREAT GRAPHIC, BUT A DOUBTFUL METAPHOR. Unlike the rhetorical rhinoceros in the closet. this rhino in the bush probably isn’t going to be just stared down successfully. Arming yourself with appropriate resources seems like a much better idea. “Facing troubles” is Step One; “turning worry into effective action” would be Step Two. And thanks to Bill Jones, here  — still in “Out of Africa” mode — is inspiration for making the effort. Bill Jones It Can't Be Done Means

Getting Your Message Across?

sayitwithsnapIT’S A 140 CHARACTER WORLD NOW, and what used to be called a magazine article is now “long-form journalism.” But this Mather poster advocates not only brevity but “snap.” Brooklyn Artisan long ago offered thoughts on quotability, but here snap means directness, too.

Some examples of this are in the Brooklyn Artisan photo pool. A favorite:ChalkWoodlandURhungry

Business Lessons from a Master

Where Park Place meets Flatbush, looking out through the front window.

Where Park Place meets Flatbush, looking out through the front window.

WHATEVER WE MAY THINK OF STARBUCKS COFFEE, THEIR PRICES OR UBIQUITY, we can all take a lesson from the new Starbucks location on Park Place at Flatbush/Seventh Avenue, where the oversized and under-busy 5 Guys burger place recently failed. The premises reportedly rents for $20,000 a month. Can even Starbucks bring in enough to do business there profitably? Time will tell, of course, but certainly the managers are trying to make a go of it.

Starbucks Chalkboard MessageLet’s infer some items for our checklist: Yes, Starbucks put out the welcome sign, literally, in chalkboard vernacular.

Yes, the Seventh Avenue Q/B subway stop is right there, and Starbucks has put in the pedestrian equivalent of a drive-by window: the long bar-height shallow counter right in front for commuters and other muffineers. There is enough open floor space for a long line at 8:40am, even allowing for a four-wheeler or two en route to Eladia’s Kids, near the 2/3 station.

Starbucks stroller parkingYes, the setup is neighborhood-savvy. Although the ramp at the entrance is wheelchair-friendly, the greater traffic is sure to come from the stroller-moms and -dads. Traffic control is smart: there’s stroller parking for the stay-awhile or coffee-date set.

The community bulletin board is right by the entrance, with a small mural in the style of the Starbucks-on-Seventh location (we hear the artist there is one of the partners).Starbucks changing table

There are more chalkboards in the back, toddler height, near the low table and small chairs, that signal little guys are welcome and allowed to roam free (relatively). There’s a play shelf with crayons and other amusements.

The half-dozen deep leather chairs welcome long-term loungers: those who want to read the Times thoroughly, say, or polish off the review copy of a new book. Easy-to-pull-up stools in a skateboard aesthetic allow kibitzers to interrupt them, but if the kibitizers really want to engage long enough to make their point, there are a few leather-cushioned stools around as well.

2013-04-29 11.21.54And blogger heaven: wi-fi and a huge, two-sided laptop-friendly work table. While the hard metal chairs might discourage you from settling in to finish your thesis here, they are a good sit for long enough to post a blog entry or handle email away from the kids.

We didn’t forget to check for the critical amenity! Yes, it’s here, the changing station in the bathroom. At this juncture of Park Slope/Prospect Heights, the diaper table really says, “Welcome, families.” Starbucks shows it knows.

Staying Motivated in a “401 k World”

v26-1FIRST IT WAS TOM FRIEDMAN writing in the New York Times two days ago about  the 401 k world where pension responsibility is thrust back on the individual worker, instead of custodial employers, unions, the Social Security Administration. Next came the Matthew Yglesias piece in Slate yesterday, “It’s a 401 k World and It Sucks.”

It’s hard for the small-business owner and artisanal producer – who’s very often the supply-buyer, the marketer, the Flea Market hawker, the copywriter and the chalkboard artist , and sometimes also holding down a day job too– to stay motivated in a such a low-payoff world. Too often there’s no über-corporation to put matching funds into one’s artisanal retirement account. But wait!

Let Bill Jones keep you pumped! Out of the pages of history comes a bunch of illustrated sayings of this fictional Brit, in inspirational posters put out by a printing company called Parker-Holladay. We’ve pulled some together from various archives, and mixed in others from sources like the Chicago-based Mather Company and the WPA, and will be posting them from time to time to fuel your creativity – and/or your staff.we-can-do-it

Because of the eras in which they were created, most are addressed to men, but it’s out of this tradition that WWII’s Rosie the Riveter came to celebrate and motivate the women who were serving the country. For the collector, poster historian and art director Steven Heller looks to the Reinhard Brown Gallery. (And just in case the artisanal chili-pepper face cream business never takes off, you might want to take out the thumbtacks and stash your dad’s Milton Glaser poster of Dylan with the psychedelic hair (1966) and even your Shepard Fairey Obama “Hope” poster into sturdy archival tubes.) Bill Jones Size of the Fight in the Dog

Chalk-worthy Announcements on 5th Avenue

Seen at 184 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, HiHo Batik sharing its news from a recent issue of New York Magazine. This is a batik shop with a DIY spin.

Seen at 184 Fifth Avenue in Park Slope, news from a recent issue of New York Magazine.

The flip side of the HiHo Batik sign at 184 Fifth Avenue.

The flip side of the HiHo Batik sign.

THE HIHO BATIK STOREFRONT invites craft wannabes for a DIY session with a difference–in this case, the D stands for Dye. And its recent designation as a Best Thing about New York by New York Magazine is definitely something to chalk about. The crafts and storytelling session announcement for ages 2 to 4 sounds right on target this part of town (Park Slope).

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