Baseball fans might know that the Phillie Phanatic has been around since the late seventies. The mascot for the Philadelphia Phillies was created with the help of people that worked on the Muppets. The Phanatic has a reputation of being a prankster in the most fun and loving way.
Authors Tom Burgoyne and Evan Marcus believe that the power of love is the force behind the Phillie Phanatic’s antics. Burgoyne, the man behind the green suit since 1983, and Marcus, a leadership teacher, believe that love, this force for good, is worth exploring for applications in the workplace.
The authors write …
For the Phillies, the Phanatic is the ‘pocket of love’ the part of the organization that consistently exudes fun and goodwill, no matter what happens on the field.
The book starts with a case for love, continues on to explain the concept of the DNA of Love™, (Decide Love, Notice Love, Act Love) and explores seven principles that can be applied in business. The case for love is presented in context of a unique selling proposition. Business professionals look for something that makes a product or service unique because they know that product and price can and will be matched by competitors. To be unique, there needs to be loyalty and a connection with people inside and outside an organization. This connection is something that is “hard to steal.”
The seven principles are presented with fun names such as “The Big Smooch”, “Duct Tape and Hot Dogs” or “Give’m The Belly Whomp.” Behind each principle, readers will find actions that any serious leader can take to improve loyalty in their organization. One example comes from Principle #3 Duct Tape & Hot Dogs: Be Committed to Operational Excellence. Author Tom explains that The Phantic’s Hot Dog Launcher, one of the Phanatic’s ballpark antics that sends free hot dogs to lucky fans, is an example of operational excellence. On the surface the antic looks like pure fun but there have been refinements over time to the process to make sure fans are safe and the hot dogs arrive still warm.
There is a lot that has to take place for a lucky fan to catch a free hot dog at a Phillies game. When the conditions are for right for a night of hot dog launching, I phone Chris Long, our long-time entertainment director. She logs it into on to our in-game entertainment schedule, which sets off a series of events. Entertainment coordinator, Teresa Leyden, notifies our promotions team who order the hot dogs from our ballpark concessionaire, Aramark. Members of our promotions team pick up the hot dogs and take them to the ground crew area on the service level to be prepared for flight.
Tom goes on to explain that each hot dog is wrapped in aluminum foil. Next the wrapped hot dog is rolled into paper, and taped with duct tape. Prior to improving the process there were mistakes that led to exploding dogs and a big mess.
Tom wraps up the chapter with this concept:
The moral of the story is to strive for operational excellence but know, that at one point or another you might bomb.
As a reader, the lesson is to have an intention of good service, but to look at how that intention is playing out and work as a team to make improvements. The seven principles combined with the DNA of Love and wrapped up a list of questions that guide the reader into creating a “blueprint for love” in their organizations.
Read this book, and consider how the concept of love fits in the workplace.