How Many Chickens Can’t Walk?

Temple Grandin, a bestselling author, activist, and animal welfare expert was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2010. She’s done some remarkable work to fight for the humane handling of animals and the food that graces most of our dinner tables.

Temple would visit various poultry farms throughout North America, and at each and every farm she was baffled by the enormous checklists the farmers had to follow to be “Government Certified.

But what Temple argued was that it didn’t matter what kind of feed was used, or how many extra seconds of sunlight each chicken got, or any of the other 112 things on the checklist. She basically said, you could figure out whether or not the chickens were healthy, and what type of conditions they lived in, by simply counting how many of them couldn’t walk. Trying to accomplish everything else on the checklist before knowing how many couldn’t walk was just silly.

Here’s the core concept for today’s Tuesday Tidbit: What is the one big thing in your business that you could look at, that would tell you the real health of your business?

Here’s an example: If you’re a restaurant owner, and you want to know how customers are enjoying their experience, start by looking at the tips. If the tips are higher than industry average, that’s a good sign that customers are enjoying themselves.

Don’t worry too much about all the small stuff until you’ve counted all the chickens who can’t walk.