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  Never Be Satisfied
The McDonald’s Philosophy
Part 2

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Never Be Satisfied!

McDonald’s philosophies keep the business going. Tolerance of substandard performance, or not being the best, as I have said it countless times, is the Mother of Mediocrity. One of the main characteristics of the McDonald’s system is being in a continuous search for perfection. Ray Kroc and Fred Turner, the brain and heart of the McDonald’s  strong system established very high standards and after many decades they are still up there. They would personally go to the restaurants and eat there with the associates. They would take drastic actions all the way to the point of closing a store on the spot because it was underperforming. Same thing will happen with all other executives and an army of traveling auditors. Most of the executives as we know started at McDonalds flipping hamburger patties. They know the business from inside-out and one thing they have learned by heart is that Sub-Standard is not a characteristic within the company.

The Promise

A system is in place. The whole system is a promise to the customer. That promise comes from the foundation and is about quality, cleanliness, and service. All three factors are the key for success or failure and as they said, the lack of any of these factors is devastating for the brand. That has been in place all these 50+ years and is a clear-applicable lesson for anyone who wants to stay in business. Most of the issues that make us uncomfortable or make things not work appropriately are originated by Underperformance or Exception turned into “the normal thing”.

Not a “Fit For All”

Obviously wherever there is discipline, values are at stake. Though the values at McDonald’s are not sophisticated extracts of rocket science, there will be some people who simply can’t abide by them. Those people will probably speak out loud against the ethics and philosophy of the system. This happens in many instances; the difference here though, is that exceptions are not made for absolutely anyone.

Is The System Totalitarian?

Perhaps you could call it that, but it is also a Very Human organization and everyone is respectfully treated even in cases of conflicts and dismissal. The “Family” of the Organization is very inclusive and the relationship is deep between all the elements in the crew and everyone else, including all the vendors, franchisees all the way to the CEO. Everyone knows they can count on anyone in the team to provide advice, support, and insights. People can reach all the positions thanks to the environment of encouragement, motivation, and constant reinforcement.

Know your Team

One of the key elements that have been present at all times is a thorough communication so that each member can know exactly how to interact in their groups. They all are encouraged to invest time into learning who their teammates are, and how to better interact with them.  The relationships are built on trust and cooperation, as well as focusing on the organization’s goals.
Pretty simple and down to Earth stuff! All business leaders should take a look at the McDonald’s example and apply as much as possible in their own organizations

We will continue to describe this impressive Management System's Success

Click Here for Part 1: the Basics

Part 3 Education and Training



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Enrique Mora
Lean Management Training
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This page last updated on

30 July, 2011 10:15









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