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15 October 2016
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From The Cheshire Press ... Here's our newest Tacking Lessonspublication-a book of poetry: Tacking Lessons, by Nancy Miller.

In her new poetry collection, poet, memoirist and musician Nancy Bailey Miller takes the reader with her into the tricky waters she navigates like the gifted verbal sailor she is: dreams, memory, family history, shifting relationships, the familiar seen as with the fresh eyes of the traveler, the unfamiliar tamed and rendered ours, new places and situations explored by a mind blessed by restlessness and keen powers of observation.

Purchase a copy from the cheshire press website today.

This is the 67th issue of The Better Mousetrap. We have archived all the previous issues on our web site. It is easy to review all of them. Just click here for the list or go to the Cheshire Group web site and click on the link that says "Newsletter Archive."


The Acme Mousetrap Company had a problem: the company wasn't selling as many mousetraps as they once had. Everybody was worried.
     Folks who met at the water cooler spoke about it.
     "The problem is," they said, "that we need a bigger sales force."
     To some employees, the situation was stated in these terms: "The problem is we need to wrap the product in something exciting—offer a promotional come-on or something. Promise a handsome give-away."
     "The problem" insisted other folks, "is that our order entry system stinks. We need to upgrade and we need to do it fast."
     "The problem is poor sales training" asserted others. "Our sales force isn't trained in the best techniques for selling mousetraps."
     Part of the trouble, which nobody at the Acme Mousetrap Company could see, was that people were confusing problem solutions with problem symptoms.
     When this happens solutions become part of the problem.
     The Acme Mousetrap Company needed to spend some time defining the actual problem symptom. And the first step in that direction is to turn problem solution statements like "lack of sales training" into problem symptom phrases like "sagging sales figures."
     Let's say that the management at Acme concurred with the diagnosis of lack of sales training and so they sent their sales staff to a week-long training session that included role playing, product debugging and telephone etiquette. If Acme's problem actually turned out to be weak spring mechanisms on the traps, however, or non-competitive pricing, then any problem addressed on the sales level alone, was money misdirected.
     When people too glibly diagnose—and that is what's happening when statements are made that begin "the problem is..." —then the actual problem symptom is endangered of being eclipsed.
     When Acme's management got its people to use problem symptom phrases (e.g. "falling sales volume") instead of problem solution phrases ("lack of sales training"), more effective options for locating the trouble became possible.
     Problem symptom statements open wider avenues, allowing diagnosticians to trace falling sales volume along all paths. Poor sales training might be just one of those paths. Others might include materials troubles (weak spring mechanisms), cost issues (pricing too high), competition (the other guys advertised on the Super Bowl and now everyone is beating a path to their door), and technology impact (someone has built a better mousetrap).
     Beware the quick fix. Sometimes identifying it may do more harm than good.


E.M. Statler's hotels weren't luxury hotels. They weren't in the league with the Waldorf Astoria or the Ritz and E.M. didn't want them to be. He figured he could make his hotels very attractive, pack them with people—and make a handsome profit—if he offered his customers something extra.
     So Statler promised a bath in every room. (He was able to carry out the remarkable plumbing achievement by building the baths back-to-back and installing the plumbing pipes in the same vertical shafts that carried heating. This design is still known as the Statler Plumbing Shaft.)
     Statler built his hotels between 1901 and 1920 and he offered telephones, and later radios, in every room. He installed circulating ice water too and put in full length mirrors and closets instead of clothes pegs. Every Statler room offered free morning newspapers, well stocked writing desks and little sewing kits.

Quote: EM Statler

     No detail of convenience was too small to escape E.M. Statler's notice. He ordered keyholes to be placed above the doorknobs instead of below to enable guests who might have imbibed one cocktail too many to more easily unlock a room door.
     Statler gave a lot of thought to his customers' needs and reasoned that what they wanted was comfort, consistency and above all privacy. So that's what he gave them. Customer service was paramount with E.M. Statler and that famous tribute to the customer is his too. "The customer," reads the motto on the hotel stationary in 1907, "is always right."


Adi and Rudi Dassler formed Dassler Bros.Puma logo Shoes in Germany in 1925 during the Weimar Republic. After World War II, Rudi broke off to form his own shoe company called Puma.

Adi Dassler formed a competing company named after himself: Adidas.Adidas Logo

RD India


A Modern Glossary for Workplace Survival

Managing Down is the art of getting subordinates to do what you want. Nobody cares that you didn't do the work. You managed it. That's all that counts, especially to other managers.

Managing Up is the art of getting your superiors to do what you want. Those at the top are no less in need of good management than those in the lower branches of the corporate tree. The problem: There's nobody around to manage them unless their subordinates do it.

Meetings are essentially odious. Try to have as few as possible, but never miss one you should be at. If it isn't your meeting, you will have to contend with several challenges.

to be continued

Stanley Bing
in the Wall Street Journal

Click here to visit the NFIB websiteWe are a proud member of the National Federation of Independent Business. For more information click on the logo.

The Cheshire Group is a full service Print and Digital Advertising Agency. We offer services for Web Site Development & Maintenance, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Print and Digital Media Advertising, Brochures, Direct Marketing and Publicity. Our Cheshire Press division offers On-Demand print book and enewsletter publishing. Our book publications are available in print and digital versions

What to do When Solutions Become Part of the Problem.

Taking Care of the Little Things.
What's in a Brand Name?
The ABC's of Business, Part VI.






"If you are going to burn your bridges you'd better be a damn good swimmer"










"Almost any decision carries long-term and short-term consequences, and the two are diametrically opposed."

Daniel H. Kim










"Imagination is more important than knowledge."





















"Build a better mouse-trap and the world will beat a path to your door."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can build it but they don't have to come. Let your market know the product is there.


THE BETTER MOUSE-TRAP helps you do it. To do it even better call The Cheshire Group at
978 475-1478 or visit us at:

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