It’s juicy, it’s greasy, I haven’t had one yet, but I’m told it’s absolutely delicious. It’s the “Double Double” from In-N-Out burger. There is a mystique about this particular product, it has legions of fans and as I understand it, it’s a very big seller for the company.
There is another Double Double. It’s the Double Double from Royal Caribbean. The Royal Caribbean Double Double is a program Richard Fain is a good businessman, i’m not knocking him here.. but his quote when announcing the double double initiative in 2014 is very interesting to me: “sets demanding, but realistic targets, against which we will measure our continued progress”.
In thinking of the Professional Individual Contributor I immediately see two words that stand out.
Demanding – This usually means the goal is it’s insane and unrealistic.
Achievable – Usually, my response to this is: Bwa ha ha ha!!!
Fast forward to this quarter’s earnings report… The quote to pull out here is this “Overall, the year will be another solid step towards the Double-Double. Commercially, the business continues to perform as expected and the biggest drivers of our increased guidance are better foreign exchange and fuel rates.”
What makes that soooo interesting? Do you see it? It’s that the drivers of their business and access to their double double profitability goals have NOTHING to do with the contribution of the individual contributor. It’s a crap shoot of luck.
I’m not a Royal Caribbean employee.. I’m not a Royal Caribbean hater either… Heck, my wife loves their ships and product, it’s why I have an eye to the company, I find their business very interesting. But this double double thing is exactly the type of corporate initiative cry that gets jammed down mid-level management’s throat as the internal rallying cry to drive people to work harder and longer. Yet, the reality is that all that really does is keep the pressure up on the individual contributor, it doesn’t actually help meet the goals. The goals are met by external factors such as fuel rates, exchange rates and competition in different markets. How can an HR person or a internal coordinator or director affect those?!?
So how is the Double Double from In and Out and the Double Double initiative from Royal Caribbean the same? When you have both of them for too long they both result in a heart attack.