by ROCCO MAGLIO
Running a business can be very difficult. You have to stay up to date with the constantly changing environment. Even if you have a high-quality product that is desirable there are many pitfalls that can still cause your business to fail. Peter Christian had extensive experience at Crayola working through the ranks and rising to become an executive director. He followed that by being a founding partner in Enterprise System Partners, Inc. (ESPI) which is a business consultancy based in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley.
Peter now lives in Spring Hill and has published “What About the Vermin Problem? A Guide to Avoiding Damaging Business Practices.” He uses his experiences to illustrate business practices that he puts into three categories: the good, the bad, and the ugly, which also happens to be the name of a famous spaghetti western. He uses anonymized real-world experiences to provide a better understanding of the issues that he describes. The experiences are mostly related to manufacturing, but hold value for any business or even relationships.
Many of the takeaways apply to all relationships: accurate communication is a key for success; it is necessary to explicitly identify the problem, and identify all the issues when trying to solve a problem; honesty and good intent is paramount. The book delves into why these guidelines and many others can help you successfully complete a project or improve your business.
One issue that bothers Mr. Christian as a consultant is that companies pay for advice and then they do not use it. Often this reflects a change in leadership priorities; that there was no buy-in to address the problem or a belief that the problem did not exist in the first place.
“What About the Vermin Problem?” is very accessible and only 120 pages, so even the busiest professionals can find time to read it. It deals with real-world examples rather than theoretical best practices which makes it an easy read. It deals with many different scenarios that can benefit or harm your business. If you are interested in obtaining the book it is available online from major retailers like Amazon, Target, and Walmart.