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311 Challenge Map

For any branding project the journey starts with a clear vision of the finish line. Five years ago, on a June morning, I started dreaming of an initiative to create a global digital space where there is only good news. That journey became real only a year back when I finally saw the finish line for the initiative. The vision was about a family with kids, sitting in front of a screen and looking engrossed at a world map.  They had big smiles on their face as every few seconds a new story of kindness and good deed from some corner of the world was popping up. Today that vision has become a reality and I am excited to invite you to the 311 Challenge for a better world. All of us together are responsible for our world and the site gives all of us an opportunity to make it better. The...

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The year was 1999. Yes, we used to order pizza by calling the store directly and the average hold time was 45 minutes, especially on Friday evenings. While on hold, if the call got dropped then the customer had to start all over again. Finally, when the time came to talk to the order taker, most customers did not have a menu in front of them and relied on either past orders or suggestions from the order taker. All pizza companies had similar long wait times and some were looking at how to make the wait time more “pleasant” by adding better on-hold music, some were thinking of going to a national 1-800 call center to take the orders. They were all great ideas but it only made a really bad situation a tad less bad. At Papa John’s, we drew an illustration to show how customers felt. They felt anxious,...

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This current period of uncertainty was unforeseen. The layering of serious worries about health and economy is simply overwhelming. To make matters worse, none of us have a playbook to use during these times. We should not live in denial, but we must also believe that each one of us has what it takes to overcome and come out strong. To get out of the current state of shock it is important to first get into a positive and constructive mindset. (Of course, that is easier said than done). There are five evolving stages that we all must go through. This will get us ready to win big when things start becoming normal. These are just thought starters, and each of us should add our own ideas to make the perfect personal road-map. I request all of you to commit to ONE action at the end: Please reach out to a few...

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I had ordered catered lunch from a national fast casual chain for a business meeting. At exactly 11:30 AM Tamesha walked and immediately started setting up the catering chafing dishes for the hot food. She lit the burners and picked up a container full of water. In my effort to be helpful I said “Next time, you can fill the water from here; that way you do not have to carry the water with you.” Tamesha said “No sir, this is not just any water. This is hot water. With hot water, the hot food stays hot. Otherwise the cold water will get hot as the hot food gets cold.” It took me a second to realize that what she said was brilliant. I was in total admiration for her and the restaurant chain. Once I realized how far this restaurant would go to keep the food hot, I asked myself,...

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On Super Bowl Sunday at 8:00 pm, with the 49ers down by 4 points and attempting a comeback, something strange happened on my TV screen. The screen froze, it had stopped streaming. I waited for a few minutes and then called my internet provider. Jack got all my information and then informed me that Sundays at 8:00 pm they often have "routine maintenance shut down". Really, on Super Bowl night? “I guess someone forgot to adjust for that” was Jack’s answer. He said sorry, but it did not matter as I missed the last few minutes of one of the most exciting Super Bowl games because someone “forgot to adjust”. I completely understand that Sunday evenings is a perfect time for routine maintenance. But, with nearly 50% of the population now moved to live streaming, shouldn’t they adjust downtime for all major live events like the Super Bowl, Oscars, Grammys, and other...

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