Study Guide 9: The Big Idea
(Where It Comes From and How to Get It)
The Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead guide by Kathy R. Wildt can be purchased as an instant PDF download for $5.95. After reading the description below, if you wish to purchase this study guide, just click the “Add to Cart” button and follow the simple instructions. Don’t worry – if you change your mind mid-order, simply exit the browser. Once payment is completed you will receive a link that allows you to download the guide to your computer right away. You may save it to your computer’s hard drive and print it out when and if you need to.
Where do the great ideas come from? How does a company stay in touch with its markets and with changes in the marketplace? How does a senior manager identify the brightest, most creative and hardworking talent on his or her staff? What are the relative roles of analytical and intuitive knowledge in shaping and expanding product lines or spotting compatible acquisitions. In Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, teenagers find themselves having to survive in the business world and quickly learn to thrive in it. The teens succeed because they stay don’t lose track of their personal experiences and feelings and learn to harness those experiences and feelings in ways that help a company survive and grow.
It’s summer and mom has decided to take an extended personal break: a summer-long vacation in Australia. She leaves her four children in the hands of an elderly and crotchety babysitter who drops dead on the second day of work. The kids decide to keep the babysitter’s death quiet to avoid having supervision, but they soon learn that with freedom comes responsibility. The oldest, 17-year-old Sue Ellen realizes the kids will need money and under false pretense, lands a job at an industrial-clothing design firm. She must learn to adapt quickly to her new duties, while hiding her lack of experience and false credentials. Fortunately, she’s a quick learner and master delegater – and she has a great boss. Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead was a box office flop, but it offers a bonanza of lessons for marketers and managers.
Excerpt from the plot summary:
On her first day at work, Sue Ellen is greeted with open hostility by the receptionist, who had been hoping for the assistant’s job herself. She tells Sue Ellen not to expect to be around long. Rose is getting off the phone as Sue Ellen enters her office. The call has clearly been a difficult one. Rose tells Sue Ellen the company has just lost another account. She explains that costs are up, overhead is high and sales are down. “New York is going to be none too thrilled with its industrial uniform division,” she says.
Rose takes Sue Ellen on a tour of the plant and shows off the company’s spring line up of uniforms. Holding up one particularly ugly uniform she says, “Lovely, isn’t it?” Sue Ellen concurs that it’s an awful garment. She thought the company made designer clothing. “Sue Ellen, no,” says Rose, “we are in the very bowels of the fashion industry. General Apparel West is one of 32 subdivisions of ChemTech America, one of our nation’s leading chemical corporations.”
Rose takes Sue Ellen to the design area and introduces her to Franklin, the company’s chief designer. Franklin is elderly, very pleasant – and very clearly unhip Rose explains that Sue Ellen will be verifying Franklin’s purchase orders and consulting with him on budget estimates. As they continue their walk-through, Rose tells Sue Ellen she will also be coordinating the company’s sales, manufacturing and advertising people. “I’m going to need bi-weekly reports from you.,” she says . “Basically, you’re the hub of our communication network!” Sue Ellen is clearly overwhelmed. This job is more than she had expected.
Excerpt from the commentary:
Having mastered the art of delegation, Sue Ellen takes the final step in management growth: She assumes personal responsibility for the future of her company. When she joined General American West she was looking only for a job and a paycheck, no doubt assuming that she could do what she was told and let others to worry about where the paycheck would come from. When Rose despairs of finding a way to keep the company’s doors open, Sue Ellen rises to the occasion. She concludes that she can save the company and owes it to Rose, Franklin and, not least, herself to do so. To make her plan work, she must marshal the interest of her brother and friends. The brother, too, rises to the occasion. Oh, for employees like these! Sue Ellen delegated tasks downward, but she will not up-delegate responsibility for the company’s success. When she sets her plan in motion, she takes into consideration all of the company’s needs-and covers her tracks on the money she has illegally borrowed, as well. She stages the fashion show at her mother’s house, recruits her teen-age friends (who might actually have to wear the company’s uniforms) as models; she uses family members as cook, butler and waiters; and she gives Franklin a chance to stretch his design skills, finding talent never before tapped.
The commentary is supplemented by BREAKOUT BOXES dealing with these topics:
- Screening New Hires: There’s a Reason for the H.R. Department
- The Fashion Industry: Material and Margins
- Delegation of Tasks and Authority: A Master’s Checklist
- Show & Tell: The Art of Successful Presentations
THE GUIDE also includes an essay that looks at business as depicted in the movies.
For an introductory section on how to use the Management Goes to the Movies™ program, click through to Using The MGTTM Training Program.
The following Study Guide can be purchased as an instant PDF download for $5.95. After reading the description, if you wish to purchase this study guide, just click the “Add to Cart” button and follow the simple instructions. Don’t worry – if you change your mind mid-order, simply exit the browser. Once payment is completed you will receive a link that allows you to download the guide to your computer right away. You may save it to your computer’s hard drive and print it out when and if you need to.