Veteran’s Day – Innovative Service and the Rules of Combat


This week we celebrate Veterans Day. We deeply thank all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country! We also thank those who served for their service. We both had the distinct honor and privilege to serve our country. Chip is a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran.

Several years ago Logan Graves posted the “Rules of Combat” out on his website.   We filed the clever set of rules away but have recently dusted them off for a fresh look at imaginative service.  Here are a few of his rules.

  1. The easy way is always mined. There is an adage that goes “only dead fish swim with the current.”  Innovative service seeks the road less traveled in the pursuit of ingenious and novel.  Today’s wired and dangerous customers are bored with pretty good service.
  2. No combat-ready unit ever passed inspection; no inspection-ready unit ever passed combat.  Innovative service is scrappy and provocative.  It focuses on what works, not on what’s cute.  The ‘function over form’ orientation enables you to race past preoccupation with appearance to outpace those mired in convention.
  3. All five-second grenade fuses are three seconds.Innovative service requires preparation, not serendipity.  Dancers do rehearsal, planners create what-if scenarios, and product makers use dry runs.  Granted, everything cannot be pilot tested.  But innovative service providers know that mastering the unexpected comes through forethought and study.
  1. When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is NOT our friend.Innovative service requires the courage to try new and different.  And, such courage comes from a sense of accountability to those you serve.  It enables you to embrace challenges as a chance to test limits and reaffirm principles.

Would your customers describe you as brave or courageous?  Do you celebrate excellent efforts that fail?  Are you constantly seeking a path to new experiences your customers will find memorable as well as valuable?

Have a wonderful and safe holiday!


Be sure to check out Chip’s latest post.

Chip’s newest book, Inside Your Customer’s Imagination, was released recently. It is ranked the #1 best seller for new releases by Amazon! We hope you will buy a copy. And, if you enjoy it, we hope you will take time to review it on the book site you used to purchase the book.