How QBQ, Inc. Can Be Of Service To You!

What We Do At QBQ, Inc.

We help your organization be outstanding by making Personal Accountability a core value. Here’s how:

  • Training designed for in-house implementation and facilitation. Learn More.
  • Dynamic speakers, interactive workshops for any size group. Learn More. 
  • Customizable virtual training options. Learn More.
  • Lots and lots of books.

“QBQ!” Defined

The Question Behind the Question — QBQ! — is a tool enabling people to practice Personal Accountability. The QBQ! provides the “How to” of Personal Accountability. People at every organizational level have found QBQ! life-changing! QBQ! is the result of many years of research by author, John G. Miller, in the organizational development field. Learn More.

Do We Need QBQ!?

Ever heard questions like these?

  • “Why do we have to go through all this change?”
  • “When is someone going to train me?”
  • “Why can’t we find good people?”
  • “When will that department do its job right?”
  • “Who dropped the ball?”
  • “Why don’t they communicate better?”
  • “Who’s going to solve the problem?”

If so, the message of “Personal Accountability and the QBQ!” is right for your organization.

The Value of QBQ!

When people practice QBQ! the all-too-human traps of complaining, victim-thinking, procrastination, excuse-making, and blame are eliminated. When this shift happens, productivity, teamwork, morale, creativity, safety, communication, engagement, and problem-solving are enhanced. People who use QBQ! also adapt to change faster, which is critical for competing in today’s global economy.

John G. Miller and Kristin Lindeen

John is the founder of QBQ, Inc., and author of these books. For John’s background and history, read here. To learn about Kristin, click here.

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What Matters Most: Being Outstanding EVERY Time

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Our story of not outstanding customer service is from QBQ! book reader, Christina. Enjoy!

My husband, a car mechanic, and I flew from Florida to Louisiana to pick up a truck he bought online. It was in worse shape than he was told, so as we were driving home, it died at a gas station and wouldn’t restart.

I searched for rental car companies and called one — a completely reputable, well-known, world-famous brand — only 0.8 miles away. 

After listening to a long recording, a guy answered at 5:32 pm. As we ticked closer to their 6 pm closing time, he asked for a bunch of information. Finally … 

Me: “Any chance you can pick us up, please? We’re less than a mile away.”   

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To Err Is Human, To Grow Is … WINNING!

NOTE: If you know any perfectionists, share this post with them! 😉

I’m convinced that those who practice accountable thinking process mistakes in a healthy manner. Sure, we all say “to err is human” — but do we truly allow ourselves to slip up?

I mean, even the, ahem, “pros” blow it.

Pros Who Err

Some observations:

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Don’t ask, “Why do we have to go through all this change?”

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When in college and working at Wells Fargo, the oldest of seven Miller kids, Kristin, called me at lunchtime. My “How’s your day going?” question instigated this exchange:

Kristin: “What a drag, Dad, I’m dealing with change!”

Me: “Honey, we’re all dealing with change. It’s everywhere.”

Kristin: “No, Dad, a guy came in with $300 in change today and I got stuck rolling it. I am literally dealing with change!”

Me: “Oops. My bad.” 🤪

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Walk in Humility, Defeat Self-Importance

humility, john g miller, qbq

That’s 15-year-old me entertaining my brother-in-law, Tom, and sister, Lucy. As you can probably tell, as a kid I was loud, verbal, boisterous, and high-energy. Witty and funny, too— the “class clown.”

So I thought. 😉

My family used to laugh when I’d declare, “There’s no conceit in my family … I have it all!”

As they say, that’s all fine and dandy for a young person—but hopefully, this “self-importance” did not stay with me as I grew.

How does one tame self-importance? The answer is nothing new to you, but always worth exploring.

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Accountable People NEVER Stop Growing Up

Yep, that’s 23-year-old me. Chuckle all you want — I’m not offended. 😄

Viewing this photo, I know something you don’t:

As a man, husband, and future father, I had a ton of maturing to do.

Quick Story

Over coffee, I asked a longtime friend, Rich, how his two sons were doing. His response surprised me.

“Well, one grew up. The other one didn’t.”

I asked, “Wait a second, Rich, aren’t they both in their thirties now?”

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Customer Service: Outstanding People Care

outstanding, customer service

Reasonable people know mistakes happen. How do I know this to be true? Examples like the one below. This is a story of a vendor solving a problem that the vendor itself created — and yet the customer is still “wowed.” It’s not rocket science — people just want to work with people who … care.

Nancy’s Story

John, when we place an order with a supplier using their automated purchasing system, the pricing is quoted by them and approved by us seamlessly. A couple of days later, we receive emails from the vendor informing us the product has been shipped and providing an ETA. It’s all very slick.

Recently, several days after I placed three orders, the usual emails had not been received. Upon checking, I discovered no materials were en route.

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Be Like Humble Servant, Captain Terry!

One of our favorite stories ever. Enjoy, share! John and Kristin

servant, servant leadership, leadership, qbq, accountability

I arrived at the Cleveland airport for my flight feeling dread. I had to get to Portland, Oregon that night, and I was taking the last flight west. On top of that, I had to connect through the always chaotic O’Hare International Airport.

We pulled away from the gate on time, but then a “ground hold” happened. Going nowhere, my worry meter kicked in.

Meanwhile, I was sitting next to a United Airlines pilot — Captain Terry Callaghan — who was catching a ride to O’Hare to pilot a flight to Germany. Airline pilots operate in a hierarchical, seniority-based system, and only the most senior pilots fly the foreign routes. Add that to his captain’s hat and distinguished gray hair, and I knew he was an experienced professional. He was able to explain the reasons behind our delay, which helped a little, but I still needed to be in Portland that night — and we were losing precious minutes fast.

We finally took off …

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Making Ownership Happen!

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ownership, accountability, managing people, management skills

This image still makes me laugh. A patron had spilled two ounces of coffee on the floor … and the staff had put up a warning sign! What’s your first thought? Mine was, How ’bout just wiping it up? Isn’t that what you’d do at home?

Truth be told, the barista team behind the counter was busy exchanging views on their past and present romantic relationships.

Yep, they could be overheard.

Not spoken, but clearly voiced through lack of action, were three statements that can destroy any organization:

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18 Easy Ways to Destroy Trust

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Princess Jasmine is in a perilous situation. For the second time in the 1992 movie, Aladdin is there, reaching out to her, stretching, straining, desperately trying to rescue her. But she hesitates, frightened.

Then he looks into her eyes and asks, “Do you trust me?”

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