Lights, Camera, Action! 4 Business Infrastructure Lessons from a TV Game Show that Apply to Your Company, Part 2 of 2


In part 1 of this article, I shared the first two lessons: getting the right people to grow your company and being transparent with customers and staff.  Part 2 covers the next two lessons. 

Lesson #3: Give Customers What They Want

TV game shows have a main objective – to provide entertainment that is fresh and engaging.  In order to achieve this objective, they must balance the wants of both internal and external customers with their capacity to deliver.  Family Feud, for example, has three primary types of external customers: 1) contestants, 2) at-home viewers & studio audiences and 3) advertisers.  Each of these customers have different needs and the staff at Family Feud probably leverages their business infrastructure to meet those needs as best possible.

Consistently giving customers what they want requires processes.  The various activities that make up Family Feud’s service delivery model can be categorized into three main stages: pre-production –> actual production –> post-production.  Each of these stages likely includes the following processes:


  • Survey Management [creating questions, polling people, compiling data]
  • Set Management [venue scouting, sound & lighting setup, secure equipment]
  • Contestant Management [soliciting, screening, rehearsing]
    Rubin Ervin warms up the audience immediately before the show begins. Image Credit: Katrina Brooks, CW Atlanta
    Rubin Ervin warms up the audience immediately before the show begins as the production crew looks on. Image Credit: Katrina Brooks, CW Atlanta
  • Wardrobe Management [host, contestant, audience]


  • Equipment Readiness [cameras, computers, buzzers, microphones]
  • Set Management [cleaning, lighting, sound]
  • Audience Preparation [seating, entertaining, crowd control]

Post Production

  • Editing
  • Advertiser Management [requirements, compliance, timing]
  • TV Network Management [requirements, compliance, monitoring ratings]

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Is your company’s service delivery process documented?
  • How can you categorize the activities of your company’s service delivery process into stages?
  • Do you have a system in place for measuring the effectiveness of your company’s service delivery and making necessary improvements?


Lesson #4: Don’t Be Robotic – Have Fun!

While I am a huge advocate of processes, I also understand the importance of allowing for flexibility.  I’ve found that companies with a “rigid” culture tend usually have inflexible processes and protocol.  Your customers may or may not appreciate this style.  A more balanced approach is to standardize key processes in your company but also include customization.

Over the past three years of visiting the Family Feud set, the experience has been consistent.  The service delivery, from an audience member’s perspective, is virtually the same every time.  There is a definite formula for success.

The “customization” happened during the commercial breaks.  It’s during these periods of taping that Steve Harvey allows the audience to ask him questions.  As a career comedian, his responses are hilarious!  This is not the Steve Harvey you see on broadcast TV – he’s unfiltered during these moments and there are few subjects off limits for discussion.  However, he never ends a taping without thanking the audience for participating and imparting wisdom as shared with him by his late parents.

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Do your company’s processes have a positive or negative impact on culture?
  • Is there a way you can customize processes without sacrificing quality and cycle time?


Applying these four lessons to your business can improve or enhance operations.  By honestly answering the questions in this article and in part 1, you are well on your way to determining how to expand your company’s capacity in a sustainable way.

For more tips, ideas and lessons learned, check out these case studies:

Steve Harvey ended the night I went to Family Feud in May 2016 by saying, “You can’t have extra, dead weight around you when you are a rocket trying to soar.”

Let us know if you have questions along the way.  Leave a comment below and/or contact us.

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