Roy's Blog: July 2010

July 28, 2010

16 powerful strategic acts to play out every day

Here are some “strategic acts” to think about. They are much more important than the helium filled plans most organizations develop and find difficulty in executing.

In no particular order…

1. Recruit people who genuinely love human beings. YES, it is Strategic!

2. Take notes. It’s an expression of the fact that someone cares enough about what you are saying to record it for further deliberation and ACTION.

3. Do stuff. ACTION gets results, thinking doesn’t.

4. Apologize when things are screwed up. Recovery depends on assuming responsibility for what has happened. “I am truly sorry” starts off the loyalty building process the right way.

5. Cut the CRAP in the organization that is no longer relevant AND that clogs the wheels of progress (Tom Peters’ call it the GRUNGE - awesome word!).

6. Over-react when a customer is screwed over. Again, successful Recovery demands SPEED to get things right.

7. Problem solve. Things NEVER go right the first time. SH*T Happen. Solutions are needed.

8. Form cross-functional teams. Results are produced ACROSS the organization demanding people working together harmoniously.

9. Tell stories. It’s a vital element of strategy. The best way of explaining to someone what the strategy means is to tell a story about it in action.

10. Use internal report cards to measure service quality on the inside of the organization. If internal customers aren’t dazzled it is highly unlikely (no, IMPOSSIBLE) that external ones are.

11. Recognize service heroes constantly.

12. Encourage employees to successfully fail. A successful failure results in learning which advances the organization. An unacceptable failure has no learning element and simply destroys value.

13. Practice leadership by serving around is rampant across the organization.

14. Gather customer secrets. They are the fuel that powers your marketing and service machine.

15. Change your business vocabulary to be more customer-centric. wash your mouth out with customers!

16. Get feedback on your performance from your boss, peers and “subordinates” by using 360 degree feedback.

Are you practising these?

If not, start the journey…

Cheers,
Roy
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like…
#StrategicPlanning: 8 steps to dump your CRAP
Do lots of imperfect stuff fast = success
Pain is strategic

  • Posted 7.28.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
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July 26, 2010

Do your customers have a Chief at the executive table?

The “Chief” designation is well used in organizations these days: Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer are but a few positions that carry this prestigious tag.

The serving side of a business (some call it the service side) gets short shrift however.

Very few companies have established a Chief of this side of the business.

The CSO, Chief Serving Officer, must in my view be established in any organization who has a strategy to acquire and retain loyal customers.

Cso

This is a huge mistake! If serving is a critical component of your strategy you need “single finger accountability” to a senior executive for the flawless delivery of both core service and dazzling customer experiences.

Diluting the responsibility across the organization will simply not work. It won’t get the attention required. Nor the focus. It requires a champion who can sit in executive team meetings and hammer the table when actions in the organization are preventing raving customer fans from being secured.

Here’s the CSO position description:

1. Create and execute the service strategy for the organization.

2. Re-engineer customer serving processes from the customer’s point of view.

3. Develop the ABSOLUTELY-MUST-HAVE-WILL-TAKE-NOTHING-LESS competencies of frontline positions.

4. Define the recruitment process to be used in bringing on Customer Servers.

5. Get the value of the frontline leader position re-valued in the organization to be THE MOST STRATEGIC POSITION EVER.

6. Be the ultimate guardian of customer moments of truth. Watch them. Evaluate them. Improve them. Coach. Coach. Coach.

7. Kill dumb rules - the internal rules and policies that infuriate customers.

8. Set up dumb rules committees throughout the organization to seek out and cleanse the internal environment of stuff that makes no sense to customers.

9. Be THE advocate for the frontline. Protect them. Nurture them. Celebrate with them. Help them. Be the do-whatever-it-takes person to make sure they can delight customers.

10. Set up customer feedback panels to hear the truth about how you serve them. Get the CEO involved as well. The entire executive team. Leaders need to hear how your serving is perceived.

11. Assume the role of Chief Storytelling Officer. Get out in front of people with stories that breathe life in the service strategy.

12. Pay homage to service heroes. Know who they are and the names of their kids.

These are STRATEGIC Acts that must be performed to stand-out in the way you serve your customers.

Put a CSO in place to make it happen.

Cheers, Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 7.26.10 at 12:00 pm by Roy Osing
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July 18, 2010

This is what happens to careers when you impress the fox

The fox in any organization is the key manager or executive that has the greatest amount of influence on a particular decision to be made.

In Sales it would be the key individual in the customer’s organization that would ake the buying decision. If you are to win the sale, you need to figure out a way to make it stand out above your competitor’s in the eyes of the fox.

Your career challenge is no different. You represent a solution to a hiring manager’s problem and you must clearly differentiate YOU from your competition so that they conclude that YOU are the only person who should be afforded the opportunity.

image

Here are 4 practices to covet the fox.

1. Identify the leaders in the organization who are making the key business and people decisions today and are likely to be doing so over the next year or so.
Foxes need to be carefully identified and targeted just as you would any other customer group that held the potential for your success. You will be allocating a significant amount of your time and energy on them and you need to be sure that they have the potential to deliver significant benefits to you. If you choose incorrectly you will not receive the expected return on your personal investment.

2. Discover their expectations and secrets . If you have a deep intimate understanding of the fox, you are in a position to delight them in a way none other can hope to do.

Here are a few secret gathering questions to answer on each fox.

— What history do they have in hiring people? What do they typically look for?

— What do they typically look for in a candidate to fill a particular position?

— What questions do they ask? What has their career path been? What positions have they held?

— What are they famous for? What strengths do they possess that have made them successful?

— What do they do outside of their job?

— Are they married? Do they have a family? Do you know their names?

3. Don’t flog yourself as a person having a narrow set of competencies. Success comes by marketing yourself with as broad a range of skills and expertise that the organization values in progressing to its desired future. Think about yourself as a package of value that the organization needs to be successful.

Select your value elements that address the key issues facing the organization.
They could include: MBA in marketing and finance, demonstrated achievement in building business strategy, changing a marketing culture from a product focus to be more customer focussed, building market share in competitive markets, improving customer service 25% over a 12 month period, external speaking engagements on competitive strategy and marketing, building strong teams and consultative selling skills.

4. Be proactive in discovering the opportunities that will be coming up in the organization. If you have a good relationship with the foxes this will aid the process. In addition, stay tuned into the informal communications network in your organization as it is often very effective in knowing when change is in the wind.
With an informed outlook of the possibilities, you can take whatever action you feel appropriate to take advantage of them should they arise.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 7.18.10 at 12:00 pm by Roy Osing
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