Roy's Blog: February 2017

February 27, 2017

7 ways leaders can think differently to achieve strategic goals

It’s not good enough to rely on traditional methods; leaders must think differently to create value for their organizations.

The “silver bullet” for leaders is to loosen up on the process for setting business goals and tighten up on execution required to achieve them.

Organizations are trapped in the same-old strategic planning process of lengthy analysis, subject matter expert presentations and application of theoretical strategy-building precepts promulgated by consultants and academics.

Boring

What theoretically makes sense rarely works in the real world where people, technology, changing priorities, regulations and the unpredictable all collide in a “perfect storm”.

I come from the practical side of business.

I believe that if you can’t execute the strategy in a world of imperfection, the strategy is useless. After all, results are more interesting than the theoretical pristineness of the plan and the extent to which it conforms to pedantic norms.

7 ways of thinking differently to achieve strategic goals…

1. Spend 20% of your time on WHAT you want to achieve; 80% on HOW you intend to achieve it. Execution detail is generally given the short shrift.
For some reason leaders assume they can pronounce a new strategy to the organization and miraculously it will get implemented. Nonsense. The granularity of your implementation plan will determine your success.

2. Get comfortable with imperfection. We have this phobia about getting the strategy perfect. We spend an additional 4 weeks of planning time trying to make it more “perfect”.
It’s a ridiculous notion for two reasons: first there is no such thing as a perfect anything so stop trying to chase the illusion; second, as soon as your strategy is put to bed, it’s obsolete as unpredicted environmental events are felt.

3. A strategy really understood is one that can be broken down into a handful of objectives intended to successfully execute it. An action plan with 25 things to do suggests that the team that created the strategy doesn’t clearly understand it well enough to focus on the critical few actions necessary as opposed to the many possible actions that could be taken.
Focus on the MUST, not the POSSIBLE.

4. Beware of the “yummy incoming”. Yummy is my way of describing over-the-transom demand that might be fun to chase, but it’s off strategy. Ignore off-strategy demands on your time and resources, you can’t afford them.
Stay on strategy and have the guts to turn away “opportunities” that suck you dry.

Yummy incoming

5. Establish role clarity for everyone in the organization in terms of what they have to do execute flawlessly.
Dysfunction occurs when direct line of sight for people hasn’t been defined and included in performance plans.

6. Cut the Crap! Stop doing the unnecessary so you can execute the necessary. It’s impossible to take on “the new” when you won’t let go of the old.
You don’t need more resources, you need to get rid of stuff that may have had relevance yesterday but not today.

7. Kill the “dumb rules” that make your customers and employees “go nuts”. Customers won’t engage with stupid policies in their face which frustrate them when they engage with you. Cleanse your inside with policies made to control customers; free them to transact with you on their terms.

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

Recent articles you might like
The ONE way to create memorable customer experiences
12 ways to get the most out of your mentor
Employee incentives can lead to riches

  • Posted 2.27.17 at 05:31 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

February 20, 2017

1 simple way to amaze your customers

There IS a secret ingredient to mixing a brew of remarkable customer experiences.

And it’s not just about your service strategy.

And it’s not just about the theory of customer behaviour.

So much is being written about how to build an effective customer experience strategy.

In fact advice and direction is “raining down” on organizations looking to establish “The Experience” as a competitive advantage.

Experience

Here’s my thinking.

I don’t think creating memories with an organization starts with strategy or study of consumer behaviour at all.

In fact I believe you can have a mediocre strategy and know sh*t about consumer behaviour theory and still deliver mind-blowing experiences.

The most common experience is created when two humans engage with one another. Yes, human-meets-technology creates an experience but it pales in comparison with the more frequent human interaction (I would argue in any event that the human - technology interaction should be modelled after the human - human one. It’s the benchmark that people use to set expectations).

The critical ingredient in human-to-human contact is emotion.

Does the server really care about taking care of the customer? Do they have the basic instinct and innate desire to serve others?

Because if they do, they will deliver crazy amazing experiences regardless of the specifics of the strategy.

Customer experience

These types of people would create dazzling experiences even if the strategy merely said “We intend to provide world class customer service” (YUK!).

“Head west” with your experience strategy but be obsessed with recruiting people who are born with the “caring virus”); who are “sick” with it and who naturally spread it to their colleagues.

Ask THEM how the human - technology interaction should look.

A pristine strategy without people who “love” people will go down in flames because execution is not an intellectual exercise; it’s achieved through acts of emotion on the frontline.

A vague strategy fuelled by human being lovers will deliver amazingness involuntarily.

P. S. And it’s NOT a training issue. You can’t train people to “love” other people. You can train ‘em to “grin” but that’s as far as it goes.

Just saying…

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

Recent articles you might like
12 ways to get the most out of your mentor
Employee incentives can lead to riches
7 steps to standout from the crowd

  • Posted 2.20.17 at 05:44 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

February 13, 2017

12 ways to get the most out of your mentor

I had many mentors throughout my career, and I selected each one with a definite purpose in mind.

Getting a return on investment from your mentors doesn’t happen through serendipity; it is the result of a methodical strategy executed day-in and day-out.

These 12 “mentor moves” paid off handsomely for me over my 3 decade career.

1. Try and move the relationship with your mentor to a 2-way one where over time they benefit and are not always the giver.

2. Engage regularly. Monthly. If you’re not with them continually you’re out of their mind. Take them for lunch; THAT is something they wouldn’t expect.

3. Share your achievements; wins and losses. Offer an analysis on why you have suffered a setback along with an action plan to correct.

4. Ask for advice on specific challenges in your work that you are facing, but present your solution for their comment. Bring your suggested solution to the table not a problem with an open “What do you think?” question.

5. Ask your mentor to refer you to their connections who might be able to help you.

6. Ask them to recommend networking events and organizations given your specific career goals.

7. Use “their eyes” for your resume. Ask them to review it and be overly critical.

8. Submit any major document you have prepared for their opinion. But don’t overload them; keep it brief and capture the salient points.

9. Connect with them on LinkedIn.  Invite their contacts to connect with you but only through a customized personalized invitation.

10. Know something personal about them; send them a note on special occasions you discover about them. Hand write the note don’t send an email, text or use social media remark.

11. Discover what they need and offer to support them in any way that you can. Your contribution may be modest but it’s the gesture that matters.

12. Honour them. Talk them up with respect to all of your friends and colleagues. Put positive energy in the universe and it just may be returned.

A mentor is an asset to you.

Manage them well.

And reap the rewards as your future unfolds.

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

Recent articles you might like
Employee incentives can lead to riches
7 steps to standout from the crowd
7 factors that will sustain competitive differentiation

  • Posted 2.13.17 at 05:35 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

February 6, 2017

5 simple ways to make employee incentives work effectively

Incentive programs are capable of achieving not only improved operating and financial and performance, but also “fun” in the workplace with an accompanying boost in employee morale.

But there’s a HUGE caveat: to be effective incentives must be driven by the strategy of the organization; they should never have a “life of their own”.

To make incentives an effective tool, follow these 5 rules:

1. Introduce a “strategic filter” to evaluate the worth of any incentive proposal. If a proposal can’t pass the strategic alignment test, modify it so it complies or don’t introduce it.
An incentive plan NOT directly linked to strategy will create dysfunction and confusion in the workplace.
Incenting sales to flog products, for example, when the strategy is to build intimate customer relationships might make sales happy but it produces zero return on investment as a tool of strategy.

2. Don’t copy what others do. “Me-to” incentives are boring and show employees that your not really interested in creating something special for them.
Morph what “the incentive herd” is doing into an approach that ONLY you provide.

3. Use one-time “contests” liberally in the workplace. They surprise employees and encourage greater participation. I introduced “dumb rules” contests to identify internal rules and policies that customers hated. It worked; employees had a blast, we made significant progress “cleansing our internal environment” and customer service results improved.

4. Communicate “the achievers” far and wide in your organization. You want to maximize involvement and realize the corresponding benefits.

5. Measure and track the benefits of each incentive program. Learn from how they perform; eliminate the losers and keep the winners.

Avoid jumping on the incentives bandwagon unless you put the discipline in place to reap the benefits.

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

Recent articles you might like
7 steps to standout from the crowd
7 factors that will sustain competitive differentiation
Don’t MAKE the list; DO the list

  • Posted 2.6.17 at 05:27 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink