Roy's Blog: Leadership
May 20, 2013
The fading technology. Old School perceived by most everyone.
Whatever you want to call it, the phone has gotten a bad rap in the face of technologies such as IVR Systems, Voice-to-Text, Email, Text Messaging and Social Media.
The pendulum has swung from a phone-centric world to a world characterized by “let’s-use-every-technology-possible-to-avoid-having-a-conversation-with-another-human”. Sarcasm intended.
For me, the irony is anything but subtle.
Every organization wants to have “more effective communications” with employees to share information, provide strategic direction and direct action.
With customers to explain a value proposition that hopefully will result in a sale.
Unfortunately, however, they are employing solutions that REDUCE communications effectiveness.
Relevant information to individuals is lost in mass media technologies.
Organizations are distancing themselves from Humans by inserting technology in the middle.
Intended outcomes from communication are not achieved as employee and customer reaction can’t be heard and acted on.
The phone is Old School from a technology point of view, but it is now the New School from the point of view of connecting and engaging with people.
With developing a “high touch” culture like Zappos. They actually encourage their customers to call them. An invitation that The Herd generally avoids for cost reasons. How crazy is that?
Inject a healthy dose of the “H” (Humanity) Factor back into organizations.
Invite people to call. Have a conversation.
Go retro. Go phone.
May 13, 2013
A message to Leaders.
Want to find out what is REALLY going on in your organization?
Venture into The Pit.
A Bear Pit Session is Managing by Wandering Around (MBWA) on steroids. It is not a casual experience. It is not an event involving your entourage.
It IS about the Leader with no support engaging with employees in a no-format session.
An opportunity for people to “tell it like it is”. What’s working and what’s not.
The incredibly stupid things they think are going on.
The ridiculous way they treat customers.
The “Dumb Rules” that prevent them from doing the job they want to do.
I did The Pit every week. It was on my calendar.
It was one of the most important drivers of my effectiveness as a leader.
You’ll like it (or not).
May 6, 2013
Very interesting experience I had at The Marquess Anglesey Pub in London.
My wife and I were finished our lunch (awesome burgers!) and I was trying to get the Server’s attention to get the check. This chap was on the run. The place was crazy busy and all the Servers were struggling to keep pace with what their customers wanted.
After a few minutes, he noticed my antics and mouthed “Can I be with you a moment?”.
I was impressed with his question:
He was obviously looking around the crowd in the Pub trying to be aware of anyone who needed service.
Once he saw that I needed his attention he acknowledged that I needed help.
He then asked for permission to come back and serve me “in a few moments” once he finished what he was currently doing.
Awareness. Acknowledgement. Placing the customer in control. Letting me make the decision on whether I want him to STOP what he is doing and satisfy me or not.
Result: he got what he wanted. I gave him permission to take care of his “in flight” task before coming over to me. AND I felt good about the interaction because I felt I had control. I made the call to wait.
Lesson for Servers. Always ask for permission to NOT respond to what your customer demands.
I waited. My needs were not satisfied. But it was MY choice. And I was delighted to wait.
My Latest eBooks….
April 29, 2013
Innovation is critical to the success of any organization. But the process must be guided by a context, a philosophy and strategy to BE DiFFERENT from The Competitive Herd.
Here are 6 Rules to keep in mind:
1. It is critical to establish a context for Innovate! Idea generation and brainstorming is a waste unless it is guided by strategic direction. Use your Strategic Game Plan (SGP) as the frame to drive your Innovate! activity.
2. Every SGP has a number of Objectives with accountability and time-frames assigned. Establish specific Innovate! Objectives in your SGP to focus on the specific elements which require you to create a “new box”.
3. Target your Innovate! Objectives around Your ONLY Statement. It should be your beacon to follow because it establishes your unique position in the market. Many organizations follow Best Practices. This is OK if you want to improve delivery of your Core Service but it’s NOT OK if you want to stand-out from the competition. Copying a Best Practice is a catch-up game at best. Follow your ONLY Statement.
Roy’s Innovate! Rule: Consider Best Practices to deliver flawless Core Service and your ONLY Statement to leave The Herd.
4. Develop your People Plan to acquire and develop the Innovate! Skills and Competencies you need (as defined by your SGP).
5. Design Reward and Recognition Programs around your Innovate! Objectives. If you don’t, you will do nothing but encourage the status quo.
6. Leverage your Customer Learning (link) capabilities to drive the Innovate! process. Use both Analysis and OBSERVATION to know everything there is to know about The WHO you have chosen to serve. Follow their lead.
Innovate! with urgency.
Don’t ponder too long.
Your SGP is your lifeline.