Roy's Blog: December 2014
December 15, 2014
What if you didn’t think of your business as:
A car dealership
A wireless company
A hardware store
A ski resort
A cocktail lounge
A computer repair company
What if you decided you were in “the experience creation” business and THEN plug in your product or service?
This means that your product would “play” into an experience context. The experience creation process would be architected and then a product or service would be inserted into the mix.
The number one priority would be the experience; products come second.
Back in the day, The Grateful Dead had the objective of creating mind blowing experiences for their fans. Everything they did was aimed at enhancing their fans’ experience. And along the way, they sold (and still sell) millions of records and memorabilia.
Richard Branson created a customer service culture and “applied it” to a number of businesses: music, travel, broadcasting, personal financial services, cosmetics, communications and the list goes on.
It’s a powerful notion. It’s different.
It’s not something the herd does.
Must be something to it…
- Posted 12.15.14 at 05:15 am by Roy Osing
December 8, 2014
Organizations typically seek strategic advantage through grand plays like establishing operational excellence, creating unique products or services or achieving a low cost position.
Whereas these are important considerations, finding your competitive advantage can be less complicated and can be realized at a much more fundamental level.
It’s about the individual person and what they do every time they “touch” a customer.
Case in point.
We have been vacationing at the Marriott Maui Ocean Club for many years and have grown into solid Marriott fans.
They have us.
After we checked in:
1. The housekeeper (aka the EVP of brand control), Aree, remembered my wife likes extra hangers. She recognized our name and we stepped into our room with an abundance of hangers in our closet. AND she made a point of mentioning it to us.
2. The bar tender, Charlie, who makes amazing banana bread, remembered we love it and gave us a mini loaf from his cache behind the bar when we showed up for our first (ok second) drink.
2. Nic, the most unbelievable bar server I have ever known, remembers the full repertoire of drinks and light lunches we usually order.
These people didn’t learn this in a training class other than being told that Marriott’s strategy is “... to ensure your stay with us is unforgettable”. They do it naturally.
They want to do it.
A place you consider “home” has a competitive advantage over other choices you have because their employees consistently REMEMBER the little (BIG) things about their loyal fans.
- Posted 12.8.14 at 05:01 am by Roy Osing
December 1, 2014
Your business case has been approved. Yes! All your hard work has paid off.
The hours of research and analysis. The days of lobbying spent gaining for support for your proposal throughout the organization.
Make no mistake about it though.
All you have done is make the “paper case” that your proposal will succeed and deliver the benefits you have postulated. The paper case is merely a theoretical construct that shows a result given a number of assumptions. There is no guarantee that the results you expect will materialize.
The most egregious example of this that I have seen is acquisition proposals. The accretive benefits of acquiring a company look great on paper but are rarely realized because the plan wasn’t implemented that way it was intended.
The critical work happens AFTER your plan has been approved.
Execution brings your case to life. If execution is flawed, results miss the mark regardless how pristine and theoretically pure the paper case is.
Roy’s Rule: Whatever the number of hours invested in developing your business case, invest 3 times more effort in creating and fulfilling a detailed execution plan.
Your execution plan should contain these elements:
1. The specific steps that must be taken - The WHAT
2. The individuals who are accountable for each step - The WHO
3. The expected completion date for each step - The WHEN
4. A schedule of meetings to review progress. Which steps have been accomplished; which are behind. And what is the action needed to get back on track.
5. Contingencies for when things go off track (and they will). “Plan B” work is extremely critical to success yet it is rarely done. For some reason people think that the business case will actually come off as originally planned. That the assumptions will all prove to be correct. I have never seen this happen. Be good at anticipating; be great at responding when things go wrong.
6. A post-implementation review 12 months after investments were made to see if the business case benefits were realized. Did results = expectations? If not, what actions (with WHO and WHEN) need to be taken to remedy the situation?
Your business case has given you the right to commit resources to a given course. Don’t assume that it will deliver the results you expect.
Success comes only from post approval discipline and hard labor.
- Posted 12.1.14 at 04:42 am by Roy Osing
November 24, 2014
Strategy is just as much about what you’re NOT going to do as it is about what you ARE going to do, but less attention is paid to the CRAP elimination activity.
CRAP is the enemy of progress. It’s the stuff that may have been a priority at one point, but is now no longer relevant to achieving our strategic goals.
If it isn’t expunged from your organization the ‘old’ will continue to have a significant role and the ‘new’ will be hampered. The major source of bandwidth for taking on new activities is the time currently being spent on thinks that really don’t matter.
CRAP will keep you stuck and prevent you from moving forward.
How to eliminate the CRAP?
1. Assign a Cut the CRAP Champion to be responsible for inventorying ALL projects going on in your organization.
2. From this inventory, create a KEEP Category. Make it short. Bear down on the projects to make sure each one of them is 100% aligned with your new direction.
3. Create a CUT Category. Make it long. Gather all questionable projects. These will be the eventual source of bandwidth for new activity.
4. For each CUT project, note the person who is currently working on it. The Project Prime. At the end of the day, people will have to be re-assigned to the ‘new’.
5. Have a CRAP Critical Assessment Meeting. Involve the senior team responsible for the execution of your new strategy. Trot each CUT Project Prime into the room and have them explain in detail how their project relates 100% to the new strategy. Side benefit: you will see how well they really understand your new strategy.
6. Decide THEN which CUT Projects will be terminated and the resource savings that will result.
7. Develop a Resource Re-assignment Plan. Be prepared to exit people who either don’t have the skills to take on a KEEP Project or who don’t want to support your new direction.
8. COMMUNICATE the results of your work. KEEP Projects and CUT Projects and why certain projects were terminated. A great opportunity to talk about your new strategy. Involve the team accountable for executing your new course.
CUT projects have momentum. They need to give way for the KEEPERS. Tough work. Critical to your success. Get on it. TODAY!
- Posted 11.24.14 at 04:00 am by Roy Osing