Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Getting Through the Tough Times

With all this economic turmoil, the typical response of the average person is to freeze. For ordinary companies, freezing spending is an easy short-term "solution", but it has significant long-term ramification. Cutting back on investing in what creates the results, only serves to undermine the ultimate results themselves.

That's why extraordinary companies do NOT freeze. They may cut back on certain non-strategic expenditures (which makes sense), but in order to get better results in difficult times, they actually focus MORE on investing in what generates those results: their people and their customer experience.

No wonder that, when the dust settles, these legendary companies have extended their lead in the marketplace.

Certainly something to consider...only if you want to be extraordinary, of course.

Think about it...but more importantly, act upon!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Internal Customers

One thing I've found that's odd to me: business leaders all want to provide the best service and they make the mistake of focusing all their efforts on their external customers. Well, exactly who delivers that service to the external customers? The front line! Ultimately, the level of service is dictated by the quality of the source of that experience - the front line worker's behaviors.

World-class companies consistently provide an extraordinary environment for their workers. This doesn't mean spoiling them with catered meals, free dry cleaning, and expensive toys. It does mean understanding them, listening to them, and supporting them by providing tools and opportunities...just like the criteria for the external customers. Great internal service extends out and impacts the quality of the external service.

The same tools that help us be effective with our external customers will allow us to accomplish the same with our "internal customers".

What are some best practices you've seen/heard of for providing excellent low/no cost internal customer service?

Think about it...but more importantly, act upon!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Thriving in Tough Times

I've noticed something about tough times and the organizations that thrive in the midst of them. Maybe you've noticed too...

It seems that there's an interesting pattern: the corporate environment goes screwy (bad economy, social upheaval, tech revolution, etc.) and when the dust settles, some company has risen dramatically. Ever notice why?

What consistently happens is that a leader/organization will use the window of uncertainty (when most are simply standing around watching the dust flying and focusing on staying "safe") to aggressively focus on improving their fundamentals and begin developing a game-changing strategy to capitalize when everything settles.

When the circumstances in your industry start to get crazy, that is the best time to invest in creating "an unfair competitive edge".

Think about it...but more importantly, act upon