How to Turn Every Failure Into a Measure for Success
Originally posted by http://www.twitter.com/LollyDaskal
Originally posted by http://www.twitter.com/LollyDaskal
As leaders we need to create a sense of urgency in our organizations to harness the collective energy of our workforce. It is important that the organization is always being enabled and challenged to improve, and indifference and apathy get rooted out. This is best accomplished through the establishing, and robust execution of key business initiatives developed during the annual planning process and the development of a results orientated culture differentiating your business to customers and employees alike.
”Leaders must inspire action not demand it.”
Employee buy-in is best accomplished through enablement and not coercion. Coercion creates rebellion / pushback and anxiety. When employees feel pressured to perform they look for ways to reduce it and this may result in low performance, withdrawal or departure. Any gains through coercion are short-lived. A good leader will challenge but will not dictate.
As a leader we must create an environment where purpose is clear and where employees are actively involved early in the process.
“Don’t tell me what to do ask me to how to achieve the desired result.”
Engagement occurs when employees value the accomplishment of the goal and feel connected to the achievement of it through their efforts and contributions. Ensuring roadblocks and obstacles are removed is a key management support action in ensuring employee efforts are not unnecessarily hampered with unneeded bureaucracy or other business inefficiencies. As examples these two disruptors a) unclear responsibilities / ownership creates unnecessary power struggles orb) indecisive management decision-making are real de-motivators.
Keys to Building Engagement:
As leaders we must step back and see things for what they are. I call this curb vision. This is looking at your business without bias and seeing things as they really are not as you would like them or accept them. Identifying where opportunity is and seizing it will ensure urgency is consistent and ongoing. Any Thoughts?
Customer retention matters more than chasing new ones. If your business leaks customers adding them won’t help in the long run. Finding out the reasons why they are leaving you and mitigating it is smart business.
I jotted down 50 ways you can lose them. Recognize any? Sure you could add 50 more.
Here’s my list enjoy!
1) They got me and they have stopped looking at others.
2) My deal is the best available.
3) I know exactly what they want.
4) Understanding stops at my door not at my customers.
5) Of course they see me as critical.
6) I don’t want to bother them so I leave them alone.
7) I let them know I care –I send them some chocolates at Christmas.
8) I guess my products and services are useful to them –they buy them right.
9) Complaining customers just want too much and I wish they would just go away.
10) Another complaint just like the others oh well.
11) So it was late – it got there.
12) Jack the price they’ll pay.
13) Customer visits are expensive and unnecessary.
14) Lose 3 gain 3 all’s good.
15) Competitors are a fact of life just ignore them and most go away.
16) My revolving door sales force is just another inconvenience to me.
17) My hard working employee Jack represents my company but the client is loyal to me right.
18) I don’t need non-competes it makes employee think I don’t trust them.
19) Let hire this guy he’s worked for 3 of our competitors over the last 3 years
20) Put them on hold they won’t mind.
21) Hey Jack at our large customer X apparently went somewhere else who knows.
22) Jacks replacement –whoever he is will keep buying right.
23) Anybody follow up with that pissed off customer yet.
24) Price is only important if you’re not the best.
25) Good service always results in price not being important.
26) Technology is expensive and doesn’t help me.
27) Customers usually won’t change if I don’t screw up.
28) Tradition is important I’m in so I’m good.
29) Value is in the eye of the beholder and my customer is color blind.
30) Never trip a race horse -leave well enough alone.
31) Disruptive what!
32) Sears has been around for 50 + years.
33) You dad used us so should you.
34) Cadillac is a ultimate sign of success.
35) What do the kids know anyways?
36) Mom’s home baking why appeal to her
37) Everyone wants us no point paying attention to our customer demographics
38) Sales are down its seasonal I guess.
39) Let’s jack up the price and offer a sales promotion.
40) Value is in the eye of the beholder but I know what my customers want
41) Let’s try this -maybe our customers might like it.
42) Market research is for those who don’t know -we do.
43) Sales are down let’s save some money cut marketing spending back.
44) Some many large players – where they getting the business
45) Amazon really?
46) Online shopping why?
47) “Why” Simon Sinek -think they care?
48) We don’t allow our employees to waste time looking at stuff online.
49) Better to react than anticipate.
50) Once you are on top the games over -you win.
This article is for anyone wanting more. Turning ambition into accomplishment requires focus and dedication but they alone without structure, often lack the substance to become reality. This article tells the story about how I set a goal to pedal my road bike 3000 km and the reasons why and how this challenge delivered so much more.
Life is what you make it. Being the person you aspire to be requires your passion, your committment and your dedication. To rise and maintain the quality of life you desire is a worthy challenge . The higher the standard, the greater the struggle, the more satisfying the achievement . The key is to understand why your goal is important to you. Goals that aren’t inspired with passion and personal meaning are difficult to attain and maintain.
I pursue my personal goals much as I would for my business goals. The crafting of a strategic plan, managing the implementation, and executing an ongoing committment to deliver the capabilities and realize the desired outcomes. While not as formal, the thinking is the same.
“Achieving your personal or professional goals requires focus on mind, body and spirit collectively.”
My 2017 initiative was to ride my bike 3000 kilometers. At 61 I felt I needed to attempt this challenge as an effort to challenge and re-energize myself. This was a very physical effort over a 5 month period that required determination, focus and undying desire to achieve. Challenging my body required harnessing the power of mind and spirit.
I felt it was such an important journey because it was a goal that entailed commitment over a five month period. It required me to invest and maintain a disciplined schedule. Because of the physicality of the goal there was a need to get in the mindset that I could do this and realize this was so much more important than the ride itself. I steeled myself against the body strains and pains, the scorching summer heat, the incessant insects and their bites, and the mental challenge not to succumb to the long rides / steep hills. The spiritual growth of achieving this new challenge had meaning in that it reconfirmed my core belief that given time and commitment almost anything is possible. In addition, enjoying the quiet solitude of being in nature and experiencing it’s awesome beauty was spiritually uplifting.
As with most new endeavors, doing it poorly until you get better meant my initial rides were short and challenging. As I continued I learned to do things better like how to pedal for distance. My early rides were around 20 km but gradually increased to 50 and 70+ kms rides. This also reminded me that I needed to pace my professional initiatives to perform better for longer as well. My first rides were short so the early progress was disappointing but I stayed committed. My emotions and personal will to achieve my goals, along with the tremendous sense of accomplishment kept me committed. This also transferred into my professional work. Things I knew I needed to get accomplished, but were not done timely due to procrastination, were now being completed.
While I realize that this accomplishment may be beyond other’s capabilities due to physical demands, interest or time constraints, and may be far beneath the accomplishments of others, it was a personal challenge appropriate to me. It is my attempt here to emphasize, to myself and others still reading, that the benefits and connectivity of mind, body and spirit is important and crucial. It truly helped me to get back in touch with myself and I sincerely hope you’ll consider these benefits as well.
As you can see below I did reach my goal just as the weather deteriorated to less desirable riding conditions here in Calgary. This was a personal victory along my path of self discovery and growth, a life long journey. I would also like to mention that while it is me pushing the pedals, I have a lot of support by those around me in my quest. My wife encourages me and allows me the time to pursue this and other initiatives. It is so incredible how others respect and encourage you when you make the goal public. Perhaps the whole humanity of helping others is the foundation of helping one’s self.
I am including brief lessons learned below…
Change management is indeed messy and often frustrating, but is an unavoidable reality. At some level people want it, need it, and perhaps desire it if only they could take a pill to make it happen.
Perhaps the biggest challenge in making change initiatives successful is accepting the reality of the situation by both the change facilitator and the leadership team. Perhaps the best way, my preferred approach, is to build awareness of the “current state”. I believe you must look back before attempting to go forward.
Looking backwards into what has worked and what hasn’t, in the recent past initiatives, is so revealing and builds an understanding of the organizations strengths and opportunities. I am not talking about the traditional SWOT analysis, which will come forward as the process evolves, I am referring to the debriefing of the prior attempts and identifying what lessons have been learned or need to be learned and identifying the true capability for change in the organization.
Building this awareness is necessary for the organization to accept responsibility and accountability. It’s pure insanity to repeat the same processes until the known causes of failure are understood and mitigated. Change involves making tough decisions about people, processes and purpose.
Every organization is unique and by understanding their capabilities, commitment and discipline levels, the change facilitator and leadership team can build a realistic path forward. And yes the change facilitator cannot be positioned as the champion but merely as the resource of best practices.
Without a winning strategy your journey has no destination and success would be an accident –they do happen but are unlikely.
At the foundation of strategy is finding a need for a good or service that is either solving a problem or creating a benefit that customers want and will pay enough for you to allow you to profit.
Understanding a market by the fundaments is an important first step.
There are 4 questions:
What is the market answers the question of what is being provided to meet a need of consumers of such value that there is a demand. For instance farmers grow the food that people must have unless they grow it themselves or restaurants are a market that serves prepared food. Both meet a defined need.
Why the Market exists is about understanding why the need exists and how that need is addressed. Farmers are needed because in much of today’s society people don’t grow their own food. Restaurants exist to serve people that can’t or don’t want to buy food and prepare it for a variety of reason.
Who are the leaders is about understanding how the market is currently being serviced by the major players of each definitive market segment. This is the understandings who, currently, are the major participants such as Kroger, WalMart or McDonalds. These players are market leaders in their respective category. There is great diversity on market segments, how providers service specific consumer groups, and who owns consumer mindshare within each category.
And finally how will you position your product or service to capture enough business to be successful by defining a unique offering and hopefully defendable position. By understanding the why the market exists the provider can position to meet the needs of specific consumer preferences. You don’t need to be the biggest to own a segment, but, you have to be unique enough to carve out your dominance and meet your segments consumer’s preferences. For instance Trader Joes does not compete with Kroger for selection or price but instead attracts and serves a specific customer group.
While the questions are simple the answers can be very complex and challenging. Successfully understanding the questions is essential to the crafting of the winning strategy for your organization. Strategy is about making informed choices and commitments that must concisely defined in your organization’s vision before the execution can be undertaken to successful achieve the strategy. Yes there is order in the universe.
One of the biggest challenges that organizations face is finding the time to implement the major initiatives that were developed during the planning process. In many cases the amount of time and effort required to put the vision into practice is under estimated and beyond realistic given the demands on already on your key resources. As a result critical business initiatives will go uncompleted and the gain unrealized.
“Almost anything can be accomplish given the time and resources required to implement”
In my experience organizations put 90% of the effort into strategy creation and the remaining 10% into the implementation plan. This kind of “figure it out on the fly” thinking places a huge burden on already busy key resources to find the time after the fact to develop implementation plans. Spending the time on implementation isn’t near as exciting as coming up with ideas but it is every bit as important. In practice the breakdown should be more 50 -50.
Here are some best practices for your consideration:
In the diagram below I have identified the four ways time is spend in organizations.Planning is time spend developing policies and practices. Execution is performing those policies and practices. Fire Fighting is time spend correcting errors that have occurred because policies and practices were either not performed correctly or are not defined. Crisisis time spent by managerial level resources to fix major customer impacting or costly operational errors.