Generally, I record my book reviews on Goodreads but this book by Tony Schwartz was so close to the core mission of BatesHook that I wanted to share it with a wier audience.
The basic premise of the book is: “The furious activity to accomplish more with less exacts a series of silent costs: less capacity for focused attention, less time for any given task, and less opportunity to think reflectively and long term.”
Below are a few of the big ideas that resonated with me:
” Rather than trying to get more out of people, organizations are better served by investing more in them and meeting their multidimensional needs in order to fuel greater engagement and more sustainable high performance.”
“We think of leaders as “chief energy officers.” The core challenge for leaders is to recruit, mobilize, inspire, focus, and regularly refuel the energy of those they lead.”
“Our core emotional need is to feel secure – to be valued and appreciated. The more we feel our value is at risk, the more energy we spend defending it and the less energy we have available to create value.”
“When we default reactively to telling negative stories, we almost invariably assign ourselves the role of victim. It feels better not to blame ourselves for disappointments, but the victim role undermines our power to influence our circumstances. The alternative is to intentionally look for where our responsibility lies in any given situation – and then take remedial action on any part of it that we’re in a position to influence.”
“The key capacities of the right hemisphere – creative and big-picture thinking, openness to learning, and empathy – are a largely untapped source of competitive advantage, both for individuals and for organizations.”
“Deeply held values define the person you aspire to be. They’re what we’re rooted in and what we stand for – an internal compass that helps us navigate the storms and the choices we all inevitably face.”
“There’s a deep disconnect between what many companies say they stand for and what they actually do. This disconnect takes a toll on employee engagement, on productivity, and ultimately on organizational success.”
“A new way of working ultimately requires an evolutionary shift in the center of gravity of our lives – from “me” to “us”.
This is a mature book, deeply rooted in research and real-life examples. It’s for anyone that feels that we’re in the middle of a transformative revolution and doesn’t have an internal blueprint how to work and live in/with this new reality. The content is not limited to workplace issues, it deals with the much bigger issue of becoming a better person and leading a fulfilling life.
Tags: chief energy officer, Collaboration, Corporate Strategies, engagement, fulfilled life, goodreads, Human Business Design, Organizations, Performance, right hemisphere, Stakeholder Contribution, Stakeholder Satisfaction, Stakeholder Value, tony schwartz
2011 will be the year when co-creating and collaborating through Social Media will begin to become more important than using the channels or people as messaging tools. And Customer Service will be become the transformative force to deliver on this promise.
Many enterprises we talk with consider this as their highest priority. They understand the need to improve quality of their Customer Service.
Changing from defensive to pro-active Customer Service is a natural adjustment to the changes in our daily behavior. We don’t care where service comes from (Customer Service, Marketing, Clerk, etc.), we just want good service.
One of the key changes will be pulling Customer Service out of the dark alley into the light of transparency. While many companies started to listen to customer expressions, they still try to take the conversation “off-line”, “off the grid”. They treat customers like parents their kids when they have an adult conversation: “Nothing to see here.” This paradigm will be reversed in 2011:
- Customer Service will become public. Utilizing the channels to spread the word about good experiences. And providing a psychological barrier for each stakeholder to deliver sub-par service. It’s tough to perform badly in public.
- Enterprises will reverse their strategy from passively waiting for customer feedback to actively looking for it.
- Customer Service will be moved (figuratively and literally) from the edges of the enterprise to the center. This will require organizational changes that will impact each division and stakeholder.
All these changes will finally help delivering on the promise of “Service as Marketing”.
It’s going to be an exciting 2011.
Tags: conversations, customer service, defensive, enterprises, Marketing, pro-active, Stakeholder Satisfaction, Stakeholder Value, stakeholders, transparency
We’ve heard it many times before: Customer Service is the new marketing. Books have been written about it, presentations given and blogs are filled with this insight. And, most executives understand the importance of delivering supreme service to their customers? Given all that, why are most companies still delivering sub-par Customer Service? Why are we still dealing with phone trees, scripts, badly designed forms? Where id the disconnect?
Most companies are not designed to deliver on the ‘Service as Marketing’ promise
David Armano wrote an insightful post “Social Media Marketing won’t fix your infrastructure problem.” He explains:
“Every business has a series of systems and infrastructure in place to keep it running. Even if the goal is to EVOLVE the communications/marketing arm of your organization because you fundamentally believe that the game is changing—there is no way to do it without picking up the hood and looking at the engine. Not just the oil or the windshield fluid level, but the ENTIRE engine.”
While many marketing departments are evolving and trying to tap into the power of Social Media, the rest of the enterprise continues to work under the old paradigm of Customer Service as a cost center. The much lauded @ComcastCares can’t hide the fact that Comcast as an enterprise doesn’t value their customers as much as they should. Or as Jonathan Salem Baskin writes in his brilliant column titled “The Twitter Tax”
“Tools like Twitter aren’t some dream of customer empowerment, but rather the nightmare reality of the broken relationships between consumers and brands. Responding to online complaints is a tax that companies pay because of the chronic mismatch between what consumers expect from brands and what they ultimately get. An individualized response might momentarily bridge the gap, but it won’t fix it. Never will.”
While I encourage companies to listen and respond on these new channels, the highest priority of companies should be to work on the basics – and improve Customer Service to a point where no more complaints will be expressed and employees and more focused on helping people, less on servicing them. (Just in case you need a few stats to convince the decision makers in your enterprise: Among customers who leave a customer interaction angry, 91% will never come back and 96% of those people will never tell us why they left)
It requires a corporate-wide rethinking of all customer touch points: phone, email, forms, attitudes. But, most importantly, Customer Service Departments have to transform from cost centers to profit centers. No, I’m not talking about up-sell scripts.I’m talking about improving loyalty and customer satisfaction. It requires the design of a new enterprise system that puts Customer Service at the center of all activities. This allows companies to regard each customer interaction as an opportunity to deliver a superior experience and be sincerely helpful.
Tags: Collaboration, Corporate Strategies, cost center, customer service, david armano, enterprise systems, infrastructure, phone trees, profit center, service as marketing, Stakeholder Satisfaction, Stakeholder Value
I recommended blogging to a corporate client 5 years ago and he just looked at me and said “I don’t know anyone who reads blogs.” Nowadays, he blogs religiously each and every day.
I recommended tweeting to a client 3 years ago and encountered blank stares. Client has now more than 100,000 engaged followers.
I could rationalize these case studies as wins. But, they are not. They came around to blogging and tweeting not because of me. I recommended the right thing but I didn’t convince them. I didn’t have the right arguments. Stats. My pitch wasn’t good enough. Whatever.
There’s a difference between understanding what has to be done and convincing others. I knew what had to be done. But I lacked in my abilities to convince them. Don’t blame your clients when they don’t follow your advice. Blame yourself.
Tags: Advertising, blogging, client, clients, rationalization, Stakeholder Value, tweeting, wisdom
“When we are narcissistic, we are not on solid ground (earth) or thinking clearly (air) or cought up in passion (fire). Somehow if we follow the myth, we are dreamlike, fluid, not clearly formed, more immersed in a stream of fantasy than secure in a firm identity.” – Thomas Moore
Mediocre brands love to talk about themselves. Just like the dull dinner companion or date that can only talk about him or herself. It’s hard to escape a dinner date, it’s easy to escape mediocre brands. I just tune them out, throw their stuff in the garbage, don’t even see them.
Great brands talk about what they believe in. What they are passionate about. What they love. They take a stand and tell you what they’re standing against. Sharing with the world what your really believe in is inspiring. Sharing a passion with the world makes people want to connect with a brand. It’s so much easier to connect with people when you share your real identity with the world.
What is your brand passionate about?
Tags: Advertising, Brand Experience, branding, Corporate Strategies, inspiration, love, narcissism, passion, Stakeholder Satisfaction, Stakeholder Value, thomas mediocre