Customers experience pain

7 years ago 0 0 1104

Apple announce that iPhone 6 will go on sale at Midnight next Wednesday. By Monday evening, the queue is already forming.  Apple customers are putting themselves through 36 hours of ‘pain’ to become one of the first to own a new model of something they can get today. You walk about a kilometre, have to drag items out of a warehouse and load them onto a trolley to go through check out at Ikea.  Clients accept this pain to buy furniture (that will probably cause them even more pain when they get home and get out the allen key!) You have to wait on hold for a phone operator for two minutes – and the wait is intolerable! In business, we put our clients into three different types of pain: 1: Brand-reinforcing (valued) pain.  This pain, like queuing outside Apple stores, is part of the ‘story’ and enhances the perceived

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you get what you deserve

Leading Customer Service Excellence

7 years ago 0 0 2877

Leading Customer Excellence Sometimes common themes emerge which run through the work you are doing.  At the moment, there seems to be a deep need for engagement, for resilience and excellence in customer service. Perhaps they all stem from the same place – the environment that business exists in is tough – there are competitors, the customer has high expectations and the landscape is often changing through technology, regulatory change or economic pressure. We know that customers have access to unlimited information, often an overwhelming range of options and know their ‘power’ in dealing with organisations.  This makes the point of customer interface critical – we have to provide an excellence in experience which allows them to remain engaged and want to be our customer. How do we, as leaders, help our front line people consistently deliver great customer service?  This is one of the things I have been working

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Melbourne’s Chief Resilience Officer: A big step and big challenges

7 years ago 0 0 5549

We can build resilience at a personal level, in teams, organisations and communities.  I applaud the City of Melbourne for seeing the importance of resilience, and implementing the role of ‘Chief Resilience Officer’, supported as part of the 100 Resilient Cities Project of the Rockerfeller Foundation. I therefore read with interest the article in the Age ( talking about the challenges that Melbourne’s incoming ‘Chief Resilience Officer’ will face. In fact, the challenges are at least three times bigger than what is mentioned in the article. Firstly, the article really only covers preparation and management of crisis scenarios that impact upon the city.  Of course, the role of the Chief Resilience officer must encourage proper planning and preparation for crisis and stress events, but this is just the start. For Melbourne as a city, as a community, and a network of businesses and organisations, the new Chief Resilience Officer will

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Crisis – Are you ready for the inevitable?

7 years ago 0 0 1111

If you are in business, you should expect a crisis. Whether your organisation survives depends on how you manage it. Is your business in crisis, or have you ever suffered one? Often, businesses don’t know exactly when a crisis begins. A crisis can emerge because of competitive factors, external market factors and change in context, or even from internal actions. A crisis can either make or break an organisation. The way the crisis is handled and managed says a lot about the underlying culture, the underlying values and standards, the resilience of the leadership and the preparedness of the organisation to deal openly and directly with issues as they emerge. A crisis well managed has the opportunity to build massive trust with the communities it serves. It allows the organisation to demonstrate its core values to its target prospects and customers. A crisis badly managed is a recipe for disaster,

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Resilience – coping and adapting to stress and change

7 years ago 0 4 8318

I notice that recently the theme of resilience emerging in a range of conversations and contexts.  This has been apparent in working with individuals, as they face personal challenge, teams, organisations and even communities.  Resilience seems to be something highly valued, but difficult for people to either define or express in times when they need it. Resilience is a characteristic that is required when the context changes, and the individuals, groups or communities are looking for ways of dealing with the stress of the changed context.  They are looking for ways to relieve the stress and, if the change is permanent, to find ways to adapt.  Resilience is therefore the capacity to adapt your responses to stressful changes and context in productive ways. Exposure to stressful events has been shown to have an ‘inverted U’ correlation to being resilient.  This means that at very low exposures or very high exposures

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Defining what great executive coaching looks like

7 years ago 0 1 1568

Today I was asked a really important question by a client: “What does great executive coaching look like?” How would you answer this question? We were in the process of discussing an integrated culture change and engagement model, in which teaching coaching skills to leaders to enhance their effectiveness was one element, as was coaching for these leaders to help them drive sustainable change in the business. What do coaches actually do?  What is great coaching and how can you measure it?  How would you have responded to this question? My response went something like this: We live and work under circumstances that are both demanding and constantly changing.  As we change the organisation, or we move people within it, people have to adapt what they do to become most effective under that new circumstance. It is no good for someone to do what they have always done.  Even if it

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Business Psychology

7 years ago 0 0 1083

The most complex part of many businesses are also often their most valued assets – their people. In the business environment it can be hard enough for leaders to understand (let alone, predict!) the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of an individual, let alone what happens when people start to work together and interrelate. In this month’s CEO magazine, I wrote an article on business psychology, where I covered many of the aspects of business psychology that a leader really needs to know. For leaders to play their bigger games, they often need to start with self-awareness – understanding their own motivators, decision making processes and the conclusions they draw.  From this, leaders can explore how those they work with act, and how they can best relate to them. Often it is this point of interaction – where the complexities of individuals are multiplied by relationships- where clear frameworks can help

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A pocket full of change.

7 years ago 0 0 1414

A pocket full of change. Working with businesses all over the world, one of the biggest ‘common’ challenges of an organisation is how and when to change. As I outlined in a recent article in CEO magazine, change is a challenge, and we can either lead change because we are adapting ahead of the market, or we can change in an attempt to keep up. Often the only change that your leadership has a ‘handle’ on is the change in their pockets.  The fear of the unknown drives stasis.  It keeps people, teams and organisations stuck. Courage is feeling that fear, and taking appropriate actions anyway. For an organisation to continue to thrive, we sometimes have to change in ways that we could not imagine in the past.  We can capitalise upon our true core competencies and evolve the business and lead into the future, than trying to keep up.

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Organisational change: Expectation vs Action

8 years ago 0 0 1318

Many organisations struggle with the idea of change. There is a real desire to create something different, to evolve their organisation or to enhance efficiencies and effectiveness. However, there seems to be a real status quo within their business which creates an inertia that works against real change. Many leaders expect that simply wanting change is enough to drive change. The truth is the only way to change occurs in an organisation is through thoughtful and planned actions. Regardless of expectations of senior leaders, it is the actions that occur throughout the organisation that will determine whether or not change can occur, and if it will be successful. Breaking the status quo can be difficult. The context is created in the workplace and people learn the behaviours that suit the context. As change programs are rolled out, people rely on those old  behaviours and ways of doing things which served

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