I was working with the management team of a regional company. Their major assets are their facilities, and they work hard to make sure that each facility is the best in its market.
I knew I was in for a treat when the CEO opened the meeting, saying, “We’re doing very well right now, but if we don’t stop doing what we’re doing we’re going to go out of business.” Yow!
As the team spent a couple of hours defining their individual and collective strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, a common theme emerged. This team had worked so hard to perfect their operations, the next step was going to be to make that better known in their communities.
“My people think I have an easy job, I just get in my truck and go out a couple of times a week,” one manager (the first to embrace outside responsibilities) said. “I don’t think my people have the stamina to do what I do every week.”
Maintaining “The Fort” could easily fill all time available. Yet maintaining is not be the same as building their fort. They began putting a change plan together to maintain their existing superiority, while bringing their people out into the community on a managed basis.
Do you have an important activity that is keeping you from being successful?
What's the best use of time for a carpenter - building a customer project, or doing maintenance back at the shop. Duh! the former of course!
If you dig a hole in the sand near the ocean, it will fill with water every time. Yeah, everyone knows that - what's your point?
What about polishing the brass on the Titanic as it is sinking - brightest brass on any shipwreck ever!
Addressing the important but less obvious point is important, but requires vision to know what to address.
In the example, the folks were polishing brass while customers, existing & potential, went wanting for company contact...and other organizations were waiting to happily swoop in to fill that void.
Keep in mind that even if your service or product is totally and completely unique, there is competition just waiting for a chance to replace you with your customer.
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