People, oiling the machine of your Customer-Centric World (Part 2 of 6)

Without people, organisations simply do not exist. People form the cornerstones and the foundations of your business, creating your products, delivering your services, serving your customers on a day-to-day basis, and ultimately, delivering shareholder value.

Gears gears cogs bits n pieces
Creative Commons License photo credit: Elsie esq.

They are the ‘oil in the machine’.

Except that, in the post-industrial age, most companies can no longer continue to operate successfully on such a mechanistic basis.

In the information age, the best managed customer-centric companies function on a much more fluid, dynamic basis, allowing people to interact more freely, grouping and forming new, ad-hoc team structures organically as and when required.
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Is your consultant providing value – or an albatross?

Buying in the services of an external consulting firm is a scary business for company executives. How do you really know what you will get? Will they deliver lasting value to your business? Will they enhance your reputation and career internally, or will you suffer the same fate as the avian assassin in the ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’:

Don't end up adrift with pirate consultants
Creative Commons License photo credit: Nanagyei

Ah! well-a-day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

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Zen and the Master in the Art of Living

Inspirational quotes often strike a chord deep within us and can serve to encourage us through a particular phase in our life. The quote below has been with me throughout my career, and sums up my approach to life.

The Master in the Art of Living
The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he is always doing both.
From the Zen Buddhist text (well, so I used to think…..)

Despite its attribution to the Zen Masters, it would appear that a teacher and Unitarian minister called Lawrence Pearsall Jacks (AKA L. P. Jacks) wrote it in the 1930’s (not the Pulitzer Prize winner, James A. Michener as widely believed).

So – whilst I was dissapointed when I realised it was not a quote from an old Zen text, the intention remains the same, and still sums up my approach to life. Continue reading

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May the Fourth be With You: 15 ways the Wisdom of Yoda will help you to Unleash your Tiger

The George Lucas Star Wars franchise started in 1977 and is still sweeping the planet nearly 35 years later.  Like most pop/cultural phenomenon’s, the Star Wars series has spawned many memorable quotes.  This article explores how Yoda’s wisdom can be applied to everyday life – on planet earth.

“No! Try not. Do, or do not. There is no try.”
This is perhaps the best known of Yoda’s sayings.  We learn to say “try” when we are very young.  As adults, we continue to say we will try to do something.  Generally though the reality is, either we will – or we won’t – do it.  As Yoda sagely points out Continue reading

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Still focussing on your products? You’re doomed to extinction

Organisations that place their products and services at the centre of their corporate thinking face the same fate as the dinosaurs – they are doomed to extinction.  They need to change their culture and behaviours from the very core; to stop pushing products and to start winning customers hearts, minds – and wallet share.

If you are still focussing on your products, you're doomed to extinction
Creative Commons License photo credit: williamcho

Unfortunately, many companies are still plodding along with an outdated, and inward-facing view of their business world.  Whilst they continue focussing on themselves, the customer is moving on to develop relationships with companies that value them as individuals and that know just how – and when – to address their needs.

In order to survive (and thrive), 21st century businesses must Continue reading

Posted in Customers | Tagged , , , | 31 Comments