Tuesday, 14 January 2014

You are the U in USP - guest post by Phil Jesson

This is a guest post by my colleague from the UK Phil Jesson.

I love Phil's concept of heart-count. I am sure you will too. 

I highly recommend all of Phil's 10 key tasks for 2014. Read on.

If you would like help with these tasks please contact Phil or myself.

All organisations are the same! 

There are directors responsible for some things and directors responsible for other things. There will be a good looking manager with no talent at all, an office bookie, a seasoned barrack-room lawyer, a cheerleader, some yes-men and a group of managers designing new reporting processes that make it difficult for others to get their work done on time. There will be a scapegoat, a trainee scapegoat and a supervisor for things beginning with “H”. In an office somewhere, a director will be writing a tailored mission statement (that looks like everyone else’s) and drafting “shared core values” (that nobody else shares or values!)

Elsewhere in the organisation there will be someone who doesn’t know what they are doing planning the departure of those that do, someone who thinks they are the top dog and someone who thinks they are the underdog. There will be an empty office from which strange sounds emerge (particularly after the Christmas party), a very bright, under-used graduate doing the filing and old “what’s his name?” sitting quietly in the end office. There will also be a PA working with the Directors who is actually running the day-to-day business, a sales-prevention department that claims to be customer-driven, a director responsible for moving the goalposts, a bitter and twisted manager with plenty of unresolved baggage helping to train impressionable new recruits and a relative of the chairman struggling to make it on their own merit.

There will be a keeper of good jokes, a keeper of bad jokes, a top salesperson who could sell an egg-beater to Humpty Dumpty’s widow, a young lad in Finance who always knows the sports results because he is constantly monitoring them on the web and a smarmy new sales manager who is busy pursuing his second conquest in the sales office!

Organisations are basically the same but you, the Chief Executive,
are the difference.
Next time you consider your organisation’s Unique Service Proposition remember that the “U” in USP…… …is actually You!

So if “you are the USP!” what do you need to do to be successful in the next decade? Without doubt, the best way to build a successful profit centre will be to build a successful passion centre! It starts with your values. These shape the culture which leads to employee fulfilment which creates customer satisfaction and loyalty which produces shareholder value.

A key measurement along this journey will be the heart-count in your organisation …..i.e. the number your people who have their hearts and minds passionately aligned with your goals and strategies. Ideally, of course, your organisation’s heart-count should match its headcount!

So what do you need to do in 2014 to build a passion centre, not just a profit centre? Here are ten key tasks for 2014.

Passion With Customers

1. Become an expert in the customer’s world – if you do, you will never have to sell again!

2. Add value not cost. Try asking yourself this question – “if my company was arrested and charged with adding value would there be enough evidence to convict it?”

3. Exceed customer expectations – just meeting them is not enough. Audit key accounts regularly to stay in touch with customer perceptions

4. Work as a partner not a supplier – make the decision to stand out from your competitors rather than stand up to them

5. Treat sales and service as a “team sport”. Remember that the quality of service you give the customer is influenced by the quality of service your people give each other

Passion With People

6. Leadership starts at the top or it does not start. Look around the boardroom table as Directors get the workforce they deserve. “There is no such thing as a bad regiment – just bad officers” (Field Marshall Slim)

7. Develop inspirational leaders, not irritating bosses – organisations need leaders capable of inspiring willing action

8. Develop leadership qualities not leadership skills – you don’t remember Ghandi and Churchill for their time management skills or their ability to run a good meeting!

9. Build a one-page strategic plan - everyone needs to understand it so that they can support it …………..then deliver it.

10. Make “change” a healthy process - increase the amount of involvement that people have in shaping their future. Interestingly, people do not resist their own ideas – if they help to plan the battle they won’t battle the plan!

Phil Jesson can be contacted via his website or telephone +44 7774 241 207 or email phil@philjesson.com

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian
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