Mon, 02/20/2012 - 14:51
Rethinking how organizations are designed and organization charts are drawn can be a performance success changer. Think about it… most organization charts are drawn as top-down from the board and CEO. The people that customers see most–-bank tellers, cashiers, call center operators and others–-are often at the bottom of the chart.
In this “organization driven” design, no one is looking at the customers. Teams trying to please the hierarchy can easily focus internally. That’s pretty normal behavior. And since people do more based on where they focus and where give their attention, customers don’t receive the best the distracted organization could offer. So, some customers go elsewhere. High performers often follow out the door.
Now, let’s consider a “customer pulled” organization. Customers are at the top, and included in all considerations. In this approach, leaders remove barriers and develop others throughout the organization. There can be transparency; everyone focuses on serving customers.
By now, there is great clarity that leaders’ primary role is to develop other leaders and make sure that they have the resources to be successful. The results from this behavior are transformational: everyone takes ownership, feels and is held accountable. They feel supported and reinforced for daily results as they deliver their best products and services to customers.
Knowing what works
In a “customer pulled” organization, everyone perceives customers to be a part of the organization, not external to operations. When this is the paradigm, on a real time basis team members know exactly what is working for their customers and what is not. Team members have the opportunity to create new competitive advantages, and their results will even become benchmarks.
Thus, team members experience immediate learning cycles and fix more things before they break. They make innovative changes. Therefore, the customer pulled inclusion design creates an exciting and powerful trajectory for competitive advantage. It works extremely well because customer inclusion creates one team that is truly “customer pulled.”
For sustainable performance success, we need to move forward by moving more deeply into understanding our current and potential customers. Advancement does not take place by making one lateral move after the other over time. This approach only generates a consistent incremental trajectory of performance instead of innovative transformational results.
Why wait one more day to make the success changer an actual reality versus an illusion in our organizations?
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Mary L. Burkhardt, BS, MA, CAS is a Senior Consultant at McArdle Ramerman. She helps clients create strategy and engagement for execution, positioning ever-maturing leaders and team members to win in a highly competitive global marketplace.
Click here for more about her.