Friday, November 17, 2006

LNB #027: Being Remarkable

Everybody says they provide great customer service and I do mean everybody. But most of what we call great customer service is merely more of the same ordinary stuff. Given the amount of noise there is out there, how can you be seen and heard over the roar?

Some considerations:
  • Remarkable will get you heard over the din.
  • Remarkable isn't what YOU think it is -- it's what your customers, vendors, suppliers and employees think it is.
  • Remarkable may be something small.
  • People may insist that your remarkable offering isn't feasible, necessary or possible.
  • Remarkable may develop over time and be imperceptible to you.

Now, getting an access to what makes you remarkable isn't as hard as you think. Ask the people who know, like, understand and trust you. They know. When I asked my circle of trust, they told me that they valued my forthrightness -- that I'd refuse an engagement with someone who I couldn't (or shouldn't help); they said my ability to connect people and ideas in new ways and my zest for exploration were invaluable. I'd thought those things were ordinary. I was wrong.

Read these books by Seth Godin:

Listen Now: 27 minutes, 13 seconds

Friday, November 03, 2006

Collaborate, Ya'll!

I listened today to the Tavis Smiley show. On it he had noted evolution biologist, Elisabet Sahtouris, author of Why I Remain an Optimist. She talks about how the world is getting hotter and the people are evolving. We're evolving from a competitive, aggressive world community to one that can spawn YouTube and MySpace.

Her prescription in the face of global warming and war? Collaboration! That makes her a goddess in my book.

Darwin's "Survival of the Fittest" mantra applied to business has gotten us Enron and host of other ills as business men and women strive to win at all costs. Sahtouris asserts that what's moved us out of the evolutionary "fight club" for survival is our ability to cooperate and collaborate.

Question is: What will it take for us to get it? In an increasingly global -- sometimes instantly -- market, we have to do more with each other to gain market share...not less.

LNB #026: Resistance is Futile!

OK. After chatting people up about their systems, strategies and plans, what's left? Their thinking, their habits and their behaviors. Chief among the things I'm seeing with biz owners and execs is resistance.

We're finding that resistance can be on one of two types: conscious ("I ain't can't make me") and the unconscious ("Whaddya mean I'm not with the program?") We spend lots of time dealing with the overt conscious resisters, but is there more?

Kurt Lewin's Model of Change:

  • Unfreeze: old systems comes back to conscious awareness and there's a commitment to change. Before trying to change the system, strategies or desired results, the behavior of the people in the company is "invisible."
  • Move: create and apply the new systems, strategies and plans. Here, it will take a concerted act of will coupled with supports to help people make the changes needed.
  • Re-Freeze: lock in new behaviors such that they become automatic

While you're changing, there are several types of resistance mindsets (Carol O'Connor)

  • Survivor (Covert/Unconscious): unaware that they're out of sync. Think they're operating from the new system
  • Zombie (Overt/Unconscious): seem unable to change and don't see their behaviors as resistance
  • Saboteur (Covert/Conscious): pretend to support the change, but inwardly hope the change will go away
  • Protector (Overt/Conscious): believe their refusal will help the company

Question: Which stage of change are you in in your business? Which resistance mindset are you in?

Listen Now: 26:30 minutes