Last week the circus was in town, we went; I wish we hadn’t. I knew it was going to be bad when, on the way in, the magic was spoiled by the clown standing outside having a coke and a burger. The tent leaked, the seats we cramped, but the worst thing was that the acts were rubbish. There was an acrobat who did some handstands, a horse rider who did a fancy trot (well she made the horse do it), and a juggler who was good at playing drunk (actually I think he really was smashed so he could get through the monotony of the show).
But worst of all, the whole thing was really expensive. Beef burger rolls were £3, a cup of tea £1.80 and a whirly thing for Matthew, which he claimed he couldn’t do without, was a fiver. It was clear that their purpose was to extract as much money as possible from the audience. They even charged £5 to have a photo taken with a Shetland pony, and yes Matthew needed that too.
A few years ago we were holidaying in Florida and I had the privilege of experiencing Cirqe du Soleil. It was unbelievable. Each act was better than the last: skateboarders, BMX bikers, jugglers, trapeze artists who all performed feats that made the audience gasp. And it cost us a fortune but, strangely, I don’t remember the money, my overriding memory is how quickly the time passed. To me, it was obvious that their purpose was to entertain, be memorable, and be talked about. And I guess they figured that money would look after its-self if they were remarkable.
Right now our economy needs remarkable. We need products that sell globally, businesses that people can be proud to work in, and public services that are the envy of the world. Also I believe people want remarkable in their life; it’s the reason we fall in love, have children, or just go to the movies. And when an organisation provides a fantastic experience, especially when we didn’t expect it, we talk about it, and their reputation grows.
Unfortunately my only remarkable (business transaction) last week was when, Michelle (Clair_michele@yahoo.co.uk), a local caterer made cakes for a course. That’s sad isn’t it? I called my mum to tell her I had a memorable meringue. So how do we get better? We have to start with purpose.
The problem is that the wrong sense of purpose drives the wrong behaviour. Take a simple system like a contact centre. As John Seddon, chief exec of Vanguard, says “people do what you count not what counts.” And because what is typically measured* is calls per hour, talk time and wrap up time (time off the phone) is what is measured the de-facto purpose becomes to do whatever you have to do to get the customers off the phone. An agent can hit his numbers get accolades from his manager whilst at the same time be delivering appalling service. You only have to call BT, British Gas, Sky TV or Vodaphone to experience how it feels to deal with an organisation with a warped sense of purpose.
But the problem of a purpose goes much deeper than contact centres. Our banking system was built on incentive schemes to encourage managers to hit their loan targets. These loans were then bundled up and sold. When they later become toxic they had to be shored up by the banks. At the heart of the banking crisis is poor management thinking, that drove the wrong behaviour. And worst of all they still don’t know what they did wrong, so will likely go on to do the same thing again.
Evidence shows that organisations who define their purpose from the customers perspective service will improve, costs will fall and organisations themselves become remarkable. We have seen this is in housing associations when the purpose is redefined to diagnosing calls correctly, handling and scheduling calls one stop, completing work one stop, doing it quickly and efficiently. In one local council the time to do a repair went from 212 days to 11. The volume of work and costs then fell because the diagnosis was good, the parts were right and tradesmen could complete jobs in one visit. In housing repairs this is the equivalent of doing a quadruple somersault on the trapeze. And according to the customers the transformation was remarkable.
So how to you develop your purpose?
1. Get clear on who the system was set up to serve
a. In housing repairs it’s the tenants
2. Then ask “what are we trying to do for them?”
a. Fix a repair
3. Next “How do they want it done”
a. One stop, quickly, correctly, with no mess and at the most economic cost to the system
4. Now put both pieces of the purpose together
a. Purpose: To Fix a repair, quickly, one stop, correctly, with no mess and at the most economic cost to the system
5. Finally take a measure of how well you achieve your purpose and then get to work fixing the gap.
And though for most folks achieving the above purpose would be good enough, some of you might just want to be remarkable? if so, it’s simple, redefine your purpose; for example “fix repairs” becomes “prevent repairs.” And I don’t know about you, but when I deal with organisations, I’d really like more remarkable in my life.
So what about you? Are you Cirque Du Soleil or cirque du sorry? If the latter, maybe it’s time to redefine your purpose.
Over the past eighteen months I have lost almost three stone. It’s been hell. I have two pounds to go before I go on holiday next week, and as I was dying on the treadmill this morning I was thinking how there are lessons from dieting that can be applied to change programmes.
1. Admit you have a problem
For me I spent my thirties putting on weight, I went from eleven stone to over fifteen. And with each stone I put on I just managed to convince myself that it was a natural turn of events, I was just getting older.
Then two things happened to shake me out of my complacency. The first was that when I turned 40 I got a letter from my Doctor to go for a cholesterol test. My cholesterol turned out to be five points higher than average (I tried to explain to the doctor that using averages was not a good way to think about measurement) but in the end he won; no contest really especially as I had high blood pressure, and was (at 5ft 9inchies) the weight of man considerably taller. My GP told me that if I didn’t lost weight I’d be going on drugs to reduce my cholesterol, and as these drugs were not the good kind, I reluctantly decided to get dieting.
But the real crisis came when I feel asleep on the couch with Matthew on my stomach. Denise took a, supposedly cute, photo. But let’s say that the reason that my three year old went to sleep on my tummy was because it resembled (although I think I was photo shopped) a fluffed up pillow. It was then that I decided enough was enough.
In organisations it’s much the same. The once lean healthy company starts to get sluggish. The processes can no longer cope with the variety of demands of placed on the system and the whole thing starts to slow down. The people, much like blood in an unfit body, can’t perform in the way that they want to and after a while they give up.
But often leaders won’t admit they have a problem. Setanta sports, a predominantly football TV channel, have just gone bust. Vicky, a Vanguard consultant, tried to arrange Setanta sports for her Dad’s Christmas.Â The process was so convoluted that in the end he got a jumper (obviously both Dad and Setanta lost out there). Vicky wrote to the TV company to point out where they went wrong, they wrote back apologising but saying there was no problem. Setanta went bust because of lack of subscribers; I wonder how many people tried to become a customer but simply gave up in the end because it was too difficult.
So step one is that for the leaders to admit there is problem. Often however they are too remote from the business and their measures tell them nothing about its health. Hence they need to get into the operations and find out how it feels to be a customer of the business. Listen to demand, find out how much is failure, how much is handled one stop, get data on actual capability to fulfil a customer request, ask what is the purpose of a process and see how well it achieves its purpose.
Admitting you have a problem is by far the most difficult step, and though some might see it as recognition of failure, you need to get there so you can move forward.
I decided that I would remove all Ch’s from my diet. This meant no more cheese, chips or chocolate (or white bread, or biscuits, or white pasta etc). I replaced the bad stuff with low GI carbs (ooh listen to me), proteins that were low in fat, and fibrous vegetables. During the first two days I would have happily traded my house for a wispa, but I soon realised that most of my eating habits were simply that, bad habits.
Managing change is just the same, purge the P’s. Get rid of the policies, processes and performance indicators that don’t work. Many of the rules and process exist simply out of habit, “that’s the way we’ve always done it” I frequently hear people say. But if they don’t add value then they should be removed and changed for healthier option.
To find out what works and what doesn’t requires that build you have a picture of how the system works from the customers perspective such as this system picture of the West Lothian criminal justice system. The areas shown in red were those that required change. And don’t forget that changing the process is not enough, the deeper issues such as management thinking is ultimately what needs to be tackled. It’s much like losing weight, giving up Mars(TM) bars isn’t enough you have to actually change your lifestyle.
3. Keep track using visual measures.
I could not have lost weight without weight watchers. I entered my food daily on their points calculator. It kept me honest and gave me an awareness of what I could and couldn’t eat the rest of the day. Every so often I just eat what I want but I still put it in to the calculator, and then I work extra hard (two hours cardio and a green bean for tea) the next few days to get my points back.
The other great thing about the weight watchers site is that you enter your weight once per week and you get a graph to show you just how far you have travelled. After all every so often we all need to be reminded that we have done and can do remarkable things in our lives.
Change programmes work the same way. To get it going you need to be honest about where you are right now and to keep it going to you need constant updates about how you are doing on a daily basis. This is best done via a visual measures board
A visual measures board should do three things.
Give you instant data on how the business is performing today.
Provide insight into why it is not working
Remind you of what you have achieved.
I recently attended a visual board meeting run by Alison Angus at Edinburgh city council, the new system had been going well but then started to flounder, as Alison said “at least we knew and were able to get the new system back on track quickly, this would not have happened without the regular board meetings”. Why not set up a visual measures board this week. A PDF on the rules of running a board meeting can be downloaded here.
4. Get expert help
Once into my diet for a few months I soon hit a plateau. I wasn’t getting the results that I thought I should have been getting. So I sought out some help. I started to train with a fantastic personal trainer who sorted out my diet and training. Most importantly he became my conscience and kept me on the straight and narrow.
It was Deming that said that managers need help externally to see their business differently. Hence the role of external help is to show leaders how the business works from the customers perspective and how this is connected to how leaders think.
Laurence Barrett (now Chief Executive of Falkirk Enterprise) reports that when he was a Director of VELUX that they were losing sales because front line staff were incentivised to only take calls from people who wanted to buy a product now. Those customers that wanted to ask questions (that may have led to a sale) they were passed around the business, and left to shop elsewhere. Laurence says that he would never had seen the problem (his incentive scheme) unless he had someone come in from the outside to give him a different perspective on how to view the problem.
5. Get objective feedback and never stop improving.
Finally during my diet it was important to have people around me that gave me honest feedback about how I was doing. This wasn’t very difficult. I remember asking Daniel (fifteen year old son) if my stomach looked smaller he replied “I don’t know dad it’s currently blocking out the light from the sun so I can’t see anything.” My family keep my on the straight and narrow.
On a change programme it’s common for leaders to stop once they have made some gains, often because those around them get complacent. So it’s important to get a vision of what perfect would look like and continually remind people that the end goal is to be remarkable.
Let’s be honest at forty two it’s unlikely that I will ever look remarkable but in shooting for the best it may at least avoid Daniel calling me chubby dad, and for me that will be good enough. But I want to finish with the best bit of advice I got which was: don’t wait, start today.
What about your business is it unfit? Does it need to change? When are you going to start?
At 10.50am on the 29th of November 2005 Matthew, my youngest son, was born. He was seven weeks premature and weighed only four lbs. Denise had to go into the operating theatre so I was alone at the side of Matthew’s incubator feeling scared and helpless. He was crying, so in an effort to try to do something I put my hands on either side of his little plastic cot and prayed he would be ok.
I was startled by a whisper in my ear. It was the nursery matron. She said “What are you doing?” I replied “I’m trying to help my baby. She laughed softly saying “Son, you won’t help him from behind the glass.”
So she lifted Matthew gently and placed him inside my shirt. He cuddled in and went back to sleep. Though I sometimes reflect on my failings as a father and in business, at that moment with Matthew sleeping on my shoulder I felt like I could have changed the world.
I believe that if we reflect on times on our life when we feel our best, it is when we are helping others. And I also believe that the more you help others get what they want the more you get what you want.
So, If you want to help people at work, first make sure they have strong sense of purpose. They need to know why and what they are trying to do, they get feedback in the form of measures and are also allowed to contribute to the improvement of the system. But more than anything else, you must get involved. As I was reminded through Matthew’s birth, you can’t help people from behind the glass.
What about you? How much time did you spend solving problems with your team last week?
Following last week’s blog on leadership. A number of people have written to me to ask the question, how we best get leaders to change their perspective on how to lead?
First a quick review on what we want leaders to do differently. The answer is their thinking and behavior. Thinking differently means that leaders shift their perspective from managing their organisation as a top down functional hierarchy, typically with decision making removed from the work. They realize that measures related to budgets and targets are futile. And there is a shift from the belief that their primary role is to manage and motivate people.
Instead they start to view their organisation as a system, viewed outside in (from the customers perspective) with decision making in the work. Measurement is related to customer purpose and capability. And the primary leadership role changes to acting on the system.
Take for example a housing association. When a customer calls in to report a repair it is normal to speak to someone who lacks expertise in diagnosis (functional thinking), who is measured on the number of calls they take (targets and service standards). But the leader doesn’t see the poor customer experience because they are remote from the work (top down, decision making separate from the work). The customer is not given a date for a repair because the scheduling is done in a different please to the diagnosis (more functional design). And when the tradesman turns up it is not uncommon for the job to incorrectly diagnosed; but as he works with schedule of rates codes he can’t make a decision to change the specification and finalise the repair. The customer loses and costs rise, but management are in the dark as to why.
The problem is that the leader doesn’t see it, because they get data that suggests everything is fine. The call targets were hit, the visit was done within the time specified by the regulator and job re-inspected to comply with the rules around schedule of rates.
If the leader knew how to look they would see failure demand: customers calling to re-book a failed repair, and requests for specific times for visits. The leader would also notice poor diagnosis leading to repeat visits; and a failure to handle calls one stop due to the functional nature of the design. Lack of decision making, poor morale and cheating would also be evident, a feature of the design of the system. And if they were really clever they would see that in their managers were spending all their time trying to get people to hit their targets and service standards rather than understand and improve the system.
Which begs the question how would you get the leader and the mangers to change?
There are three options, coercion, education and normative change.
Coercion means do this or else. And sometimes, when a business is failing or there is a crisis, it is a legitimate method of change. But long term it only gets compliance, and if those being asked to change don’t really understand why or buy in, the new behavior will at best be passive. My eldest son, Daniel, cleans his room when I promise a threat, but an inspection would soon confirm his heart wasn’t in it.
Education is also a poor method of change. Those who change as a result of education have already accepted that there is a problem and therefore a need to change. It is also likely that they have tried a number of different methods with little success and are eager for a solution. I could spend hours in a room explaining to my son, Daniel, how best to clean his room but if he didn’t see the need for a change, my dazzling presentation skills would be wasted.
Tactically, when using education as a means of change you should focus on the problem not the solution, and then show examples of other similar systems and the impact of their failures. For example I could show Daniel examples of messy rooms and how other kids of a similar age failed to impress friends and member of the opposite sex, and how that made them an outcast. This might work as long as Daniel made the connection and cared. Otherwise education is a poor method of change.
The final and best method change is normative change; which means that I come to the conclusion for myself, that I have a problem. In studies of alcohol and drug addiction (Prochaska, Norcross and Declemente 1994), the researchers found that a change in behavior was most likely to occur when the addicts recognized themselves that they needed to change.
In organisations helping managers to realize that they have a need to change requires that they go out into the work and see for themselves the unintended consequences of their policies, measures and processes. Many years ago I did some work for a sports centre. Management had recognized that in the evenings there was a high demand for five-a-side football. So in order to give everyone a good chance of getting a booking they instituted a policy.
A) Football pitches can only be booked seven days in advance from 6pm.
Management were proud of this policy because they said it meant everyone now had the same chance of getting a booking, or so they thought.
We went to the sports centre to study the nature of demand. From 4.30pm a queue started at the front counter. The queue was made up mostly of school children, they were in-fact the children of the fathers who played football, and were keeping their place in the queue.
From around 5.30pm the phone would start ringing, these were the people trying to secure the bookings for their next game of football; and because it wasn’t yet 6pm management put in place another policy that from 5.30 till 6pm the phone would not be answered (even though some of these calls were to book other facilities in the centre).
But the worst piece of data we uncovered was that the people, who were supposedly fighting for a pitch, were not actually in competition. Those that played football played at the same time every week, every month, every quarter and had done so for years.
So management’s assumption that they had made things fair for everyone was wrong on two counts.
1. There was no need to make the system fairer because no-one was competing for the same slot.
2. If a new person moved into the area put together a team and tried to get a slot they would fail, because the current system was so well known by the locals. And as far as I know there have been no new five-a-side football teams that have moved to the town.
Finally to make matters worse, the very people who paid their money week after week - the loyal customers - were being aggravated by the silly booking policy.
Management were astonished by what was happening, and quickly realized that they were to blame. Just showing them the data without the emotional experience of seeing the children queuing and the ringing phone being ignored by the staff would not, in my opinion, have had the same effect.
So what are the lessons for helping managers to change?
1. When starting with education focus on the problem and showing systems similar so management can make the intellectual connection to their system.
2. Get knowledge about how the organisation functions as a system, draw a system picture (see Understanding your Organisation as a System)
3. Take a manager to study the work (download our FREE process mapping guide) and let them see for themselves what is really happing in the work.
4. Ask questions (like why is that happening) until they recognize the link between their policy and the performance of the work.
5. Get their agreement to do check on their system
6. Identify levers for change and improve the system.
Does this mean all leaders will change? Probably not in all cases, but why don’t you give it a go and let me know what happens.
Changing for good. 1994 Prochaska, Jo. Norcross, JC. Diclemente, CC. Avon Books New York
What if the answer was neither? Much has been written about leadership, but in my opinion not much of it is helpful. The literature seems to be divided between the views that there are certain personal traits which make a good leader, or that events caused a mere mortal to step up and exhibit some superhuman leadership skills. The problem is that there is no evidence that a leader’s personal traits make much difference to the performance of an organization.
Likewise there are no real clues in business books about what skills leaders should learn, other than the obvious: some financial acumen and market knowledge that might make a business perform better. My view is that great leaders are neither born nor made but that they are able to give up their old beliefs and develop new thinking and behaviour that ultimately sets them apart.
As a young manager I was taught that leaders demonstrated energy, intelligence, they were hard working, displayed good interpersonal habits and were as - if not more - technically competent than their team. And in terms of skills I was taught how to coach, counsel, read a budget, present well, communicate concisely, and set big goals. I believed so much in this manifesto that I worked in the evenings as a trainer teaching those skills.
One night a delegate on a course approached me and asked a question, “if what you are teaching is so effective, then why has nothing changed for me, other than I have a bit better relationship with my team?” I had no answer for him, except the glib reply that things take time to change. He left the course, and I was left looking for answers. I had three questions.
1. What do good leaders achieve?
2. What do good leaders do?
3. How do they do it?
Though it’s taken me twelve years I now think I have some answers.
To the first question, I think the answer is obvious. Good leaders help to improve the performance of their organization. And by performance I mean better service to the market, good use of capital employed, they design work so that people learn are happy and committed and they are able to see what’s happening in markets and translate this into how operations effectiveness.
In his book, Strategy Safari, management thinker Henry Mintzberg described the role of the leader as someone who understands what matters to customers and makes sure that the organization is capable of delivering it.
Unfortunately many of the leaders I have observed over the years don’t do what Henry says they should. Many of them are more interested in serving themselves, manipulating the numbers, and avoiding the truth about how the organization is really performing. Do you think I’m being unfair? Please let me know what you think.
So assuming that we agree on what leaders achieve, the next question is what do they do to achieve it? Here I think the answer lies in how they think. That ultimately drives what they do.
The idea of leadership in an organizational sense came at the start of the industrial revolution. Bethlehem Steel and Ford being two of the organizations that formalized the concept of leadership. Leadership at that time was seen as top down; leaders got their knowledge about the work from reports. Leaders tended to make decisions about how work was done; and to make the work easier for what tended to be immigrant workers, the work was functionally designed. Measurement was about adherence to budgets. And the core belief that, as most workers were lazy and only motivated by money, then the job of the leader was to motivate the workers.
This knowledge about how to run an organisation worked for a while. It worked as long as customers took what they got, there was a shortage of jobs and a lack of competition. But the cracks in the thinking started to show after the war when Toyota, a sewing machine company, used what seemed like little resources to steal much of the share of the car market in the US.
What Taiichi Ohno, the creator of the Toyota production system, realized was that when you think differently about running an organization, you get dramatic results. Because he had little money he had to make cars at the rate of market demand, make workers multi-skilled, have managers solve problems on the line and have the workers involved in the decision making. What he found when he did this was that costs fell, he could respond to the market faster and by the end of the late 1990s Toyota was making more money than all the other car companies put together.
But in the West we continued to stagnate. Still managing by the use of budgets, functionalizing the work, assuming that people needed to be motivated and management staying out of the work meant that our private sector became less competitive and our public sector a money consuming monster.
Being a good leader requires that you think differently about the design and management of work. What that means you should do is understand then take action on improving the system, use measures that help you understand and improve the work, design work so that workers have variety and are challenged and spend time in the work improving it.
Which leaves our final question how do you do it?
First is to be clear on the perspective from which you view the organsiation, i.e. rather than top down you must be able to see the system from the outside in, the way that a customer does. This means setting your purpose, what you do and how you do it, in customer terms.
Second is to establish measures of capability related to your purpose.
Third, once you are honest about how the organization performs, you spend time in the work studying process and finding out why the work is dysfunctional.
Fourth, you examine the policies that have caused the poor design and management of the work.
And fifth, you find out and change the thinking that lead to the badly designed policies in the first place.
But, if I’m being realistic, only a few will ever make remarkable leaders, because being remarkable requires that you unlearn the teachings of the past one hundred years. This means making an absolute commitment to being obsessed with customer needs, be honest about how you really perform, spend time out of your office, and be willing to change the very policies that you yourself might have put in place.
It all depends on whether you want to be remarkable or ordinary. For those of you that want to be extraordinary start by finding out how many of the following you can answer yes to:
1. My staff and I are clear on who we are trying to serve
2. We have clarity of purpose in customer terms
3. We have measures of capability related to purpose
4. I spend time in the work solving problems
5. I constantly review and change policy to better serve customer
6. I am aware of how all managers think about how to best design and manage work
So in conclusion, I think that leaders are neither born nor made, but that they are those unique individuals that are able to let go of what they have been taught and follow a different path. In that sense leaders are people that can unlearn what they know and then do the exact opposite to their peers. Maybe if I had done that twelve years ago I would have been a better leader. What about you?
Given that there is a recession going on, I know because the news never lets us forget, the question I’d like to address today is how to continue to prosper during hard times?
A few weeks ago I covered the issue of cutting costs, so there are only three other alternatives, get existing clients to buy more, get existing clients to spend more, or find new clients.
I’m also making the assumption that operationally you are making sure that everyone that asks to buy is allowed to and that you have done the maths and you know which clients are most and least profitable. So what’s next?
The next stage is to enhance and/or design new products and services, but how? The exercise is called ‘finding out’, named so because it’s about finding out what matters to your customers and then designing your products, services and operations such that you can gain a competitive advantage in the market. And also, this is not restricted to the private sector it can be used by the public sector too.
The whole process is shown in figure 1. below.
Figure 1. An overview of the finding out process.
The idea is to study all the point of transactions with you customer and find out what they what that you don’t offer or hate that you do.
Let’s define points of transaction; this refers to any time a customer interacts with any part of your product or service. Let me give you an example. When I go to the gym there are quite a few different transaction points from the time that I enter the car park to the time I leave. On entering the car park the barrier has to raise (1), I have to park (2), I have to go through the doors (3), go through the turnstile at reception (4), open my locker (5), go to the loo (6), get on and use a CV machine (7), use weights (8), return to the dressing room and use the shower (9), buy a coffee (10), and use the internet (11). Note depending on the demand I place on the system, e.g., if I’m playing tennis or taking Matthew, my youngest, to the soft play, the points of transaction change.
To understand all your points of transaction take a value demand and simply list all the different bits of the product and service that a client touches.
The next part in the system is to find out what is important to your customers when transacting with the system. So phone a few clients and go and see them. Simply ask the question when you have to do X, for example enter the car park, open your locker, what is important to you. Asking this question will give you a list of important factors, e.g. when I get to the barrier I want it to open first time, I want the turnstiles to work, I want all the machines in the gym to work.
Now go to the top of the list and ask “on a scale of 1-7, how important is this”, and having done that go back to the top of the list again and ask “on a scale of 1-7, how well are we doing?” See figure 2 below.
Figure 2, sample questionnaire design.
Three things will happen, 1. There will inevitably areas where you fall short, 2. There will be areas into which you are putting lots of effort that no-one cares about 3. You will get some amazing ideas to improve or create new stuff for clients.
But the secret of a well performing organisation is a system that is designed to align performance with what is important to the customer.
If you plot your answers on a graph, it will probably look something like this:
Figure 3. This chart shows the relative importance vs. performance on a range of hypothetical items that might appear on a questionnaire.
Having identified the difference between what matters to customers and your performance the job of the leader is to bridge the gap
I first did this exercise with a client 10 years ago. I have to be honest in that the client’s service was already good so I wasn’t sure what we would find, but this method is also used as part of a wider analysis when designing a company strategy, which I was doing. But the results were astonishing.
The company in was a fireplace manufacturer. Their clients said that what was important to them was quick delivery in small batches, correct invoices, boxes that were easy to open, staples put into the box in certain way so that they weren’t sharp. They commented on how they wanted the designs to look, how and when to discount. In short the told the manufacturer how to re-invent their business, and they did just that. By doing so they turned around the company from a loss making situation into profit within 12 months.
So why don’t you give it a go?
I can guarantee you one thing, if you do it, you will get more business and perceived service improvement, even if it’s just because you are out talking to customers about their favourite subject, them!
When I think about what Vanguard Scotland has achieved over the last 10 years it makes me smile with immense pride.
However my pride is tinged with a little bit of frustration when I think about the organisations that could have achieved so much more if their leaders had the confidence, the drive and the back bone to implement all of the changes we proposed.
The fact is that leaders like Laurence Barrett, Ron Skea, Rachel Mackenzie, Colin Peebles, Colin Mckerracher, Eric Mcqueen and John Tinline have all shown that big change can happen fast.
But rather than being a frustrated revolutionary I am prepared to do something about it.
I want to prove that big change can happen with a unique 3 Day Challenge for one lucky subscriber of the Vanguard Scotland blog.
If you are a leader in a service organisation that needs service you want changed then I will personally give you three days of my time for free. You however have to agree to spend all three days with me, provide a few people to do the analysis, do what I tell you to do and agree to cameras and a journalist to cover the story.
At the end of the 3 days, if you feel that the experience has delivered significant change to your organisation, all I would ask is that you make a donation to the Sick Kids Hospital.
Please note only leaders who have the power to make decisions about policy, process, and structure need apply. No internal consultants.
I am ready to put my reputation on the line. Is there anyone else up for it?
If you are ready to take me up on my challenge, simply drop me an email explaining your situation and your objectives and let’s make it happen.