Don’t be a Chameleon on a box of Smarties…

C.S. Lewis once said, integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. The way you work behind the scenes when the Customer isn’t watching, how you make decisions, how you design your internal processes, systems, services, these are all things the the Customer won’t necessarily see — but at some stage they will feel and experience it. Whether that is them being at the receiving end of an interaction with one of your employee’s, who may be frustrated by your organisation’s internal processes, or the effect of a process on downstream customer interactions — it all counts.

Experiencing something is normally far more impactful than seeing it.

Sometimes it can feel overwhelming when you realise how much is not aligned with or not centred around the Customer. There is so much to improve on. Your palms start to sweat, you can’t think straight. Where do you start? You suddenly realise you are as confused as a chameleon on a box of Smarties. Get the picture? Not good.

Here are my tips on taking some first steps:

  1. Think Small. How do you eat an elephant? If you ever felt so inclined, you take small bites. The concept of the ‘aggregation of marginal gains’, do 100 things 1% better, is a good start. Look for small wins for improving your people, processes and systems to be Customer centric — tweak don’t jerk. There is a great article by James Clear on the aggregation of marginal gains, here.
  2. Think Lean. Small improvements, validated often — not large improvements ‘too-late-because-you-thought-you-knew-what-would-add value’ validated. Learn, and learn often and fast. Do 5 small things to improve and look for learnings after each change. Use the learnings for the next change, repeat.
  3. Change Fast. If it doesn’t work, change, immediately. Don’t be afraid to change, it’s the only way to learn.

Remember, nobody has got it all together. There is no organisation who can say they have achieved nirvana. Back to the first point, if you want to do the right thing by the Customer, do so even when no one is watching, then you are already on the right path to success.