Ultimately, any enterprise exists to achieve outcomes and that cannot be ignored. Effective leaders deliver these solid results. Businesses exist to make money; Non-profits to achieve a social purpose; Schools to educate and change lives; Churches to spread their message. But every organization is ultimately about people ... customers, clients, parishioners, and students ... employees and volunteers ... suppliers and donors. These people are the most important asset of any organization. This value is at the forefront of strategy, decision making, planning, communication, and execution.
Customers who are satisfied, come back. Customers who are loyal, will "buy the brochure." Be easy to do business with. Eliminate customer friction. Reduce customer effort. Meet customers where they are.
Engaged employees create loyal customers. Show them you care. Be genuine. Champion them. Develop them. Be honest and transparent with them. Make them a priority.
You will learn more about your customers and business health by examining your frontline touchpoints. Passionately gather customer feedback. Listen to your frontline employees. Understand your digital experience, especially where customers start a transaction but do not finish it. Act on all this frontline intelligence.
Complexity obscures. Simplicity clarifies. Complexity causes confusion, and a confused customer will not be a profitable one. Complexity in the employee experience translates into customer impacts. Without doubt, we face significant and sophisticated complexities in our daily life. Technology. Processes. Regulations. Much of that is unavoidable. But the truth is, creating complexity is often too easy and tends to be the path too often chosen. Make complex things simple by leveraging technology, deep training, and repetition.
Leaders recognize they can multiply their contribution by unleashing their team. They hire the best talent, develop their team’s potential, set a clear vision, delegate as far down as possible, remove obstacles, and then get out of the way. They build confidence. They speak the truth from a place of genuine care. Leaders serve others. They do not seek to be served.
Before change is a work of the hands, it must first be a work of the heart. The more profound the transformation, the more it is an inside-out job. It starts within before altering the outside.
If you focus on the outside first, you might get the appearance of change, but there will be no real change — like putting lipstick on a pig. You can force it, but the minute you turn your back, the shift will be undone.
Leaders make the people dimension a key of any transformation effort. True, change will rarely occur if the same outward infrastructure is in place, so you must change the policies, processes, and systems to support the desired outcome. But for a change to survive, it must also address the inward aspects of people, culture, relationships, attitude, and vision. You cannot overlook the heart aspects of change.