It was a day filled with Vision and business strategy for the All City Vistage meeting "Leading with 2020 Vision". Three excellent speakers talking about the Customer experience, Competing for the Future and Visionary execution.
Customer Experience: I asked our table what single customer experience had they encountered that would demonstrate excellence in Customer service? Nothing really came up - 4 guys with over 240 years of consuming - and no real specific example or story was told. However..... many of us had stories of the opposite experiences. Customer Service nightmares - hate of providers - never again buyer stories. Mine were permanently etched in my memory - American Express and Time Warner.
I asked our table to describe what brands they are most loyal (consistent buying over 10 -15 years) in buying. This was an easier question and had many answers. Mine were - Sony, GM, Cincinnati Bell, Allen Edmonds, Microsoft, PNC Bank, Yahoo, Schwab, Sams Club, Verizon and some food brands. While Customer Service/Experience was a large part of this loyalty - the reality is my loyalty to these brands was more about delivering consistent value and addressing any mistakes along the way.
Competing for the Future: What do Kodak, Blockbuster, Radio Shack have in common? Casualties of the DCX - Digital Customer Experience. The Baby Boomers grew up in an analog word and the Millennials (Gen Y) have grown up in a digital world. To compete in the future, companies must start over in the digital world. Don't attempt to incrementally change business analog processes to into digital copies.
"It isn't the past which holds us back, it's the future and how we undermine it today" Victor Frankl
Visionary Execution: Innovation is the magical intersection (and synchrony) of Insight, Idea and Experience. Advertising and marketing is the tax you pay for a bad idea with little insight and poor execution. Go to the source - your customer's customer. Go from B2B to B2C to B2me! Intelligence is learning from your own mistakes but Wisdom is learning from the mistakes of others. Wisdom is a gift given from the humility of others.
Visionary Execution is knowing your "Why". Start with Insight discussions (before the ideas) and balancing the 'idea monkeys" with the "ring leaders" during both vision and execution.
So how can you apply these three topics in your personal business - your life?
(1) Focus your relationships on consistent delivery (matching expectations with communication) and upon mistakes - recover with asking for forgiveness.
(2) Be Brave - let the future reinvent your past.
(3) Surround yourself with the wisdom of others. Be vulnerable and let wisdom flow between you and others.
A good day - we are all self employed to do better..