Strategic Teams Achieving Results

Don’t Forget About the Forest


Posted on October 21st, by Edward Gagnon in 2013, Blog. 2 comments

forest4_290x136_scaled_croppPeople learn what they’re made of when they are presented with adversity. Difficult situations expose all the warts. In a business, adversity magnifies where internal communication breakdowns exist. Where poor relationships exist. Where production quality issues occur. Where overpromising to get the sale is rampant. Where systems aren’t integrated. Where leadership is poor.

With adversity comes opportunity as well. It’s the opportunity to get the organization to rally around some reason to change. It’s the opportunity to transition toward a new direction. It’s the opportunity to get everyone to work more as a team. It’s the opportunity to create a common focus on what’s most important. But before that opportunity can be realized, the adversity must first be recognized.

Don’t Focus Too Much on the Individual Trees

Organizations, their customer service functions, and their service personnel are often seeing the symptoms of problems that can lead to great adversity. They see the complaints rising, the satisfaction levels dropping, the subscriber renewal rates decreasing, and the customer tones worsening. But they often see it on an interaction-by-interaction basis. And they resolve it on an interaction-by-interaction basis.  They’re solely focusing on the individual trees.

Transitioning to Tomorrow Requires a Different View

Look beyond the interactions and look to those trends. Make sure you’re looking as an organization at how the customer’s key issues are changing. Take the time to – on at least a monthly basis – take that step back and determine this month’s key issues, what issues are rising in frequency, and what issues of today could lead to greater adversity tomorrow.

I’m talking about an actual meeting, a physical report, an analytical discussion that is purely focused on what the customers are trying to say with all their calls, all their issues, all these trends, and their conversational tones.

We’re talking about trends, flow, movement – and we don’t recognize the transitions in the forest overall if we only focus on an individual tree.  Carve out some time to think about what’s new “today” or more top-of-mind today to your customer or in your world versus what it was yesterday.

Find the movement overall to help you anticipate and address the adversity of tomorrow.





2 thoughts on “Don’t Forget About the Forest

  1. Good strategy especially for organizations dealing with change from customers and poor leadership! Thank you.

    • Mary Elizabeth Murphy on said:

      Thank you Trudi for your support. Ed does a great job of providing solutions for organizations in transition.

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