One of the biggest frustrations in business is getting new ideas, or new standards of excellence to stick!
This is particularly challenging for organisations that have staff spread out across multiple locations and a large casual workforce.
When it comes to improving an area in the culture of your business, that involves human behaviour, like for example; ‘creating a customer centric culture’, unfortunately we all know that there is no silver bullet solution.
So how do you get something to stick?
My family loves bolognaise sauce, and they are particularly keen on the type that is rustic, rich and has been slowly cooked.
I received in my inbox the other day, an article from my partner on how to make the best bolognaise; the theme in the recipe suggested that I need to make everything ‘stick’ before I added the next ingredient.
First add vegetables, once they start to stick add the meat, once the meat starts to stick add the white wine, then when that starts to stick add the tomato paste.
What we ended up with, was a rich, meaty, tender, extremely tasty sauce that received a thumbs up from the family critics.
When rolling out any new idea or asking a whole workforce to shift their focus on a topic like; ‘customer service’ I want to offer up three simple principles

  1. First give them the ‘why’.

Why should they care about this topic and why do you as their leader care about this topic.
I am inspired by Seth Godin’s message in the book Tribes, where he refers to the importance of caring. He says;
“Caring is the key emotion at the centre of any tribe, tribe members care what happens, to their goals and to one another. If no one cares, then you have no tribe. If you don’t care – really and deeply care – then you can’t possibly lead”
When communicating the intent and aspiration, always focus on feelings, and less on the function or facts. Using emotion to inspire your staff will get you to your goals quicker.
Emotion creates care and when we care we share.

  1. Be more attentive

I am always much more attentive when I cook, if I know I am intentionally watching for ingredients to stick.
You have to keep your eye on it and continually stir, agitate and mix or risk the ingredients burning.
Sometimes we think our job as leaders is to make an opening statement, set a vision and leave the rest to the teams to figure it out, while you take a big step back from the execution phase.
Commit personally to practicing and following up on a daily basis.
Find ways to have visibility of, where and how, things are working or not.

  1. Followers mirror their leaders

What makes something spread amongst a tribe, community or group of people more than ever, are people themselves wanting to do what others are doing.
Humans like what others like; we are wired this way.
Followers mirror their leaders – literally.
From a Harvard Business Review on the topic of Social Intelligence, the authors Dr Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis explain, that the brain is peppered with neurons that mirror or mimic what another being is doing.
In other words, when we unconsciously or consciously detect another person’s emotions, we reproduce these emotions ourselves.
Mirror neurons have particular importance in organisations, because a leader’s emotions and actions, prompt followers to mirror those feelings and deeds.
Ultimately customer centricity comes from within first.
The aim is to get your staff to become your advocates, your number one fans.
Get them talking, at work and out of work about how great your business is, the customers will follow.
If you want to stand out as a highly effective leader by developing your social intelligence skills, contact us at [email protected] to find out about our two day workshop in August.
Jaquie Scammell
‘Why serve when you can inspire’