Friday, June 29, 2012

Surviving the Future in the Age of Now

There’s something about the future that makes people shudder. It’s daunting, unpredictable and coming at us at warp speed. But no one can fight the future. By debating the small stuff and defending your business views against competitors, you are simply delaying the inevitable.

For a company to succeed in the weeks, months and years ahead, it needs to be agile and led by a management team that can adapt to changes in the marketplace with lightening speed.

In their book, Repeatability, James Allen and Chris Zook think the trick is developing efficient and repeatable feedback channels. Listen to your customers every single day and quickly incorporate their feedback into your frontline strategy.

Just look at Amazon – they track around 500 metrics every single day to gauge customer experience, right down to the millisecond. Did you know that as little as a 0.1 second delay in loading a webpage causes a 1% decline in activity? Amazon does. They know what’s working, what isn’t, what their customers love and what bugs them.

Here are three ideas from James and Chris to help get you started:
  1. Focus on what makes your business unique. What makes you stand out from your competitors? Set systems in place to make sure this differentiation is noticed by customers every single day.

  2. Make this point of difference part of everyday life. Work with frontline staff to create a set of non-negotiable principles that embody your strategy and inform every decision.

  3. Ensure the company is agile. Don’t get set in your ways – the most successful businesses are those that respond to changes in their environment and make it work for them.

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