Turn the Tide of Mediocrity

Is your company meeting the increasing demands of today’s consumers to make sure you remain on top?

John Spence, author of Awesomely Simple, gives his matter‐of‐fact take on how businesses can simply apply Focus, Discipline and Action to everyday operations to sustain a competitive edge. By employing these methods, businesses can continuously learn—but more importantly—learn to listen to the Voice of the Customer (VOC).

There are six areas of Focus, Discipline and Action to consider:

  1. Measure Key Drivers
  2. Clearly Communicate a Survival Plan
  3. VOC Surveys
  4. Be Proactive
  5. Hire Only Top Talent and
  6. Disciplined Execution

Now the breakdown:

Measure Key Drivers

List 5‐6 things that drive your business forward every day. Create a “dashboard” of your top 5‐6 drivers that measure health, vitals and long‐term success.

Clearly Communicate a Survival Plan

Create a Survival Plan for success over the next 18‐24 months that is clearly communicated throughout the company. This is the time to not be afraid to discuss the difficult issues that have been so artfully avoided up to this point.

VOC Surveys

Use surveys.

Gather as much information as possible from your consumers to better build your service. Giving a survey doesn’t have to be a challenge. Surveys can be given via a simple phone call, email or letter.

If you really want to get fancy, take a group of your top clients to lunch and get their feedback. Participate in tradeshows, professional and community associations, consumer panels, advisory boards… The options are endless.

Be Proactive

Meet with customers and give them what they want: Quality, Value and Fast Turnaround.

Find great partners to help deliver superior customer service by building a network of people who want to see you succeed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from someone who may know more than you do. Be sure to listen to employees and customers.

In short, learn to learn.

Hire Only Top Talent

Maintaining that level of high expectation or mediocrity sets the standard of your company. A mediocre employee can inhibit execution of company ideas and goals, create an inability for staff to work together, or disrupt company culture. If an employee is holding onto to the past and is unwilling to change as the company moves forward, it’s time to change the employee.

Disciplined Execution

Figure out where you are going and hold onto the strategy. Make a commitment to your plan and verify that it is in alignment with the company’s vision and goals. As no plan is perfect, adjust and continue to be innovative as needs change.

Open the lines of communication and leave no room for misunderstanding. Maintain your support group by finding new homes for those who do not meet expectations and raising those who exceed it.

As we move through the year and fall head‐first into another, keep these key points in mind to stay ahead of the pack: Focus, Discipline and Action. As Spence says, “mediocrity sets the standard of your company.”

Don’t you think it’s time to raise the bar?

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