This post is inspired by an
Indian music radio station that was assuring its listeners that 2013 is
"two thousand tera" (tera is yours in Hindi and
also means thirteen– thus two thousand tera). All music to be
played in 2013 was going to be what listeners wanted and liked- the announcer
said as the New Year got underway.
By this time i.e. after mid-January,
individual New Year resolutions have started going soft just as business in the
US has started picking up. But it’s a great time for folks in all type of
organizations to think about the following three questions:
- Who am I trying to serve?
- Is my service getting through?
- What about the service my team is trying to do?
Let's consider each question in
Individuals in organizations tend to
get so caught up that it’s easy to forget who your role is supposed to serve.
If you are in supply chain, you are trying to serve your users, if you are in
marketing you are trying to serve your customers, if you are the CEO you are
trying to serve the share-holders (also society, customers i.e. broader
stake-holders and this one is evolving rapidly in 2013).
Once you have a definition of who
you are trying to serve, you would realize that you do spend a lot of time on
tasks related to that service. For example, the supply professional is trying
to find suppliers, invite bids, evaluate bids etc. In other words, after the
initial user requirements are made clear the supply manager spends most of her
time on the supplier end of things. It is here, that the second question: Is
my service getting through? – tends to get lost. For the supply manager can
get totally caught up in dealing with limits of supplier capabilities that it
becomes easy to lose sight of what the user will use the goods for. Another
example from the marketing side is digital advertising that drives traffic to
the website but does not make it easy for the customer at the landing page
stage. In other words, all the brilliant digital advertising is a service for
the client's prospective customer but does not effectively reach the customer.
Just asking the above two questions
at the team level and organizational level can focus individual, team and
organizational efforts to serve more effectively. By its nature such service
creates value and being mindful in 2013 should help. Contact StratoServe.