Your Colleagues Are Not Customers

Your Colleagues Are Not Customers

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Leadership

Anyone who has spent time in a medium to large organization over the last ten years has probably heard the term “internal client.” The idea is that you should be treating your clients like royalty and your colleagues deserve the same treatment. This is an excellent idea, in theory. There are, however, big problems that develop when the idea is translated to the real world.

When you communicate with a client, you likely have on your “game face” and project a high degree of professionalism. This should definitely be carried over when you communicate with internal colleagues, suppliers, partners, etc. Whether you are talking with an assistant, your boss, or the CEO of a client, it pays to be thoughtful and articulate every time. When you ask a question, make sure it’s a smart one. When you present an analysis, spend a few minutes thinking ahead about your key message, supporting details, and follow-up or action items. This shows your team that you have respect for them. It also shows people that you are smart and competent.

The key word in the above description is not client. It is team. When you work with partners, whether they are in your company or outside suppliers or contractors, you are a team. As a team you share goals, attitudes and burdens. When you start to use the “internal customer” model, an “us vs. them” mentality evolves. After all, if the customer is always right, the give and take of a well-polished team goes out the window. Teammates have to work together to ensure that all their responsibilities are met, all their goals are achieved, and everyone comes out a winner.

Forget treating colleagues like customers. Treat customers and colleagues like team members. This way when one of you wins, all of you win.

To find out how The Modern Observer Group can help your team function better, contact us here.

Why You Should Want To Put Yourself Out Of Business

Why You Should Want To Put Yourself Out Of Business

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured

It may be one of the strangest concepts a business person can encounter, but to be truly successful your goal should be to put yourself;f out of business. I can hear you saying, “Why would I ever want that?” It comes down to the core reason any business exists: to solve a problem.

You are in business to solve a problem. If you’re not solving a problem, why would anyone do business with you? However, if you take the concept of problem solving to its logical conclusion, if you can solve that problem for everyone you will no longer be in business. Can you run a profitable business without solving the problem? Of course. That’s the basic business model for most pharmaceutical companies. They don’t cure the disease, they treat it so you have to keep treating it. There is nothing wrong with treating a problem rather than solving it, but which would your customer rather have?

The fact is if you solve a problem, it is unlikely that you will reach the point where you solve it for everyone. When you solve a problem, your customers will bring you more people with that problem, expanding your customer base. They are also more likely to come to you with new problems, giving you new target markets and potential products or services. Your business will be able to adapt to new circumstances to become a new company. When telegrams were no longer necessary, Western Union was able to use the same systems to transfer money.

So aim to put yourself out of business. Your customers will reward you for it.

Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset

Fixed Vs. Growth Mindset

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

mindsetMindsets are beliefs—beliefs about yourself, your abilities and the world around you. Your mindset determines how you view your skills, intelligence, and talents. It determines your personality and how you view others. While some define the types of mindset into categories that you fall into, in Businetiks we look at mindset as a spectrum. This is based on the work of Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck who has conducted decades of research on achievement and success. On one side of the spectrum is the fixed mindset, on the other side is the growth mindset. You can fall at either end of the spectrum or anywhere in between.

The Fixed Mindset 

People with a fixed mindset believe that things simply are. They believe that they are born with specific talents and abilities and if they weren’t born with them, there is nothing they can do to change that. If they have a lot, they’re going to succeed and if they don’t they have to accept failure. People in this mindset worry about their traits and how adequate they are. They have something to prove to themselves and others.

A fixed mindset will hold you back. People with a fixed mindset do not believe that you can overcome situations through sheer effort. Either things will happen or they won’t. The fixed mindset see things as black and white.

The Growth Mindset

People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, see their qualities as things that can be developed through education, training, dedication and effort. It may be easier for them if they’re smart or talented, but that’s just the starting point. They understand that no one has ever accomplished great things without years of passionate practice and learning.

A growth mindset is essential to success. A growth mindset means you believe that you can learn, grow, and change for the better. People with the growth mindset believe in taking risks and facing challenges. The growth mindset means seeing things in shades of gray.

Along the spectrum, you can have a fixed mindset about somethings and a growth mindset about others. In Businetiks, we strive to move up the spectrum towards having a growth mindset about everything. The best thing about mindsets is they are learned and, because of this, they can be changed.

Pick your mindset. Push yourself towards growth and you will achieve success.

To learn more about how The Modern Observer Group can help you with Mindset Coaching, contact us here.

The Art Of Business

The Art Of Business

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Process

artWhat comes to mind when you hear the word artist? Do you think of painters putting broad swashes of color on canvas? How about sculptors creating masterpieces out of blocks of clay or granite? Perhaps you think of singers or writers or filmmakers. Art is about the possible and the potential. It is about taking mundane items (paints, canvas, clay, paper, sounds, words) and putting them together so they go beyond what was thought to be possible and fulfill their potential for beauty, for knowledge, for anything at all.

In the play “City of Angels” writer Larry Gelbart (best known for the television show M*A*S*H and the movie “Tootsie”) has a writer describe what happens when he has to start to write. The character explains that the paper comes in “Blank. Both sides. No clue, no instructions enclosed on how to take just twenty-six letters and endlessly rearrange them so that you can turn them into a mirror of a part of our lives.”

Business is no different. The entrepreneur starts with the mundane, the parts of what the product or service will be. From there, the entrepreneur imagines and unlocks the potential within. From the raw materials and ideas the entrepreneur creates a product or service that people want to buy because it fills a need. More than that, it makes people feel good. People don’t go out to eat because they need food to survive. If that was all it was they could grab a few groceries and eat them as is. Turning ingredients into a recipe and serving it in a particular way, makes people feel good.  A product isn’t what people want, it gives them what they want. The CEO of Black and Decker once pointed out to his staff that people don’t want drills, they want holes. The entrepreneur must see what people want and find elegant, exciting ways to provide it.

To find out how The Modern Observer Group can unleash the artist in your business, contact us here.

The Other Entrepreneurs

The Other Entrepreneurs

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

People tend to think of entrepreneurs as business owners. Usually the image is that of someone starting a new business, toiling away in a garage or a kitchen table until, voila, the world suddenly realizes what a great business there is, and the rest, as they say, is history. The reality is far less dramatic, and far more work. While there are hundreds, if not thousands, of entrepreneurs toiling away in garages, they’re also working in large corporations. They are working away in menial jobs. They are secretaries and engineers. They are everywhere.

An entrepreneur doesn’t have to be self-employed. Large companies such as 3M, Apple, McDonald’s and more all depend on entrepreneurs for their growth and success. Most of us are familiar with the story of Ray Kroc. Kroc was a milkshake maker salesman whose curiosity was piqued when one restaurant bought a large number of milkshake makers. He went to a hamburger stand owned by the McDonald brothers and was astounded at the number of customers they were serving. More than that, the McDonald brothers had developed a system that allowed them to create the exact same burger, time after time, and do it quickly and efficiently. Kroc was impressed and came up with the idea to franchise the process. He took over McDonald’s and proceeded to grow it into the world’s largest hamburger chain. Kroc didn’t invent anything. He didn’t toil in a garage. Is Kroc an entrepreneur? Absolutely. He saw the potential that the McDonald’s restaurant had and he pursued it. McDonald’s would not have been born if it wasn’t for Ray Kroc. It wouldn’t be the success it is, however, if it weren’t for another entrepreneur, Jim Delligatti.

Delligatti’s story is less well known than Ray Kroc’s. Delligatti lived in Pennsylvania and, like Ray Kroc, he saw the potential in McDonald’s. Delligatti was one of the early franchisees of McDonald’s. Delligatti saw that as well as McDonald’s was doing, it could be doing better. He saw there was a hole in its menu. By creating all of its hamburgers exactly the same way, McDonald’s had failed to take into consideration that, for some people, one hamburger was too small to make a meal. Delligatti decided to put two patties on a sandwich. He also realized that some of his customers wanted something different, something more than two burgers would give them. The regular cheeseburger already had cheese, pickles, onions, and ketchup. His new double burger added lettuce and replaced ketchup with a “special sauce.” Early reviews of the burger were great but there was still one problem to overcome. It was very messy. The patties kept sliding around and everything would fall off the bun. To fix that complaint, a second piece of bread was added between the patties. The Big Mac was born. The construction was close enough to the original burgers that it could fit into McDonald’s much vaunted system, but gave the customers that something extra they wanted. Delligatti served the Big Mac in his store for a year and then the company rolled it out nationwide.

What both Kroc and Delligatti had in common was they saw a need and proceeded to fill that need. They were both entrepreneurs.

To find out how The Modern Observer Group can help you grow into an entrepreneur, contact us.

What Is Business?

What Is Business?

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

businessThere are many misconceptions about business, what it is, and what it does. Business is not an overwhelming behemoth responsible for the destruction of the world nor is it an instrument of greed geared towards keeping down 99% of the population. Many dictionaries and reference books give many different definitions of business, with the simplest one being “An economic system in which goods and services are exchanged for one another or money, on the basis of their perceived worth.” However, I think the Wharton Business School Website describes it best: “Got things you want to do? Beliefs you’re passionate about? Goals you’ve got to achieve? Business makes things happen and affects every part of our society. Whatever you want to do, understanding business will help you achieve it.”

Business is about achievement. It is the way that someone affects the world. Whether a business is for profit or non-profit (yes, non-profit organizations are businesses) it is about making an impact, financially, socially, environmentally, or culturally. Business is not a dirty word and whether they want to admit it or not, everyone is involved in business. Some are more obvious than others. No one would dispute that a financial planner who invests for his client’s retirement is doing business, but so is the painter who transforms chemical pigments into art. Obviously the store owner who sells you groceries is doing business, but so is the teacher who turns time and information into a student’s knowledge and skill.

Business is what makes the world go around. Without it, we’d be sitting in the dark, hungry, bored and ignorant. Whatever you want to achieve, business is what is going to get you there.

To find out how The Modern Observer Group can help you grow your business and meet your objectives, contact us.

Stay Motivated By Focusing On Your Customer

Stay Motivated By Focusing On Your Customer

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured

motivatedRoutines have good and bad results. The good is that they provide consistency. The bad is that they can sap your motivation. Doing the same thing over and over can be mind numbing. How can you stay motivated?

One way is to focus on your customer. We all want to know that what we do matters. Remembering that what you do affects and helps people can boost your motivation. Creating a concrete picture of your impact can be self-affirming as well as motivational. Studies have shown that cooks feel more motivated and work harder when they see people eating their food, for example. Even if the results of your work aren’t tangible, thinking about specific names and stories of those who benefit from your efforts can offer a window into the good that you are doing.

Go beyond what you do and look at what effects your work has. Look at what your customer is ultimately getting. Your work allows them to improve their work. That allows them to make a better living and improve their life. Your product keeps your customer safe. Your work alleviates a problem that held your customer back. Whatever it is, the key is to make a direct connection from your work to those who benefit.

To learn how a Modern Observer coach can help you, use the contact form here

Pursue Your Passions

Pursue Your Passions

Attitude and Mindset, Featured

passionWhen I was watching a documentary about burlesque, I was struck by a comment one of the dancers made. She said, “It’s not a hobby, it’s something I’m really passionate about.” My first thought was that a hobby is something you for pleasure, so given that she didn’t make money as a burlesque dancer it was indeed a hobby. My second thought was, “Why would you have a hobby you weren’t passionate about?”

Whether we are talking about an occupation or a hobby, passion is important. In a hobby, passion is why you do it. It’s what keeps you coming back. In your occupation, it can be the difference between a job and a career. A job offers you a paycheck. A career is something you love doing that offers a paycheck. When you’re in a job, you may find it difficult to engage. Here are some things you can do be passionate about what you do:

♦ Find your why: Why do you do what you do? Is it to help a particular group of people. Who are they? Are you trying to improve your customers lives? If it’s just for a paycheck, focus on how that paycheck is improving your life or your families lives.

♦ Think of yourself as an entrepreneur: Think of your employer as your client. Give them the best service you can, but keep an eye out for other clients. A side gig can keep the passion flowing when your day job isn’t fulfilling. Thinking of yourself as an entrepreneur also keeps you from thinking your job is your whole life.

♦ Find a hobby: Knowing that your day job is funding a hobby that you are passionate about is a great way to transfer that passion to work. A hobby also gives you something to look forward to when your job feels overwhelming.

Human Behavior Is Not Data Driven

Human Behavior Is Not Data Driven

Attitude and Mindset, Customer, Featured

In the world of big data, everyone’s information is being collected, analyzed, and acted upon. So if all of this data is being used, why don’t things happen the way they are predicted? The answer comes down to one fact: human behavior is not data driven.

People act and react emotionally. Buying patterns are emotionally driven. People will research and use data to choose what to buy or, more often, to justify their purchases, but the decision of what and when to buy are emotional at their core. To build rapport with your customers, you must connect with them on an emotional level.

Research shows that the most effective way to maximize customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs. That means appealing to any of dozens of “emotional motivators” such as a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure.

Decide how you can best connect on an emotional level and put that at the core of every interaction you have with your customer.

You Are In The People Business

You Are In The People Business

Attitude and Mindset, Featured, Focus

No matter what your job is, no matter what industry you work in, you must remember one thing: you are in the people business. It is people who will buy from you. It is people that will talk about you. It is people that work with you. It is all about people.

It is easy to get caught up in your product or service. Unless you focus on people, it won’t matter. The best example of this is Google. Google is a tech company. They almost never have contact with their customers (have you ever tried to contact a person at Google?). However, their biggest successes are tools that make things easier for people. Think of the Google home page. You go there for search. All that is there is a search box and a logo. Simple. Now think of their failures. Google Wave, Google+, Google Glasses. They were all unappealing to people. The technology behind each of them was impressive, but they didn’t connect with people. Wave and Google+ were clearly designed by engineers for techies and did not have interfaces to appeal to the general public. Google Glasses users were actively made fun of. These products did not connect with people.

To be truly successful, you have to build relationships and interact with people. Focus on people and the rest will take care of itself.