Everything you do when dealing with other people works better when you understand their perspective right?
So how can you be sure what you are presenting or selling or influencing them to do is likely to be successful. I do it like this.
First define the thing you want to understand. Let's keep it generic and do a customer need from a hotel bedroom (just the room, not the company). This works best with a small group, but you can do it alone in your own house with your post it collection at 2am like I do.
Get a flip chart and draw this...
Then ask yourself.....
'So if I'm staying in a hotel room what are my requirements from that room?'
As you scribble away put them in the expected, wanted and delighted areas. Don't worry if you're not sure, you can move post it notes, they are so versatile, a bit like Birdseye potato waffles although they are only waffly versatile.
Once everyone has stuck them up then work with the group to decide if any need to move or are duplicates and can be grouped together.
Move them to the right place on the chart to represent the type of requirement they are, and how well they are currently met.
You might end up with something like this.
Expected are the basic requirements from that customer, and they would be dissatisfied if they aren’t met. They may not specifically request them but you could identify them from complaints.
Requirements that are wanted are most likely to be described verbally, hence the importance of speaking with your customers. You’ll need to do this to understand why they want them.
The delight factors are rarely asked for, but will provide a quality service to the customer.
Then make sure you deliver the expected first and transform them into measurable requirements.
I imagine Travelodge used this technique when they decided customers didn't need or want cupboard doors (I couldn't actually find a picture of their cupboards - a sure conspiracy) .
Missing doors on cupboards has always been a delight factor for me to be honest as I can easily see there is no ironing board so I can quickly establish that I have to go back downstairs and queue up again.
So is that customer focussed, well maybe it is if it makes the rooms cheaper which is probably one of my expected needs and therefore a higher priority for them to satisfy. I shall write them a strongly worded e mail now to congratulate them.
Now you probably found that Kano easy because you've all stayed in hotels, but hopefully it was also an interesting approach?
But how would you do it for a meeting with a company you'd never met before. Or an interview for that dream job. Give it a go, it's so easy. But you need to properly think from their perspective and put yourself in their shoes.
It works even better if you create the list or check the requirements with the customer. Imagine how much happier they will be in that first meeting if you've already made them feel super important and thought through how your engagement can benefit them.
Imagine how happy I would be if Travelodge had asked me if I wanted the doors.
Post its are also great for writing simple user stories, like this one I wrote about you reading this blog.
The technique also encourages those who might be less prepared to speak up to contribute their ideas, so it's inclusive too, woop woop.
And when you start post it'ing make sure you salute post it note creator Arthur Fry (that was him at the start), he changed our lives.
Keep serving those customers.....
It’s interesting that leadership and followership have the word ship in them. So I decided to have a think about about what those people in your crew want from a leader to make sure your journey together goes as smoothly as possible and achieves what it needs to.
From a followers or crew member perspective what do I want from my leaders and what can they give me to make sure they get the best out of me.
Here’s my top ten in no particular order.
1. Be believable / inspiring / motivating / committed / passionate
Get me out of bed in the morning, not literally of course, but help give me the drive and motivation to come and deliver for you.
2. Be consistent
Make sure I know or at least have some inkling what your normal style is so I can prepare for it. Don’t throw me curve balls. Let me know where I stand.
3. Take time for people and time for ideas
If this was a traditional top ten this would be up there for me. Make me feel important and valued. Make time for me. Ask my opinion every now and then. Be both approachable and accessible.
4. Make decisions and make them clear
You’re the leader. I’m not. Listen to me but make a decision. Don’t leave me hanging. And make sure that decision is clear and don’t get frustrated if I ask for clarity.
5. Take corrective action
Deal with the crew members that aren’t performing. There’s nothing worse for a follower who is performing that seeing other crew members drinking all the rum.
6. Praise, give recognition and identify opportunities
Don’t just get in touch when something isn’t working, or I made a mistake. Make sure you fill up my positive marble jar with some feedback and also tell me about opportunities which could help me develop. Reward and recognition is a lot more than just financial, although I'd like a few more quid please.
7. Recognise individual strengths and use them
We are more than our job title. That’s just a label we are wearing at the moment. Find out more about us, about what makes us tick, what gives us energy and if you can get us doing some of that.
9. Trust me. I’ll trust you
Steer me, direct me, re direct me when I need it and then just let me get on with it and don’t sweat the small stuff.
10. Be visionary
Remind me regularly why the work I am helping deliver is important. Show me the way. If we get detoured help me understand the positives from that change and drive the work forward.
11. Have fun
I know I said 10. But try and make work fun too.
Not much then. In fact there is probably a lot more, but if you can nail them then I’d love to work with you and I bet others would do.
I did an exercise once with my old team about what made us a high performing team. It was a great session. We were honest with each other. We got to know each other better and we performed even better. Do we do that often enough and engage honestly with our followers to ask what they want?
If you're a leader I know and you're reading this then don't worry, it's not about you. It's about what I want remember. Chances are you are the reason why something in my top ten is important because you were awesome at it, so thanks for being a great leader, I hope I was a great follower.
I have been a leader before and hope to be again. I’m certain I didn’t meet all the expectations of my followers and I’ll certainly be trying harder to deliver what they need next time I find some...............
Best go now do some following.
Mr Paul Wyse