In my direct experience as an employee and a consumer, as a senior leader with responsibility as both a customer and a vendor, and since 2012 as a consultant / advisor helping entire Value-Chains to serve society better, I have detected 3 key things:

  1. Many organizations have strayed from their mission and poorly communicate their reason for existing…
    1. with employees, by failing to include them in Strategic planning and by constantly priority switching, leaving work unfinished – which robs employees of the satisfaction of seeing their effort actually benefit a Customer, all while creating an unsustainable pace with less time for family.
    2. with customers, by failing to include them in the Product/Service Design process, leading to long lead times, poor quality, and overall failing to meet their need [while top organizations are finding ways to exceed customer expectations].
  2. There has been a systemic breakdown in the Inclusion of people in decision-making.
    1. Companies are failing, evident by severe and rushed [trying to “catch up”] shifts in strategy including substantial layoffs,  in an attempt to satisfy liquidity ratios and short-term expectations of shareholders.   The capital investment game is broken and must be fixed.
    2. A return to laser focus on the company mission is essential.   Leveraging ALL of the talent in that organization, in pragmatic ways which inspire ownership to delight customers, will create the greatest stability and return on investment for both Banks funding operational cashflows and investors bringing capital with the expectation of seeing true Innovation.
    3. Top-down unilateral decisions under Command [but little] Control management practices have brought companies to their current reality.    Too often, the same behaviors are used to try to work their way out of the mess.   Servant leadership is the only way out.   The problem affects everyone in the organization, therefore, we should leverage everyone to aid  in the recovery of the organization.
  3. Organizations have lost sight of the obvious fact that their employees are also consumers, AND that their customers are also employees elsewhere.
    1. Employees should also be consumers and customers of their own organization’s Product/Service offerings.
      • Too often, we fail to monitor for this reality.
      • A simple Net-Promoter-Score review is all you need to see reality for the organization.
      • What does it say about the organization’s culture, if an employee won’t refer business to their network and loved ones?
    2. Each interaction between a team member (employee, volunteer) and customer should seek to inspire BOTH the team member and customer to remain loyal to their organization’s mission.
    3. Organizations often patronize concern for Customer Care / Loyalty through contradictions and ethical conflict in those CC/L programs.   Worse yet, they give lip service to insincere attempts to support and inspire the talent in their organization, through failing Employee Engagement initiatives.
    4. Social media’s reach has raised the curtain on a failing organization’s culture.  To survive in a Service-based economy, organization’s must give their heart to the Teams that deliver on their organization’s mission.
    5. We are all in the same universal business of People Serving People.
      • Too often, Management has excuses about why certain ways of operating “won’t work here – we’re too complex, unique, or that degree of engagement isn’t really necessary for what we do here”.

[shareable cite=”David (Decision Framework Consulting – Grand Rapids MI, USA)” text=”An inspired society begins with just a few inspired individuals who sincerely strive to serve it.”]An inspired society begins with just a few inspired individuals who sincerely strive to serve it.  The impact one person has is recursive and infinite. Let it be positive.[/shareable]

We must inspire those within our organization first, before we can acquire and retain inspired Customers [who might continue to pay it forward].

Organizations across America need a framework to ensure consistent, courageous decision-making that includes and sincerely supports team members.   This is the origin of Servant Leadership.

My passion is to help individuals and organizations define and own their “Decision Framework”.   Let that Framework be intentional and all-inclusive.