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 turn.
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.