If Its Important You Will Find a Way.

Excuse

We have all heard the age old saying “if you want something done give it to a busy person” and it is very true. Getting things done boils down to a matter of priority. As a leader you need to be very sure of the message you send the team. If something is important, on a list of key actions & yet never gets executed what is the message you send? Other things were more important, other things were of a higher priority. What you measure you can manage.

The Art of “excuse making” and of being “busy” are the same thing. Being too busy is the new disease that affects leaders at all levels. Whenever I hear someone proudly telling me they have been too busy to do something that is important to the success of their business I immediately start to look at the patterns in their behaviour. Often they are disorganised and let the urgent business as usual stuff get in the way of doing the important things.

Be the sort of person who makes things happen rather than making excuses.

Making Your Business Better : The Results Group

Live what we teach is one of our Core Values and over the last two months we have been getting really clear about what our ideal clients value, what we do well, what we need to improve upon. We have asked them, measured it, defined and launched our “Executive Leadership Program”. This incorporates some of the teachings from the Cornell University Post Graduate program which I have been on this year and other leadership experience and academic study from others across our talented consulting team. This program overarches our 5 Pillars framework which is so highly sought after.

We have defined our target markets, a term that will be familiar to our clients, but which in essence defines those that we design our services and products for. Those that it will add the most value to, growing markets and clients that will happily refer us as a company. We are now in the process of telling our Brand story and adjusting the way we market ourselves using social media and other tools to add value to our networks.

John Spence is absolutely resolute that the biggest challenge in business today is firstly having a simple, clear Strategic plan that all your people understand and align to (the easiest part of the equation) backed up by a relentless focus and plan of how to actually execute it i.e. making it happen. In todays world of constant and fast change this is a real challenge. In this attached video clip John has articulated his reasons for thinking this and exactly why he feels the services offered by The Results Group are such high value.

The insights and research from his work with CEO’s and Companies around North America and the globe echo what we see here in New Zealand, Australia & the USA with our clients. Reducing complexity & focussing on the important (vs the urgent) continues to be the biggest issue CEO’s face. Building a simple Strategic Plan as to how your Company will compete and then actually lead your people to achieve it through focus on delivering value to clients, good measurements (KPI’s) and a conscious plan to build a great culture.

That is what we love to do well and why our purpose is “To make a difference” to the Businesses we work choose to work with.

Listening Very Hard: The Voice of Your Customer

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As a Consulting Company that has a Customer Intimate Generic Strategy (i.e. we understand what our clients want and we work closely to deliver it the customised way they need it delivered) we survey the Business Leaders we work with every 6 months. It is important that we get better and better at Strategy, Executive Leader Coaching and most importantly our core business which is ensuring the plan gets executed. We need to know our clients well, support their CEO’s to lead change and to develop and grow their people. It is a high trust relationship because we get to see the best and the worst of what goes on inside their organisation. Referrals are the absolute lifeblood of our business and where most of our new business comes from.

The survey we use (and we recommend our clients use)  is the Net Promotor Score survey. You can google this and find a huge amount of information about this globally recognised best practice survey which measures client loyalty. Two simple anonymous questions asked by an independent party gives a massive amount of valuable information.

Question 1: On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 being never and 10 being always) how likely would you be to recommend xyz business to family or close friends. This gives a number.

Question 2: If the answer is 9 or 10: What is your reason for giving this number? This information is taken down as it is said (i.e. word for word) and gives all the things the business does well and in fact are the reasons they are loyal and will refer business.

Question 2: If the answer is 1 – 8: How could company xyz move your score closer to a 9 or 10? These answers will give all the information about what things need to improve before they will refer others. They are the development areas.

Using the numbers you then ignore all the 7 & 8 Scores (these are deemed as satisfied clients i.e. just as likely to refer as not). You calculate the % of 9 & 10’s (the promotors) and subtract the % of 1 – 6’s (the detractors). This gives a number between -100 and + 100. That is your Net Promotor Score. You can access benchmarking data to look at industry norms if you wish.

As a professional services Company working in a high trust position you would expect that the NPS score would be well into the positive numbers. Our NPS score had moved from + 56 to + 75 over a six month period. More significantly we had no detractors (rating 1 – 6) something we had never achieved before. So what did the survey tell us?

1. It gives me as CEO a lot of confidence that we deliver upon and exceed our client expectations.

2. It tells us that we are getting better at what we do.

3. It tells us that we have a stable and loyal client base that will refer and that we add massive value to their businesses.

4. It gives us confidence to tell our story and know that it is backed by our clients & based on good data.

5. We know exactly what it is that clients value most about our services and exactly what problems we solve for them.

6. It tells us what we need to work on over the next 6 months as a team (training and new skills/expertise) in order to take things to the next level.

7. It gives us valuable information and confidence around how we price our services.

Most of our clients introduce this survey over time and it is very valuable information. The businesses brave enough to own the “Voice of their Customer” will significantly out perform others in their industry because they know what they need to improve and innovate in order to grow client loyalty. It does take courage to do it. If you have detractors surveying 1 – 6 you can actually put a dollar amount on the revenue your business has at risk i.e. if you don’t do something to address those things they seek then you will eventually lose them as a client.

We owe a massive thanks to all our clients for taking part in this survey……..Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Have you surveyed your client loyalty? What did you learn?

Read more about owning the Voice of the Customer

Case study: Voice of the Customer Workshop (link here)

Own the Voice of the Customer…….just Own it!! (Link Here)

Some Great Advice & Encouragement From John Spence: The Results group Annual Conference 2014

In both 2012 and 2013 we were lucky enough to have thought leader John Spence (and his lovely wife Sheila) come down to New Zealand and work with many of our clients. Both years we had events with over 400 attendees in Auckland. Afterwards John facilitated our Annual Conference and Strategy with our team. He influenced our training and imparted his experience gained whilst working with many CEO’s, Universities and Companies throughout North America and globally over many years.

John has become a personal friend and mentor and is regularly in contact. Generous with his time and resources he has become an advocate of The Results Group believing in our services and the value we add to clients. This year I asked him to put together a video for our Annual Conference last week which would reconnect us as a team to our Purpose (“To make a difference”) and to impart the trends he is seeing globally. He was kind enough to do that and it shaped our thinking and reconfirmed much of what our own industry analysis is telling us. It is worth watching if you are leading at the CEO level, involved in Business Strategy or are involved in the professional services space supporting High Performance Companies.

John is currently;

  • Listed as one of the top 100 Business thought leaders in America.
  • Listed as one of the top 100 Business thought leaders in trustworthy business behaviour in the world, and
  • One of the top 500 leadership development experts in the world.

On top of that he is a good guy who is fun to hang out with and who has many interests and aspirations.

Enjoy the video.