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Posts Tagged ‘HBR’

[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=angry+manager&iid=5243917″ src=”0/1/9/1/Angry_businessman_yelling_2fea.jpg?adImageId=8774502&imageId=5243917″ width=”234″ height=”156″ /]Here is an interesting question asked by Gill Corkindale in her HBR blog; does your company’s reputation really matter? She is arguing that some big companies in certain industries do not really care about customer services! Despite regular customers complains, such companies are keeping their lousy performances and customers are still coming back.

The blog post is filled with examples and cases supporting her point; and thinking about it, we do have our own fair share of examples: our beloved Saudi Airlines (I love Saudi Airlines so much; I already have two posts about them 🙂 here and here), most of service industries and most, if not all, public services are bright examples of lousy performers.

Lack of competition is the most obvious reason comes to your mind in your desperate need to understand those companies’ mindsets. That could be true in a lot of cases and, furthermore, even with some minimum competition, the situation is not that different. Again, Saudi Airlines and its competitors are good examples. Saudia has the power and the support of the government while NAS and SAMA are struggling to get a small piece of the cake.

However, I would not accept this point as a justification, or at least as the only justification. There is another big problem in our own behavior and mindset; I am talking about us, customers!

I believe we mostly lack a certain understanding of our own rights. We acknowledge companies’ mistreating us, we get angry about it, may be shouting all the way and telling everybody about it, and … that’s it! We return to these companies and use their products/services again! If there is no alternative and the company is enjoying a monopoly state in the market; then it is really sad for you, you do not have a choice! Actually you still have the option of making official complains, talking to their managers, and even going and talk to regulatory bodies supervising their sector. The most important point, do not simply let it go!

Finally, those companies ignorant enough at the moment should always remember that they might face the moment of truth when the market is opened for real competition. Globalization is a trend; and one of the lessons coming with it is customer services philosophy as an essential aspect of companies’ differentiation strategies.

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I was just reading this interesting blog post on HBR editors’ blog talking about innovative leaders. After an extensive research, Professors Dyer and Gregersen have come up with what they call ‘discovery skills’ that distinguish innovators. Now let’s go through these skills and then let me comment with something.  

–          Associating:  it is the ability to relate, to find connection between apparently unrelated ideas and situations.

–          Questioning: the innovative leaders do not feel comfortable adhering to the status quo; they like to ask questions to challenge it.

–          Observing details: as we usually say, they have an eye for details. They can catch the pros and cons in processes or behaviors and use them to innovate, to create and to enhance.

–           Experimenting: they do not fear the exploration process. They can deal with failures and turn them into successes.

–          Networking: they can spot the smart people and know how to have them on team.

Now, my comment is that these traits or skills seem to be cognitive in general. And as someone who believe that all human beings have equal mental abilities, then I would argue that one of the reasons we are categorized as a third world (I am talking about Saudi and all the colleagues in the same category as well!) is that we do not nurture such traits in our educations or in our societies as a whole. On the contrary, we educate our children with matter-of-factly information. They are not allowed to suspect it, to ask about it, or to have their own contradicting arguments that they are ready to explore and experiment.

This is only a note to our educators out there; you have our future in your hands!

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