Rocks, Squiggly Things, Questions and Growth

Ever since I read the book Good to Great this quote by former Pitney Bowes Executive Fred Purdue has resonated with me…

“My job is to turn over rocks and look at the squiggly things, even if what you see can scare the h_ll out of you.”

My definition of a squiggly thing is this: Anything that is breaking down people, relationships, organizations, processes, systems and/or results.

The Enemy Within: Internal Customer Service Impacts Growth

This is the second post in a three part series about customer service.  The first post asked the question, “Can great customer service be taught to anyone?”

This post examines the need for people at every level of an organization to share a vision and view each other as their customer:

  • Have you ever needed something from a co-worker in order to do your job but encountered red-tape or bad attitudes?
  • Have you ever gone in search of answers about data that was required for a critical report only to be passed from person to person and from department to department, finding that no one would provide a straight answer let alone take ownership?
  • Have you ever sat through a meeting where it was more important to point fingers and place blame than it was to look for solutions?
  • Has your organization ever laid anyone off because it wasn’t generating enough revenue, and you know that you know, that you know; that the biggest challenges they are facing weren’t created “out there”  it was created by the silos, politics and turf wars within the organization?

Growth Doesn’t Just Happen and 5 Tips for Changing that on a Budget!

I’m currently reading John Maxwell’s new book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.  One of those laws is:  “Growth doesn’t just happen.”

One of the points that John makes is that you have to be intentional and willing to invest in your growth. (With both your time and with your finances.)  He tells a story of wanting to take an expensive leadership development course early in his career and having to save for months in order to do so.

His point reminded me of something a former employee said to me years after we worked together.  He said that he has never worked for anyone else that has been so invested growing themselves and others.  The beauty of the comment is that even when the budget for training dried up and blew away, the people I served still received great training.

Below are five tips for fueling your fire and theirs on a really tight budget…

The greatest opportunity for improvement & growth: Culture

Every time I read this quote from Patrick Lencioni every cell in my body wants to stand up and cheer!

“I am convinced that once organizational health is properly understood and placed into the right context it will surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage.  Really.”  

I can tell you true stories for hours that emphasize why the truth in that quote sparks such passion!  Here’s one of them…

John was offered a position with another company.  He accepted the position, signed a new lease and relocated to take the job. 

In his first week, some of his new co-workers take him out to eat.  Before the meal ends they tell him that they need to warn him about one particular person that he will work closely with.  They go on to share that anyone who has ever been hired in a position similar to his, has consistently been bullied out of the organization by this person.

A few days later John has lunch with someone in the community that he has known for a few years, but does not know well.  This man advises John that he should not trust ANYONE in the organization that he is now employed with.