Dale Carnegie Training will soon be releasing research stating that 2016 will be the year of Experience Innovation in the workplace and marketplace. This is exciting to me because it will invigorate leaders who are willing and committed to be focused on others rather than themselves by focusing first on their customers and prospects and then focusing on their employee or associates.
Let’s take a quick look at each:
The marketplace attributes will be focused on companies taking a proactive look at customer acuity with a laser-like focus on customer needs, humanizing social media, and finally empowering everyone in the organization to be able to tell the story of their brand promise.
The workplace attributes seem to be focused on creating a culture of learning and being the workplace of choice in creating employee satisfaction and loyalty. This includes compensation and benefits plus engagement practices wherein employees feel valued and appreciated. It also revisits employee schedules and workplace location agility.
While talking this week to an entrepreneur, I was asked, “How do you differentiate between what you want to do and what the market wants?” Further, “How do you focus on the marketplace when the market may not know its wants or needs?” The key is to create with others in mind not your desires, likes, and biases. The skill necessary is to closely listen during the testing phase and make adjustments based on what the customers are motivated to buy. This is hard, and the same innovation is needed in mature markets and in our ability to constantly make adjustment to our offerings.
I was visiting this last week with a senior vice president and was fascinated with the open workspace of her direct reports. It almost seemed like open workbenches with notebooks and laptops. I’m not sure if there were any desktop computers, but there were no landline telephones. I don’t even think there were assigned seats. I’ll ask on my next visit…smile.
Change is often interesting when it involves others and is not usually embraced when it involves us. The speed of change might be faster today, but the impact of change remains the same throughout history. I am reminded of Dale Carnegie, our thought leader of change and the reason why our company has lasted 103 years, who made this quote almost 70 years ago…
“Keep your mind open to change all the time, welcome it, court it.”
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