Covid-19 has shown us that those companies who place customers at the core of board-level decision making are winning. Companies such as BT, Brewdog and Direct Line have shown themselves agile and generous. And they're winning advocates.
What's clear however is that we are only at the end of the beginning. And with physical distancing shrinking our individual worlds, it is more challenging than ever to understand customers’ changing psyche.
A powerful step towards peak performance in this period is building strong customer instinct. Leadership teams need to develop accurate responses but without direct access to customer reality they often get diluted and, at worst, distorted readings.
Here’s how Amy Edmondson, the No. 3 business thinker in the world* describes the problem:
“The frontline knows the customers are complaining or have problems, and then by the time you get to middle management half of those are gone. By the time you get to senior executives, maybe 4% of what is going on is known by them because of the absolute reluctance to send bad news up the hierarchy. So the customers’ real desires, needs may not be fully known by those who have the power to really invest in them and solve them… Leaders need to be saying – we know things are going wrong out there and we need to know about it because that’s what will make us better than today. Speed of hearing about it is really important.”
Our SLT closeness programmes inject customer reality, building customer instinct to expose the problems and opportunities that are the gems for building growth.
Would you, your team, or your business leaders benefit from this? Do you want to work with a company experienced in building customer instinct with CEO’s and Senior Leadership Teams?
If so, contact us and we can create a bespoke programme that will meet the specific needs of your Senior Leadership Team and your business.
*2019 Thinkers 50. Amy Edmondson - Harvard Business School professor, author of The Fearless Organisation – creating psychological safety in the workplace for learning, innovation and growth