How can you embrace the constantly changing needs of your customers?

The age old question: how to deliver the product or service that your customer needs or wants at the right time?

I’ll respond by asking a further question: Is your team on the front lines empowered to make decisions? I mean the decisions that will genuinely meet the needs of your customers?

If your answer is “possibly”, “hopefully” or “maybe” then is most likely to be no or not enough. So how is your organisation structured to support a mindset that requires change to be embraced rather than feared? So that is the teams on the front lines are required to be not only empowered but ready to make impactful decisions?

This infographic from Jimmy Janlen is a great way to visualise the difference between the “traditional” way of organising a business and the way an organisation needs to be structured to support the teams on the front line.

A few key points I’d emphasise:

  1. The top image shows that the leaders think it’s all about them whilst the bottom image shows the leaders are there to support their front line works
  2. The top image demonstrates that the communication is opaque on where the organisation is heading to those on the front lines whilst the bottom image shows that is the key responsibility of those leading as well as supporting those on the front lines
  3. The top image shows the organisation isn’t based on trust as the leaders aren’t trusting the people they have recruited to make decisions even though they are closer to the customers and therefore are in a position to make more informed decisions. The bottom image shows how an empowered organisation can be structured to ensure informed decisions can be made quickly by the people who are closest to the customers.

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