Have you ever formed a habit for one reason, and then discovered some unexpected “fringe benefits” related to your new habit. Bicycling has been that way for me. I started cycling as a way to get in shape, but that is only one of its many benefits! For many years, I have used my long bicycle rides to…
- Burn calories – I love to eat.
- Reduce stress – As the leader, I had constant challenges and opportunities coming at me.
- Think – I needed time to work ON my life and family as well as ON my business.
It was the thinking time that was most valuable to me.
One day while on a long bicycle ride, I was thinking and kept asking myself, “At the end of the day in our business, what do we want to accomplish? And could it be stated simply, so that our people could easily understand and remember it?”
It finally came to me, that at the end of the day, we want to accomplish only two things:
- Delight Customers, and
- Increase Operating Profits
I later called these our Super–Objectives, because they became the two high-level, over-arching objectives for our business.
Observation: These Super-Objectives can apply to any and all organizations.
Then I started to think about how I could show a visual picture of how our Values, our Purpose, our Vision, and our Super–Objectives work together in the overall Albert Moving and Storage business planning.
To help your planning for your own business, I have reproduced the Albert Business Planning Model on a single sheet. It’s FREE, and you can download it immediately by <clicking here>. Feel free to print it or save it for your own use.
Every leader can successfully achieve the organization’s goals by championing these two Super–Objectives.
Over the years, I have concluded that there are simply three types of customers:
Unhappy Customers – When their experiences don’t meet their expectations. The customer felt the work was…
- Wrong, incomplete, sloppy, or late
- The service provider was rude or unprofessional
- The cost was higher than expected
Satisfied Customers – When their experiences are about what they expected.
Delighted Customers – When their experiences exceed their expectations. What the customer received or experienced was clearly…
- Better, more complete, or available sooner than expected
- The service providers were more polite, professional, helpful, or pleasant than expected, and/or
- The value (quality and quantity relative to cost) was greater than the customer expected
In my company, we knew we had Delighted the Customer when we gave them an experience that exceeded their expectations.
And we actually had measurable performance goals as to how well we Delighted the Customer.
Insight: When you delight your customers, increased operating profits will follow.
Increase Operating Profits
Our employees could clearly understand these three simply ways to Increase Operating Profits:
- Increase revenue,
- Decrease expenses, and/or
- Increase productivity
As the years went by and as the owner of the business, I became more and more transparent with our company’s financial information as we became better at financial forecasting.
This transparency was important for two reasons…
- Accountability – The leadership team saw company-wide financial information as well as details of just their responsible function (sales, operations, IT, etc.) or business unit (product or service offering).
- Reward – I wanted to share with our people our financial success by awarding bonuses when we performed over and above a certain operating income threshold.
Insight: I found that there was a direct relationship between my transparency with our business financials, and our success as an organization. More transparency created more success!
Do you have somewhere you go for just your thinking time? Could you apply these two Super–Objectives in your own organization? Please share your thoughts <here> and share this blog post with a friend or co-worker.