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Creating Customer Focused Teams, Part 3

Developmental Stage Movement

In time, Stage 1 teams arrive at Stage 2. Stage 2 teams will either get stuck in Stage 2 or move on to Stage 3. Stage 3 teams can slip back into Stage 2 or move on to Stage 4. Progress or slippage depends on whether the team builds on its momentum or rests on its laurels. In Stage 4, the team can move on through consistent improvement or slip back by becoming arrogant and overconfident. Keep in mind that none of these stages are good or bad. They are necessary stepping-stones in the process that leads to high performance.


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About the Author

Since growing up in his family’s boating business to founding his company CMI, Bruce Hodes has dedicated himself to helping companies grow by developing executive leadership teams, business leaders and executives into powerful performers. Bruce’s adaptable Breakthrough Strategic Business Planning methodology has been specifically designed for small-to-mid-sized companies and is especially valuable for family company challenges. In February of 2012 Bruce published his first book Front Line Heroes: Battling the business Tsunami by developing high performance organizations (Volume 1). With a background in psychotherapy, Hodes also has an MBA from Northwestern University and a Masters in Clinical Social Work. More info: [email protected] or www.cmiteamwork.com.

Creating Customer Focused Teams, Part 2

Customer Focus, Feedback and Service Strategy

To create customer-focused teams, employees must understand that they win when the customers win; there is more to this positioning than meets the eye. The customer win has to be defined so that the company also wins. If you ask customers what they want they will tell you I want the service and product for nothing. Typically companies cannot stay in business by doing this. So the raving fan service strategy needs to be designed so that the company and its employees can deliver. Back to Apple, their products are easy to use and their informed employees can teach consumers how to use their products. All this conspires to make many raving fan Apple customers. Every service strategy needs to be designed so that this concept is constantly reinforced.


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About the Author

Since growing up in his family’s boating business to founding his company CMI, Bruce Hodes has dedicated himself to helping companies grow by developing executive leadership teams, business leaders and executives into powerful performers. Bruce’s adaptable Breakthrough Strategic Business Planning methodology has been specifically designed for small-to-mid-sized companies and is especially valuable for family company challenges. In February of 2012 Bruce published his first book Front Line Heroes: Battling the business Tsunami by developing high performance organizations (Volume 1). With a background in psychotherapy, Hodes also has an MBA from Northwestern University and a Masters in Clinical Social Work. More info: [email protected], 800-883-7995, www.cmiteamwork.com.

Creating Customer Focused Teams, Part 1

What is a Customer Focused Team?

The word ‘team’ is overused in business; it gets applied to any group of humans in a work setting. However, when you define a team as everything, you end up with nothing.

The best and most concise definition for corporate teams I have found comes from The Wisdom of Teams by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith. They define a team as “a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.” The crucial words are ‘common purpose’ and ‘mutually accountable.’ Without these, you don’t have a team.


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About the Author

Since growing up in his family’s boating business to founding his company CMI, Bruce Hodes has dedicated himself to helping companies grow by developing executive leadership teams, business leaders and executives into powerful performers. Bruce’s adaptable Breakthrough Strategic Business Planning methodology has been specifically designed for small-to-mid-sized companies and is especially valuable for family company challenges. In February of 2012 Bruce published his first book Front Line Heroes: Battling the business Tsunami by developing high performance organizations (Volume 1). With a background in psychotherapy, Hodes also has an MBA from Northwestern University and a Masters in Clinical Social Work. More info: [email protected], 800-883-7995, www.cmiteamwork.com.

Creating Teams

Performance within groups typically does not just happen. For a group to really perform well it needs practice. The group needs to understand the best way to organize itself for performance. This concept is commonly understood by sports teams and the military. They clearly see the need to give groups opportunities to practice. Boot Camp for the military and pre-season workouts for sports teams are the norm.

It is interesting to note in business that there is far less interest or appreciation of group development and the need for practice. Team practice, for the most part, is not factored into the business or corporate world. We form groups in business and march them into the corporate battle zone expecting them to perform and when they fail we are surprised.

This whole process was once again revealed to me as my business, CMI, went through the process of putting together a high performance work team. In 2008, we expanded our organization by one. A full 25 percent change growth in our employee numbers. This growth caused a change in our work mix and demands. In essence, we needed less administrative work and more research and marketing.

As we went through the expansion process, some basic truths about teams, groups, and performance helped me traverse this territory.


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About the Author

Since growing up in his family’s boating business to founding his company CMI, Bruce Hodes has dedicated himself to helping companies grow by developing executive leadership teams, business leaders and executives into powerful performers. Bruce’s adaptable Breakthrough Strategic Business Planning methodology has been specifically designed for small-to-mid-sized companies and is especially valuable for family company challenges. In February of 2012 Bruce published his first book Front Line Heroes: Battling the business Tsunami by developing high performance organizations (Volume 1). With a background in psychotherapy, Hodes also has an MBA from Northwestern University and a Masters in Clinical Social Work. More info: [email protected], 800-883-7995, www.cmiteamwork.com.