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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.

StrategyDriven Management Observation Program Best Practice Article

Management Observation Program Best Practice 9 – Feeding the Performance Management Program

Most companies employ a periodic employee review program, typically comprised of a major annual review and sometimes complimented by a formal mid-year feedback session. Examination of these programs reveals most performance ratings are based on those individual behaviors, events, and accomplishments occurring within a few weeks of a review’s development.


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Recommended Resource – Secrets of Power Problem Solving

Secrets of Power Problem Solving

by Roger Dawson

About the Reference

Secrets of Power Problem Solving by Roger Dawson provides an insightful examination of the theories and practices associated with decision-making. Throughout his book, Roger challenges commonly held beliefs about the decision-making process and provides actionable methods to effectively address problems of all types… of which he indicates there are only two, people and money issues.

In Secrets of Power Problem Solving, Roger presents methods for answering several key decision-making questions:

  • Does the Problem Deserve a Solution?
  • Is the Problem Real or Imagined?
  • How Quickly Should You Choose?
  • Intuition or Rapid Reasoning?
  • What Makes You a Great Problem Solver?

Benefits of Using this Reference

StrategyDriven Contributors like Secrets of Power Problem Solving because of its logical, well-structured approach to everyday decision-making that will be of value to new and seasoned professionals. Roger provides immediately implementable methods for effectively dealing with both people and money challenges. Furthermore, each chapter is summarized by a “Key points from this chapter” list that makes periodic review of his book for principles reinforcement easy and fast.

If we had one suggestion to offer it would be that the flow of the book and its recommendations would be more easily synthesized by the reader if an overview of the decision-making process was presented in the beginning of the book. This is a very minor point as a moderately experienced decision-maker can easily follow Roger’s line of thinking throughout the book.

Effective decision-making is both a role and challenge for today’s professionals. Secrets of Power Problem Solving’s methods provide new and seasoned professionals with a collection of decision-making practices that will help them become better decision-makers. Additionally, the recommendations Roger presents throughout his book are very well aligned with StrategyDriven’s decision-making best practices; making Secrets of Power Problem Solving a StrategyDriven recommended read.

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.