Lessons from Disneyland

Build your map and build value

Have you ever been to Disneyland?  Millions of people, children and adults alike, have visited it and enjoyed its magic and experienced the wonder it has engendered. But did you know it nearly didn’t happen?

When Walt Disney first tried to get financial backing for his project – the future Disneyland – his own studio refused to fund it. So what did Walt Disney do?

He sent his brother, Ray, to meet with potential investors in New York. Imagine going to meet with potential investors to sell the concept of Disneyland – a concept that was new, unknown and untested. However, Walt Disney did not send his brother unarmed or empty-handed – he equipped him with a map of what Disneyland would look like.

Figure 1 – The Original Map for Disneyland

The map of Disneyland allowed Walt and Ray Disney to share the vision with their potential investors, it made the idea tangible for them, and provided them with a path that they could follow to see where this concept would lead it to.

Maps provide a point of reference for you and others, a guide to how you will achieve your vision, and a way by which people can align their interests and effort by creating buy-in and engagement. They reduce risk and provide a yardstick that you can measure your progress against.

What is the map that you have drawn, or have to draw, that you need to share with your stakeholders – your staff, your customers, your suppliers, your investors and shareholders, and your community. And when you have your map – how will you share it and communicate so it aligns their needs, interests and actions with those that you need?

The first map illustrating the Disneyland concept recently sold for over USD $1 million at auction. What will your map be worth to you in the future?

 

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Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

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Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions

3 Reasons Why the Customer is NOT Always Right!

3 reasons why the customer is not always right

One of the oldest adages for customer experience and customer service is “The customer is always right!”.

Sorry, I don’t hold with that. Why? People assume that it is better to keep a customer rather than alienate a customer. But often this is not the best decision to make.

I want to distinguish between two types of customers – those who buy products and those who buy services.  There is a key difference between them – products are fixed and tangible; services are experiential.  In short, products are about hand-offs and hand-overs, and services are about handshakes. Be clear on what you are dealing with – the product or the service.

So when is the customer NOT right? Simply put, there are three times.

Firstly, when the customer is not a customer. Just because someone has bought from you does not mean that they are a suitable customer, or that they are someone you want to have and keep as a customer. Think of a time you had the “customer from hell” where the cost, stress and effort involved in servicing the client was not worthwhile. What did you do? Keep them and continue to suffer or let them go?

Secondly, when the customer is wrong. Yes, they are human and fallible and prone to making mistakes just as often as you and I. Just because they believe they are right does not mean that they are right. Think of a time when you believed you were right, but when you considered the situation further you found that you were wrong. Caving-in to a customer just because they think they are right does damage in two ways – the customer is kept uninformed and unaware of the risks/costs they are incurring; and you are doing the wrong thing by the customer, it may be a difficult conversation but you need to act in the customer’s best interests and educate them.

Finally, when you are right. You should be an expert and experienced in regards what you are selling to your customers – whether products or services – and you should be able to distinguish between when you are right or not. Just because a client is more vocal or aggressive in what they are saying or claiming does not diminish you or your expertise. Be assertive and calmly state the position whilst staying focused on the issue and not the individual.

So what are you going to do when the customer is not right, and how will you handle the situation? Share here the one action you will take, right now, to address this.

To find out more about how to attract the right prospects, convert them into great customers and deliver great results for you and your clients in building a sustainable business please click here.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

3 Insights to Being Successfully Self-Employed

What you need to know to be successful

So you are self-employed or you are looking to take the plunge and become self-employed.

Why?

Being employed is often seen as a safe and secure way by which to live your life. But is it what you want? Increasingly, job security and tenure is becoming less certain. Even so, people are loathe to make the move from what they know to that which they do not know.

Being self-employed can give you freedom, but with freedom comes with choice and with choice comes responsibility. Being self-employed does not necessarily bring you independence. Believe me, I have been there!

Being self-employed means taking responsibility for what you do and for what you don’t do, for what you achieve and what you do not achieve. At the end of the day it is what you do that matters. You may not be able to control everything around you or what happens to you, but you can always choose how you respond.

If you want to be self-employed and independent here are three things to be clear on:

  1. Your passion – what is your passion, that which underpins you and is you, which inspires you and can inspire others?
  2. Your goalsusing your passion, what do you want to achieve for yourself, for others and what legacy do you want to create or leave?
  3. Your planhow you will make it sustainable? What do you need to do to ensure you can continue to do this on an on-going basis? What do you need to earn? Who do you need to involve? What resources, capabilities or capacity do you need to be able to access?

To be self-employed and independent you need to take control, to drive from the front where you can see you are going and focus on where you need to go. To guide you use your passion, your goals, and your plan to help you build something that you love, that lasts and leaves a legacy.

So what are you going to do if you are self-employed, or you are looking to be self-employed? Share here the one action you will take, right now, to address this.

To find out more about how to build your own business and to attract the right prospects, convert them into great customers and deliver great results for you and your clients in building a sustainable business please click here.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

Managing Conflict Successfully, Using the Conflict Strategies Matrix

Four key strategies to use when managing conflict, and when to use them

When assessing what strategy to use in managing the conflict there are two key criteria:

  • the importance of the outcome and
  • the importance of the relationship.

Their relative importance will vary with each situation.

The four quadrants in the above matrix are:

  • Detachment/Disinterest. You don’t care about the outcome or the relationship.
  • Accommodation/Appeasement. Keeping the relationship going is far more important to you than achieving your personal goal.  In this kind of conflict, you may accommodate the other person’s interests. Accommodation approaches can be habit forming. Being flexible about your personal goals is important, but putting yourself second to all others can be an ineffectual stance.
  • Tough-Love Negotiation. You place equally high value on your goal and the relationship. These conflicts are often difficult as you look to create a ‘win-win’ situation.
  • Goal-Centered Negotiation. You don’t care whether the other person likes you, whether the relationship continues or how badly the other person feels; you just want to win. You are prepared to forgo the relationship

In managing conflict you need to be aware of and develop the necessary cognitive, emotional, and behavioral skills that will allow you think, calm down, slow down and engage with the conflict constructively.

When faced with conflict, people respond in a variety of ways. They think about what is happening. They experience emotional reactions that are influenced by the ways they view and how they interpret the conflict. Finally, they also take action to address the concerns that the conflict raises.

Three other factors that will influence your style of handling conflict: power, emotionality and time.

  • Power. The extent to which a person has power will vary with the context of the situation, and the relative of the power of the others involved in the conflict. These interactions will affect how the conflict is handled. People derive their power, both formally and informally, through five main sources:
    • Reward power: using compensation to drive people to accomplish more than expected.
    • Coercive power: convincing people to do things against their will.
    • Legitimate power:  using their role  or position  within an organization to garner respect.
    • Expert power: exercising influence because they are viewed as knowledgeable in an area.
    • Referent power: compelling people to act in a certain way because they are attracted to you or want to be like you.
  • Emotionality. Certain strategies are typically accompanied by more expressed emotion, and certain emotions can influence which strategies we use. For example, tough-love is hard requiring the ability to express, tolerate and manage emotions.
  • Time. Here we find ourselves having to cope with what is important and what is urgent.  Often people fall victim to a sense of urgency and compromise on what is important.  For example, you may lack the time you need to involve everyone and gain their commitment in managing a conflict.  Time, especially the lack of it, can change the dynamics of the conflict.

Being aware of these different strategies is important in two ways – firstly, it helps you determine what kind of strategies you want to adopt in managing the conflict; secondly, it provides you a tool by which to assess what strategies the other party may adopt.

Try these three steps in developing insights in situations where you currently experience conflict:

Step 1: For yourself: where are you now and where do you want to be?  Mark it out on the matrix.

Step 2: For the other party(s): where are they now and where do you them to be?  Mark it out on the matrix.

Step 3: What do you need to do to move each other to a suitable location on the matrix that will create a “win-win” situation? Identify the key strategies and actions.

What have you found out and what will you do?

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.