Vision - looking beyond this quarter's earnings
to where and what the company ultimately wants to be in relation to its
stakeholders and its environment.
Commitment - beginning at the very top of the
organization and flowing all the way to line-level hourly employees, a
determination to provide a superior experience for every customer every
time -- proven by action (walk the walk), not talk.
Objectivity - a clear view of the company, its
vision, and its culture from an unbiased vantage point free of private
Planning - a strategic blueprint to guide the
construction of a customer-focused culture...a required process to maintain
alignment with the vision over time.
Discipline - methodical implementation and execution
of tactics to put the strategic plan into action, with built-in regular
checkpoints to measure results, gauge progress, and make tactical adjustments.
Buy-in - understanding, internalization, and
active support from all ranks of the organization, from hourly workers
to the board of directors -- with particular emphasis on middle management
(the people responsible for tactical execution).
Consistency - maintaining strategic integrity
and applying the customer service initiative evenly -- in all support materials,
in all departments, in all strata of the company.
Continuity - systematic conceptual links which
bind the initiative together over time, independent of personalities or
level of resource support.
Patience - realistic expectations of cultural
dynamics and appreciation for the time involved in influencing the shape
of a culture (it can't done by ordering it so).
Resources - time, money, and people required
to make the customer-focused culture happen, the amount of each being a
function of how fast management wants it to happen.
10 BUILDING BLOCKS FOR A CUSTOMER-FOCUSED CULTURE
(This item appeared as a sidebar in the July 1996