Management guru Peter Drucker said that “attempting to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.” That has stopped almost no one from doing it, and in fact we all make decisions, major and minor, in business and all of life, based on our understanding—puny though it may be—of what the future holds. With all of this in mind, we’ve scoured the business and marketing worlds to put together a list of 7 important pre...Read More »
A quick look at popular stories on business Websites this week. 15 Ways to Overcome Procrastination and Get Stuff Done 15 techniques to fight your tendency to procrastinate. For example, don’t set unreasonably ambitious goals. Facing the impossible is paralyzing and you won’t end up doing much of anything. --Entrepreneur Business Leaders Sizing Up GOP Presidential Candidates for 2016 Some handicappers are sizing up the Republican presidential field with some expectation that it could produc...Read More »
1. Edsel In 1957, Ford launched the Edsel, a car the company billed as hot and revolutionary, Problem: It turned out to be sort of "blah."Ford was enormously successful in building high expectations for the forthcoming Edsel, but America was equally disappointed. The Edsel tanked. It became a national joke, the car that launched a million punch lines. By November 1959, when Ford finally mercy-killed the Edsel, it had lost an estimated $250 million -- nearly $2 billion in today's dollars. “As...Read More »
The main purpose of a mission statement is to clearly and concisely answer the question, “Why do we exist?” and to lay out your overall company goals and how you will achieve them. And it does it all in a quick, easily understood – and easily shared – statement. To write an effective mission statement: Be short and easy to repeat Focus a product or service on a specific problem Put a unique stake in the ground Set an audacious goal Feature an action verb How do you think these 22 measure...Read More »
The art of online apologies and why Elizabeth Lauten failed miserably at hers: The apology was what people who have been caught say. It carries this hard-to-shake implication that she was not REALLY sorry about what she wrote, but instead was sorry that people were outraged by it. Here are tips on making an apology sound, well, real. –Forbes Coca-Cola wants to buy the world a milk: Unlike soda pop, the U.S. milk industry remains highly fragmented with few recognizable brand names. But C...Read More »
Popular posts that impact you and your business Top 10 Stores For Best Black Friday Deals (Surprise: Not Walmart!) – Forbes. The personal finance site WalletHub surveyed 5, 525 Black Friday ad scans from 22 of the country’s biggest U.S. retailers. Their results show mall stalwarts JC Penney and Macy's offering the most impressive savings. Read the article. Economic impact of aging countries – The Economist “There simply is a limit to the extent to which we can save today in excha...Read More »
21 great ways to keep up with trends that will impact you and your business We contended in a recent post titled Do You See a Trend? that companies best prepared for the future are those that most accurately forecast industry, technological, and sociological trends. How do you do that consistently and effectively? We’ve got 21 ideas. Go ahead, try some of these on for size. Happy trend-watching! Watch your values. In building your business, you have established the core values that guide ...Read More »
What is the most important asset in business? This question is something like the old desert island query: “If you were on a remote desert island and could have one thing, what would it be?: It is said that the renowned British satirist turned theologian G.K. Chesterton was asked along with others in a group discussion what book he’d want to have if he were stranded on an island. Admirers in the group expected him to name a great literary classic or deep exploration of the faith. Instead, ...Read More »
Creating business transformation and market growth
Heinz Kohut, noted 20th century psychologist and behaviorist, gave us insight into leading people to change.
He, along with his colleagues and peers, found the old adage to be true: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
Unfortunately, many managers and leaders don’t believe this. As a result, too many leaders and managers promote their thinking, their solutions, their products, their perspective and dump it on the listener expecting them to hear, accept and adopt their proposition.
People don’t do this.
While its true that when people respect a leader who has demonstrated success they give more credence to the proposition, they do not simply accept and adopt it. For them to accept and adopt the proposition it must make sense to them, and fit into their own view of the world.
Kohut came face to face with the reality that for people to change, people have to WANT to change and arrive at their own conclusions about the why, how and what. With this as a premise, he identified a sequenced series of interactions that can lead a person to want to change, accept a proposition and make a sustainable change.
Simplistically, he set out three conditions or interactions that must be established.
- Common structure –
- This condition references a shared environment. In Kohut’s view a structure could take many forms. It could be a physical space like a room or gym, a social structure like a family or community, or an organizational structure like a business culture, club or a academic institution.
- Kinship/Twinship –
- Kinship is a shared life experience. Whether constructive or destructive, we have had an experience, emotion, elation or frustration that we can observe in another and resonates with us. Empathy is a natural result.
- Trust and trial –
- When one has arrived at the truth about the situation, frustrated and in pain, we begin to seek a solution from someone else who has had a similar experienced. Thus, a common structure provides a way to discuss the influences causing the dissatisfaction, and kinship provides the empathy from another opening the door for me to ask, “what would you do.” That trust provides the basis for action – emotional and cognitive –to relieve the frustration with another’s potential solution.
His research and life work proved this out – change can occur when people are led through these steps.
Trust, then is built through this process, to the point where the individual trusts that you, the leader, has a proposition that works for them, solving their problem.
The implications for leaders and marketers is clear. Intuitive sales people have known it all along: Before you can provide a solution, you make sure the prospect knows you understand his problem, that you have experienced similar situations and that your proposition worked for you, and can work for them.
These stages of trust building are essential for moving anyone to make a change. The greater the impact of the change, the deeper the process and the more time required to establish that trust.
I have distilled Kohut’s approach into The Four Stages of TrustSM.
- Shared values (common structure)
- Shared vision (Kinship/twinship)
- Assumed responsibility (trust and trial)
- Always delivering on your promise (trial success)
Anytime change is proposed, trust is required. Building this trust always is built upon these four stages whether intentional or intuitively communicated.
Of course, the more intentional a leader or marketer can be about this process, the faster and deeper the trust can be established, trial created, leading to change for good.
So you’re talking with a stranger and as you begin to talk, you realize the parallels in your life. You were here, doing this. He was in a different place doing something similar. You attended this concert, and he attended the same event in a different city. You share some of the same likes and preferences. It’s amazing!
This values to values connection is deeply rooted as an intuitive part of our psyche. It is a “scent” we give to others in conversation, appearance, mannerisms that allows people to quickly learn about us, connect and build friendships. And if these values go deep and wide, the connection can last a lifetime. Of course, when we’re out of sync with another, you can’t leave the room fast enough.
We learn to trust another when the fundamental values we hold sync with another. When they break down, we question, judge and limit the relationship.
Similarly, as a brand or organization, the values we project are revealed in our programs, products, our sales people, channel partners, our service reps, our communications, advertising, websites and social media—all hints to our customers and the broader world of who we REALLY are.
Managing these perceptions is ultimately the job of the CEO. Trust in the company, its leaders, its vision of the future, and its investments in people, products, programs and innovation provide a “scent” and reveal the true heart of the company. Prospects and customers may lock up and become a friend for life, or may not like what they observe and just purchase and move on.
The power to build lifelong customer advocates is based on the CEO’s values and his or her ability to articulate them and expected associated behaviors, drive them through the organization, out the door and engage customers with similar values on their front porch.
This is the power of connection -- the fundamental cornerstone of shared values that create trust and reliance between people, and create glue and advocacy between people and the brands they love.