Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workplace Report concludes that only 13% of employees are engaged in their jobs. By ‘engaged’ they mean emotionally invested and focused on creating value.
That’s a truly shocking conclusion.
What a waste of human potential and what a huge scope there is to make businesses more productive, innovative and effective. Of course, just as no-one believes they are ‘average’, so most businesses don’t think this applies to them.
If the need for improvement is recognised organisations often suffer from a misunderstanding of the needs of their customers.
They think they know what customers need, what they will buy and invest huge time and resources in building the future. Then they are then surprised when the market doesn’t like the result.
There’s a failure to understand how effective service or product design processes work.
Design is about the end-to-end delivery and experience. It can never exist in isolation as some “internal process” that lacks active involvement of real customers. It cannot be “Big Bang”.
Design thrives on constant cycles of feedback, prototyping and development.
Alan Cooper’s The Inmates are Running the Asylum explores in depth why the curse of knowledge means that expert designers and product/service developers can never succeed without engaging real customers. They will always tend to design solutions for other experts, not ordinary users.
Getting design right starts with understanding customer needs and where the true demand and value lies for products and services. And that process begins with talking to customers and then embedding them into the design process.
When the need for internal change is recognised, then organisations often suffer from the curse of Local Optimisation where “improvements” in one department are at the expense of both other groups and the end-to-end product or service.
People often assume that they know what the problems are in their organisation and try to fix them without a deep understanding of the real issues.
They think they know what will make life better for staff and are surprised when morale and productivity fall.
Gensler’s 2013 US Workplace Survey shows that while focus is improving in businesses, collaboration is decreasing – driving product and service fragmentation which cannot serve customers well. Effective end-to-end collaboration with strong focus is essential to succeed.
Designing the right solutions and delivering them well can only be done by standing back and taking a global view from both a customer’s and employee’s perspective. This reveals both what the real challenges are and where focus needs to strongest.
This process starts with uncovering and studying root causes – and this is where the Ambitious Manager Insight tools help. Here you’ll find survey tools that will allow you to get a broad understanding of the key issues from both customer and employee perspectives.
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