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It’s An All Or None Proposition

The Clifton Review 


The Clifton Review is a tri-weekly column that examines the question of the Clifton project along with the evolution of the war between two billionaires. We covered the start of this war with articles describing the battle over easement rights, the mysterious burning of a home, the blocks to rebuilding, and countless questionable court filings.

While the 2018 series salutes fashion mogul Peter Nygård’s Golden Jubilee detailing his rags to riches story, his incredible business success over these past fifty years and an inside look at how he did it, The Clifton Review will also continue to address current affairs as they relate to the good of The Bahamas.


It’s An All Or None Proposition

By P.J. Malone

Would another practical example of organizational alignment be helpful? Since it’s the last discussion in this series on organizational alignment, let’s walk through an example related to customer service.

What if you had a business purpose of making your business services as easy and as stress free for your customers as possible, but you recognize that you haven’t exactly been delivering on this purpose?

This presents an opportunity for you to align the various parts of your organization with the business purpose. That means aligning systems and processes and lining up your employees in a way to always work toward this business purpose.

First, let’s talk about the importance of such a purpose and what it essentially means. 

This purpose can give you a real competitive advantage over any competition you may have. If a company is going to make their services so much easier, and lessen an individual’s stress level, considering all of the other stressors we have to deal with in life, of course individuals would much rather take advantage of your services as opposed to the competition.

And what does your purpose really mean? It means that you will go to whatever extent is necessary to ensure that customers are engaging in an easy and stress-free process at your business. One way to think about it is like this:

The key to everything you do at your business is to avoid the customer having to think too hard about any of it. So all of your processes should make business very easy for your customer.

Beginning with your processes, how can you improve your processes to line up with your intent of making it a stress-free experience for the customer? What can you do that would require less thinking and result in easier decisions for your customers? 

Though this could look different for individual business types, there are some standard things that could be considered. How about having checklists or instruction sheets or simple yes/no forms to complete for carrying out a service. This is easy for accounting services or banking, but how would this look for food services, for example?

Well, this could translate into offering more options to a customer. It doesn’t necessarily mean adding things. It could mean adding more combinations especially on popular items. It could mean making more suggestions without being asked especially on items like specials. It could mean asking upfront, for example, what are you in the mood for today: chicken, fish, beef? Or, light meal, sandwich, big plate? Everything that requires them to think less would be helpful. 

Once again, fashion mogul Peter Nygard strategies serve as great examples of aligning his processes to his purpose. He was one of the first in his industry to have computer terminals inside his stores in Canada to allow customers to order other colors, styles or sizes of an item that better suit their preferences that were not available in the store.

He also thought about the fact that husbands sometimes shop with wives; so very early on, he provided sofas, coffee and a television screen in a section of the store for husbands to allow the wives to shop freely without the pressure to leave from a bored husband.

The bottom line is to look at what processes you can change in your business to make the experience easier for the customer. In other words, think of what you are trying to achieve, think about your customer and what would make life easier for them while they interact with your services or products, on the spot and after they leave.

Next you have to align your human resources. That’s an entirely different kettle of fish involving strategies that must be just as effective in helping to achieve the business purpose. The point of organizational alignment is that it’s an all or nothing proposition. Every component must line up with each other because none can achieve the business objectives or fulfill its purpose on its own.

We will outline the various possibilities of lining up your employees with your business purpose and objectives in our upcoming edition.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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