Ariana Grande’s performance at the spectacular One Love Manchester show yesterday taught me a few things. First of all, I’m getting old and didn’t know who quite a few of the artistes were, secondly, the power of a 23 year old woman with a vision for what she wants is incredibly strong, and thirdly, Little Mix are quite good!
I also think there are some real lessons there for anyone who is running, or is in, a business. The whole event showed all 7 Characteristics that our research has identified that we see in Dramatically and Demonstrably Different Businesses.
Here they are….
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3D Characteristic #1: Get That Vision Thing!
Ariana established a clear picture of what she wanted that ‘stimulated, excited and inspired’ and she got people ‘on board’…. all in around a week! People of all ages (even old ‘uns like Chris Martin of Coldplay!) ‘bought in’ to the vision and got involved, and ‘delivered’ – that’s leadership in action.
3D Characteristic #2: Think in 3D!
The whole event totally reflected our definition of a ‘Dramatic Difference’ as “An unmatchable ‘bundle’ of products, services, skills, methods and practices that differentiate a business from its competitors”. The ‘mix’ of performers, the nature of the audience, the ‘circumstances’ for the event created a unique event. A great source of ‘Dramatic Difference’ is to ‘Break The Rules and Set The Rules’ and it’s clear that many of the performers went out of their way to stand against those who wished things like this didn’t happen. There seemed to be a defiance that said ‘we’re making a stand for young women everywhere’ and that as young successful women ‘we do and dress how we want’ – the exact thing the extremists don’t want. That’s ‘Demonstrating’ your ‘Dramatic Difference’!
3D Characteristic #3: Create Delighted And Devoted Customers
This is all about ‘delighting’ customers by exceeding their expectations and providing something that surprises and pleases them…. that was Liam Gallagher! Bringing one of Manchester’s own along completely exceeded our expectations… although, by definition, exceeding expectations does raise them for next time…. I can’t help but think I wasn’t the only one wondering whether Noel going to turn up! The performances consistently ‘exceeded expectations’ (admittedly as ‘an old git’, mine might not have been that high!) and the whole ‘feel good’ atmosphere was a ‘delight’.
3D Characteristic #4: Forget CRM, Think MCR! Maximise Customer Relationships
3D Businesses ‘give the best to, and get the best from, their customers’. They proactively give the best to their customers by providing fantastic customer experiences, but they also get the best from them in terms of things like maximising financial returns, repeat business and referrals. As well as delivering a great performance, the event has raised in excess of £10 million with £2 million being donated during the 3 hours of the concert through text and online pledges – THAT’s maximising relationships!
3D Characteristic #5: Create An UBER Culture
Culture is the ‘way we do things around here’ and it’s established by the leaders of a business and lived by all. Ariana led this from the front with a message of ‘One Love’ and you could see it in her performance, and the collaboration… whether that was with Miley Sirus, the choir from Parrs Wood School or the stunning performance of ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ with Cold Play…. and the 50,000 people in audience. ‘Culture’ is what you as a customer see, feel and experience, and the sight of a policeman dancing in a circle with half a dozen young girls in the audience was a wonderful site that completely reflected this.
3D Characteristic #6: KeeP In Control
This is all about having a ‘profit focus’ and ensuring that you are ‘keeping score’. A ‘key indicator’ here was the money being raised and regular updates of how this was doing was there for all to see. Another key one was ‘keeping to time’ and delivering within the time frames allotted – they seemed to do that well considering all those ‘egos’ in one place and the possible temptation to ‘stay on stage’ – We’re back to ‘culture’!
3D Characteristic #7: InnovatiON
Our definition of ‘Innovation’ is ‘the successful exploitation of new ideas’ and 3D Businesses build this into the way they do things. It’s about leadership, it’s about processes and it’s about creating a climate to make it happen. This event demonstrated that in everything that it did – from the original inception to the spectacular effects on stage (Coldplay particularly)… and it all happened in 7 days. Now, that’s innovation in ACTION!
So, you’re not Ariana, you’re not Robbie Williams and you’re not Nial from One Direction, but here are some questions for you and your business..
1: Do you have a clear vision that ‘stimulates, excites and inspires’? (you, and others?)
2: What is your ‘Dramatic Difference’ and do you and your people ‘Demonstrate’ it in everything you do?
3: What do you do to ‘Delight’ your customers….. consistently?
4: How good are you and your business at maximising relationships and opportunities with your customers – are you bombarded with repeat business and referrals?
5: How effective are you at establishing (and living) your culture to create real competitive advantage?
6: How ‘in control’ are you in your business – are you measuring (and managing) the right things?
7: How effective are you at ‘successfully exploiting new ideas’ and making innovatiON work?
In the meantime, in the wise words of an old hero, Liam Gallagher… ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, through to Chris Martin, please do all you can to ‘Fix You’ through to some wonderful words of wisdom from my new heroine Ariana…Go on, ‘Break Free’!