Creating Experience Transformation That Lasts: Why You Must Start with LEGACY

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In my Daily Dose video series, I explore the topics that chief customer officers must grapple with on a daily basis. Join me as I discuss what I’ve learned over the course of my 35-year career, so that you can more effectively do the work that needs to be done.

The following is a lightly edited transcript of the video below. To start defining your legacy and your “Three Blocks Long,” click here for downloadable worksheets.


Today I want to talk about LEGACY. The question I’ve been asking, that you’ve probably heard by now, is “How will you be remembered?”

In today’s Daily Dose, I want to talk about why starting with legacy is critical and the three actions that you can take to add this into your transformation effort, because what we know is: this is not occurring in almost 90% of transformations.

What we know often happens in an organization transformation is: we get involved in a very well intended manner; we go and we start fixing things. But we don’t build the guardrails; we don’t think about the behaviors; and we don’t consider the leadership and the legacy that we’re building for in the long term.

So in this Daily Dose, I want to walk you through three things that I think will help you as you’re engaging your leaders.

And the word “legacy”—by the way—is very, very powerful, not only to them personally, but it’s part of what really creates sustainability in this work. If you’re only fixing broken things and you’re not simultaneously embedding the way the company behaves and the way leaders lead, then what you’re working on may leave when you leave the room. So this is very critical for the long term sustainability, prosperity and profitability of your organization.

Know it: what’s the purpose we serve in customer’s lives? Why will people’s lives be better because we’ve been in it?

Number one: you need to know it. Now this sounds like it’s a natural thing that organizations would do. But this is not your mission statement.

First, knowing it asks: “What is the purpose that we serve in customers lives?” It articulates it in a very clear, simple way that everyone in the organization can then understand, translate, and make personal to them.

The second thing that’s really critical are the guardrails around behavior. Think about it this way: “If our organization were to be described as people, what attributes do we want people to use to describe us with?”

Kind, guiding, patient? What are those words?

So who are you as people? And how are you not just improving lives, but why will people’s lives be better because you’ve been in it? Why would people stand in line to see your people, to experience your products, and to have your experience?

“Know it” is critical, because then it guides build it.

Build it: how will we show up?

Build it is the hard work of embedding into our operating DNA, “how we will show up?”

For instance, if trust is an attribute that we want to have, then we need to do a trust audit. We need to look at all of our paperwork and our documentation and understand: is there somewhere where we are not trusting customers, or where we’re not trusting our employees?

This second action is taking those personal attributes and that purpose—why you’re improving lives, why would people stand in line for you—and translating it into your operating model.

Now, I’ve talked about this a lot of times: you can’t boil the ocean. Pick one or two things, and start there.

What’s interesting is that we know repetition is what changes organization.

Live it: congruence of heart and habit

The third thing is “Live It.” Now this is congruence of behaviors from your leaders that are in line and in sync with what the company says it wants to be, the kind of people you want to show up as.

What’s important in this action is: leaders need to show up in their behaviors and in their decisions as congruent with what the company says.

One of my favorite examples is REI: a company that is about community and being outdoors. And so their decision is they will close on Black Friday.

A little more tactical example might be: if you really are saying that you are a company that says it’s fair and honest, then might stop adding on fees that produce short-term revenue versus the long-term gain that would be earned by building an experience and by earning your legacy.

Your Three Takeaways

So here are the three things in today’s Daily Dose to earn the right to be remembered, to build and live your legacy or your “Three Blocks Long.”

You need to know it.

You need to build it.

You need to live it.

Download resources to help you define your “Three Blocks Long” and learn more about how I can help here

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