Customer-Centered Lessons From the End of the World


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So, to state the obvious, we're still here, then. But, it did generate a wave of human energy, didn't it, all the media coverage about what might happen when the particle accelerator at CERN was turned on this morning (Swiss time). Did you notice how much more 'alive' and animated people were/are when talking about it? There was a thrill attached to the minutely possible (or, as most scientists were saying, vanishingly possible or, in fact IMpossible) chance that the mundane would suddenly .

(That's a writer's conceit – using the . as a sudden 'stop' for impact. First used in the book 1066 And All That, which ends with the words "…and history came to a complete . ")

Apparently the first high speed clashes between particles won't happen till October 25th or something, so we'll go through it all again then.

But, what interests me from a customer-centered leadership perspective here is…What can you, as a leader, do to generate that frisson of energy about your organization; that sense of 'buzz', sense of aliveness that communicates itself to customers? Leaders generate and channel energy in people; that's your main job description.

There's a line of thinking that says we sleepwalk through most of what we do; that the 'highs' people seek are a seeking after a sense of aliveness and alertness that the Hadron collider inadvertently generated today. Paradoxically, we become aware of that aliveness – of our self and our purpose, some would say – most clearly when we sense an end, or anticipate one. That's what happened today, it seems to me. It's why millenial cults are full of wild-eyed people buzzing with energy.

Most organizations are the opposite, according to some organizational behaviourists, and customers experience that lack of energy or ‘buzz’ in the customer experience that is created for them. The routine, the process, the familiarity of the working day, dull our senses and our sense of the possible.

What's the alternative? The 'conscious company' is the phrase that has emerged in recent years to describe organizations with a sense of buzz, purpose, nimbleness, aliveness about them. So, let the Hadron collider human energy emission that took place this morning (European time) be a 'wake up call' for your leadership: what can you do as a leader to help generate the alertness, agility and buzz of energy that will turn your organization into a conscious company, one that customers want to come back to?

You could Google 'conscious company' for starters. 'Cos. here's a clue: the world may not have ended today; but in an overcrowded world marketplace, with far too many suppliers, and tough trading conditions for the next year or more, organizations that haven't woken up and injected some energy and 'aliveness' about them – become 'conscious companies' – won't be around anyway.


Google's take on the Hadron collider

Phil Dourado
Author, Speaker, Independent Consultant
Founding editor of Customer Service Management Journal in the United States, and of its companion title, Customer Service Management Journal (now rebranded as Customer Management Magazine) in the United Kingdom. He is the author of The 6 Second Leader (Capstone, John Wiley & Sons, 27).


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