The end in mind, and what’s in the middle


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Over on the Duct Tape Marketing blog, John Jantsch stirred up a good conversation in a post about marketing as a system that has an “end in mind.” I commented there, and I see a kinship in John’s thinking to the conversations we’ve had here.  I’ve spoken often about using a target experience as a clear ‘end-in-mind.”

Beginning at the end.

Ever since I read Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People more years ago than I’d care to admit, I’ve known I was an end-in-mind girl. As a manufacturing leader I wanted to understand how my customers would use my product. As an M&A person I wanted to see an essential value customers would pay for that was unique to each business we reviewed. As a marketing executive my team focused on how a customer’s life would be better if they used our products or services to solve a need, problem or desire.

Over time, I learned that if some of us had a clear end in mind and made decisions in alignment (or as John would say, “in a system”) to reach that end, we’d have a pretty good performance win. Typically my team got a bonus; we certainly high-fived our success. Eventually I learned that if all of us across the company worked toward the same end in mind, our performance payback would be even greater.

Photo: brtsergio

Those experiences were simply the best; I bet you’ve got one in mind too. Covey was right. And so is John.

The shared journey (or what’s in the middle)

It all sounds so logical. Yet this “system” John describes so well: smart, well intended people all doing things that work toward a common vision of a customer’s success – is something to wrestle with, isn’t it?  A client & now friend of mine once said: “This is simple. It’s just not easy.”  At least not common!

As leaders, what if we could get perfectly clear about the customers who drive our growth & profits? Then what if we knew – ideally – what should happen and how they should feel from the moment they realize a need through the purchase, and on to how their needs change over time?  If we could enroll our peers across the organization in that shared journey, aiming on that end-in-mind, I know great things would happen.

What end-in-mind is your group or company working toward?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Linda Ireland
Linda Ireland is co-owner and partner of Aveus LLC, a global strategy and operational change firm that helps leaders find money in the business performance chain while improving customer experiences. As author of Domino: How to Use Customer Experience to Tip Everything in Your Business toward Better Financial Performance, Linda built on work done at Aveus and aims to deliver real-life, actionable, how-to help for leaders of any organization.


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