How does your company incorporate its mission statement? Is it used daily as a decision-making lens for uniting the organization in making operational decisions? Most importantly, do employees know it and use it to improve customers’ lives and earn the right to growth?
When I work with clients, it’s important that we define what I call, “clarity of purpose.” Simply put, your clarity of purpose must guide operating decisions; it needs to be crafted with the customers’ journey at its core *(Tweet this).
Without it, people’s work will be defined by internal metrics, not by earning the right to customer growth. The work that comes out of the journey mapping is at risk of staying silo-centric rather than guided by a simple understanding of how outcomes should improve customers’ lives.
Scorecards Shouldn’t Define Company Goals
I’m reminded of a keynote speech I gave for a large homebuilding company. There were 500 people in the crowd, and while walking around during my keynote, I started asking people what their job was –
- “To get the customer to sign the contract”
- “To get the customer to close faster”
- “To get the customer to add more options”
These were the responses I received. And it made me realize that people’s jobs were siloed. Their success was tied to their scorecard—scorecards that connected to internal goals about the company’s growth—not about their roles in improving customers’ lives. I knew we had to do something about this immediately.
Elevate the Work of the Organization Through Clarity of Purpose
During this keynote, I wanted the folks in the audience to think about how they could improve customers’ lives as a result of their journey with the company. Honestly, sometimes I think I’m the “Italian Oprah because I’m so passionate about helping companies transform. The message I emphasize to my clients and during keynotes is to focus your messaging on how customers’ lives will benefit from working with you versus what you want to achieve in the marketplace, or how large you want to become *(Tweet this). This elevates the work of the organization and grounds everyone in taking actions to earn the right to customer-driven growth.
Ultimately, at the end of the session, we ended up flipping the homebuilding company’s growth trajectory by reframing their business purpose to “deliver the American dream.” This changed everything from how they showed model homes, to how they delivered homes, to how they kept new homeowners in the loop and excited throughout the building process. Establishing a customer-driven clarity of purpose drove a shift from internal to external goals and netted them a thirty percent revenue growth over the next two years.
Take this litmus test to determine what you’re telling employees is important in their work. Find your company mission statement and give it a read. Is it about how your company will emerge as the leader in your field or become known for a marketplace position to be achieved in X years? Or is it about your higher purpose in improving customers’ lives? If it’s not about improving customers’ lives, it’s time to meet with the C-Suite and rethink what your guiding light is.
This is a paraphrased excerpt from my book, Chief Customer Officer 2.0. In this book, you’ll find over 40 case studies and learn how to use the 5 competencies as your company’s core framework for customer-driven success.
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