"...keeping you great" Ten Minutes with the Growth Guy
Aggie 100 Celebration -- today (November 29) Miner Corporation is celebrating their naming to the Aggie 100 list -- here's a link to the video they produced to celebrate the win. I thought the invitation, party, and video were good models for those of you wanting to celebrate a "win."
Day 2 Summary of Key Points from the Growth Summit:
Paul Orlafea, Founder of Kinko's -- Ideas and Savings, these are the two most important things leaders of growth firms must have!! His advice: close your open door, stop doing email (assistants can handle most -- and inexpensively from India!), and get more think time. Paul is so right -- what is a great idea worth to your venture? Yet, are you taking enough time to come up with them or are emails and interruptions getting in the way. His one idea for creating custom calendars gave Kinko's a $30 product that only cost $3. As for savings, this is the war chest you need when opportunity surfaces. In an earlier Insight it was suggested you take 5% - 10% of revenue right off the top and put it in savings -- you likely won't miss it.
"Kiss the hands that ring the cash registers -- Happy Fingers, Happy Registers" -- I smile every time I picture Paul standing on stage kissing his hand and sharing, in his classic style, the importance of just being nice. If you're mean to your people, they will be mean to your customers. Period. And don't answer your people's questions, because then they'll keep asking you!! Again, it's not good to be so valuable or available! Just be happy and come up with ideas. You have to love Paul and his style -- so simple and elegant at the same time. It was a 45-minute learn and laugh fest -- thanks Paul!
Fred Reichheld, The Ultimate Question -- OK, this was the most surprising session for me. This guy has his research down pat -- he started by showing that companies that focus on and generate loyal customers have 2.5 times the growth rate, industry after industry (with concise examples). THE KEY is giving managers the METRICS and MUSCLE to garner the same attention to loyalty as one might give to productivity, quality, speed, etc. And the key metric is the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is calculated by just asking the customer one question "would you enthusiastically recommend our company to a friend" -- and he was specific about using a 10 point scale vs. 5 point; how what you label the scale doesn't matter; how to use the results to calculate your NPS; and that the only other question you ever need to ask the customer is "and if you didn't give us an eight or better, may we call you to discuss?" -- that's it -- forget all the other questions you're asking customers (he means on your standard customer satisfaction survey!).
Good Profits vs. Bad Profits -- Reichheld also drove home how companies must differentiate good profits from bad profits. I'm living this situation right now in India as I write this Insight. I lost my passport on a Kingfisher Airlines flight (the JetBlue of India). The airline went out of its way to find my passport, searching the plane twice, calling other offices at 3am in the morning, etc -- and then tracking me down and getting me my passport -- not in time to make my flight, but I had my passport. They went to great time and expense to help me -- and they moved quickly -- I'll remember this. In turn, I go back to the high-end hotel where we hosted our workshop to book another room -- and where we spent a nice chunk of change earlier in the week. It's 4am, I'm going to turn around and leave at 10pm, so we're talking 18 hours -- yet, they charge me for two full days. I've already discussed with my India partner about avoiding using their properties in the future -- and he's the one that reminded me "these are bad profits" earned at the expense of treating customers badly. Where are you earning bad profits? (and where has Gazelles earned bad profits -- would love your candid feedback).
Frank Muehleman, Dell -- Customer and Employee Feedback -- you've heard me preach how important it is to FORMALLY gather customer and employee feedback on a daily and weekly basis. Well, Michael Dell is back doing this with a vengeance. Checkout IdeaStorm -- this is Dell's new "community" where customers can provide all kinds of feedback -- and since initiating six months ago, over 500,000 posts have been made. Dell has created a similar site for employees. And Michael started back up his Friday morning meeting where these suggestions are vetted. Muehleman's presentation about the 10 keys to web marketing also has us looking at all the up-sell paths on our website (which we have none!) -- it was a real wake-up call for my team. Muehleman also emphasized how websites are becoming more commonly structured, with navigation in the left hand column and various resources in the right hand column. Again, we're going to act on these ideas. (Dell, thanks for being the main sponsor of our Growth Summit).
Kaihan Krippendorf -- The Art of the Advantage -- there's a reason Microsoft and other major firms are buying up all of this ex-McKinsey's time -- he's brought real-world examples, tools, and processes to the famous 36 Strategems of eastern warfare. What struck me was the importance of programming your brain with these 36 strategems, which will happen naturally if you utilize them quarterly as part of your strategic planning process. Krippendorf pointed out that the difference between Master Chess players and Grand Master Chess players is that the Grand Masters have four times the number of chess move patterns at their disposal. They are not any further steps ahead, just able to bring up a broader range of countermoves. To help you visualize and use these stratagems, Krippendorf has made them available on an interactive DVD which includes a powerful "stratagem selector" that aids in choosing the right six stratagems (out of the 36) depending on the competitive situation facing you and your company.
"Declare your Core. Core Customers, Core Competencies, Core Values.
And Stick to them. Study them, Act on them, Measure how you are doing on them. And Really start focusing on developing Loyalty among your Core Customers. That's where the Growth is. And it can be measured." I borrowed this overall Growth Summit summary from Michael Synk, our Memphis coaching partner, who sent this along to me after the Summit -- nicely stated Michael.
Next Summits: Sales and Marketing Summit, April 22 -- 23, Orlando, FL; Growth Summit, October 21 -- 23 (likely Atlanta, GA); National Australian Growth Summit, February 18 -- 20, Sydney, Australia.