It was a few years ago when I sat listening to Tom Peters and his opinions about management and organisations. Some of the things he said were quite shocking for many employees in the room. The title of this blog was stolen from Tom’s presentation and I thought I’d share it with you, showing the relevance to his comments – which have proven to be pretty accurate.
Tom was insistant that companies should look at their employees very carefully and assess their suitability for each role on an ongoing basis. This means that every employee is being continually assessed for performance and fit-in factor.
He said with passion, as he walked up and down the stage…”SPEED, SPEED, SPEED”
What did the audience expect next?
Tom made it very clear that most employees were lazy at best and lacked the passion and determination to press forward in their careers. That Managers and Directors found themselves going around in circles, without direction or showing proper leadership. He said that people who wanted to be the best at what they do, have no work/life balance and that it is impossible to be at the top of your chosen career without something suffering in your personal life.
An interesting point.
He spoke of the 16 year old employee of a department store, who had been employed for less than a week, when he had to deal with a customer complaint. It went something like this…
A lady approached the 16 year old new employee and said, “excuse me, I’ve lost my new pen and it’s very expensive. Have you seen it? Did I leave it in the store? The 16 year old said, ” I’m sorry madam, I haven’t seen your pen, but I shall check with our “Lost & Found” department. (lost Property).
He asked her to take a seat and that he would return in a few moments.
When he returned, he apologised and said, “I’m really sorry, then pen hasn’t been handed in”. “Please let me take your number and I’ll call you, should it turn up.” The lady was upset and lent on the counter to give her number. The newly employed 16 year old, said” Thank you for your number, I hope the pen turns up, but in the meantime (he reached into a lower drawer) he said” Please accept this gift certificate for our store” – He handed the lady a $50 gift voucher and said, “It is the least we can do, it isn’t a replacement for your pen, but I hope it helps.”
Think about the kind of organisation he was working for. In just about a week, he had the autonomy and common sense, drilled into him from the management to enable him to give her the voucher. The other great thing of course – think how many people the woman would have told about her experience..
I wonder when UK housebuilders will take a leaf out of some of the customer care initiatives being used in the US. Has anyone bought an apple product?
Food for thought.