Forget all the blather about how companies love their customers. It’s just talk. I’m convinced that 90 out of 100 organizations simply tolerate customers. Their customers represent only a means to profit, and that message comes through loud and clear to those callers all too often.

Five recent examples from my own experience illustrate the point all too well:

Auto-Responders That Fail to Address My Issue

the ceo magazine, innovation,
Chuck Saia, CEO, Deloitte Risk and Financial Advisory

Disruption isn't just a buzzword. It's a legitimate concern on the minds of the executives I meet with.

There are a lot of reasons organizations can be disrupted—innovation, technological advances, policy changes, to name just a few. But if executives can foster a culture of courage and alter their strategy, there’s an opportunity to change the business model and the path forward. Organizations can take proactive steps and not only avoid being disrupted, but also become the disruptor in their industries.

That’s exciting.

It’s an astonishing statistic, but roughly two out of three change initiatives fail to meet their stated targets.  This is significant since most companies must undertake moderate organizational changes at least once a year (and major changes every four or five years) due to disruption from technology, their industry and/or the competition.

the ceo magazine, business culture,
Steven L. Blue, President & CEO of Miller Ingenuity

What is a business? This might seem straightforward, but consider it more deeply; what truly is a business? I’m talking about the values, identity and culture that make a particular business what it is.

This word – culture – is key. The atmosphere internal to an organization, the image it projects, the way in which it pursues its objectives; all of this is what provides a business with its personality, the unique element which sets it apart from the rest. This is all intrinsic to culture, and culture is intrinsic to a healthy operation.

the ceo magazine, customer service,
Chip R. Bell, Author, Kaleidoscope: Delivering Innovative Service That Sparkles

The super cool feature of a kaleidoscope is not the charming images that take our breath away.  Or, the fact that, unlike a magnifying glass or set of binoculars, you get to actively engage with the kaleidoscope to create swoons and grins. It is the fact that the kaleidoscope has character.  The gems inside never change but are reflected through a series of mirrors.  You don’t open up a kaleidoscope to replace the gems.

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