How do you say….

what you really did?
This whole write, re-write, write again thing is driving me bonkers! I have a variety of folders and sub-folders to keep track of my resume efforts.
Next steps: I think what I really need to do is continue converting my calendar notes into my freeform prose elsewhere on this site.
Maybe I should add something about managerial consulting as that seems to be more descriptive of what I truly did/do? All of these other things are just part of the role. Hmmmm.

Blame it all on my roots

This little march down memory lane has been refreshing. I have remembered a few things I had forgotten.

  1. I like using song lyrics as section headers – this started with my grad school papers eons ago.
  2. I have been in iterative design and development for a long, long time – kind of nice to find more legacy artifacts.
  3. Pictures, pictures, pictures! Oh my goodness these are spread throughout my hard drive.
  4. A lot of things changed during my tenure at my latest gig. It is more than a little unsettling to put it all together.
  5. I think in dates. Give me a date and possibly an experience or question and I can tell you everything I was doing that day. This is scary!

 

Updating is hard to do

As more and more of our lives become digital, separating our personal lives from our work lives gets more and more complicated.
For years, I have had multiple subscriptions to various ‘cloud-based applications’. As a consultant, I have a fiduciary responsibility to keep the accounts separate. Fine, I will do that, but the cloud-administration and login tools need to meet me halfway.
The quickest, easiest way to manage the various accounts is via hardware and login-tokens, which is essentially how I administered my stuff for the last 6 years. What I didn’t do was keep the software up-to-date on my personal system. This is killing me!
Adobe is a beast! As most of the time when I needed that software was for work, I only kept it fully updated on my work machine. Fine, that worked. For the rare occasion I needed the suite for personal use, I would just login with my personal account. No harm. No foul. Adobe was getting paid licensing fees for both accounts, I just wasn’t taking the time to update my personal copies.
I am paying for that shortcut, now! It has taken me forever to update my applications!

Customer Relationships

I have so been on a roll with the whole customer service thing, that I thought it might be a nice idea to include an anecdote that has stuck with me for years.

Years ago I was hired to do some business process engineering for an incredibly unique company.  My role was to identify, map and diagram their processes to help them transform into a new type of business.  It was a great opportunity.  I was way outside of my comfort zone in an industry that I knew very little about, save curiosity.  I started with the basics.  Diagrams of the processes, identification of the requirements, the interaction of the processes across the organization, a gap analysis and the suggestions for improvement.  (little did I know that about a year later those suggestions would ultimately cost me my job as I had a role that I had identified as expendable, when I was consulting!)

To get to the deliverables, I interviewed users.  A lot of users.  To find the best practices, I interviewed those identified as top producers.   To understand what made the top producers, I also interviewed those considered to be sub-par and to make it fair, I met with many of the mediocre.  It was fascinating.  To make a buck, everyone had to do the same ‘thing’ and it wasn’t really that the premium producers did anything different, it was the way they paid attention to their customers that set them apart, in the end.

It was during these interviews that I experienced the difference.  This one superior producer didn’t treat any customer any different than she did anyone else.  Quite frankly, she treated everyone the same.  I witnessed her make a couple of deals in the days I spent with her.  One sale was more than I make in a year, while most of the others were less than I typically spend on handbags in a year.  It didn’t matter.  She treated them all the same and her burgeoning book of business is a testament to the success of that approach.

It was all about the relationship she built with the customer.  She knew everything she could about each customer.  She built the relationships over time and came away from each interaction she had with each customer with another detail that she could find useful in future interactions.  It is brilliant!   From these details, she was able to foresee needs and fill them, sometimes even before the customer knew they needed something.   She was amazing!  It is her approach to customer relationships I am looking to emulate as I go forward.  There is an opportunity every day to observe and capture details that can be used to build the foundation of every relationship.  I use it in my personal life, why not apply it to my professional one?

Customer relationships – the difference is in the details!