- Passionate attention to all customers, including the ones future customers. I dragged along a friend who doesn’t climb, and had no intention of doing so. She instantly felt welcome, even though climbing up the wall until then was something she only does at business meetings. Your customers may come in many forms and will have different needs. See the world from their perspective – are they confused? Scared? Stressed? Finding it hard to park? At the Wall you feel safe and at ease. And yes, of course, she climbed. And is now hooked.
- Create a happy place where staff are as engaged as you are in looking after customers with care. Your staff must feel like a really core part of your baby business. Get them on board and make sure to find ways of harnessing all their bright ideas about how to make your project a success
- Know your customers intimately before you start. Alan and Brian really understand their market, and are well networked. They already understood exactly what climbers want and immediately ran simple high impact events that have built up loyalty, traffic to The Wall and loads of Word of Mouth publicity, always the most powerful form of marketing. This also helps you create a sense of community and shared values among your customer base, so your customers stay longer and believe in what you do. Happy customers come back.
- Be clever about how to position and communicate what you offer: .The Wall makes canny use of social media and press coverage to get the story out in a more targeted and dynamic way than any ad ever will. Network, but be savvy about how you use that precious network.
- Know your competition equally intimately, know when to compete (and how) and when to collaborate. Sometimes collaboration is the right strategy – work together and instead of splitting a new small market you can grow it together, creating greater awareness by acting as a group and attracting more people to a new service or product.
- Good team - make sure all the practical stuff is under control. The top team here includes a marketing whizz and an employment law specialist. They have team skills to make sure the business is set up on a sound financial footing, property and planning skills and expertise to make sure design and operations are top class.
- Finally – do something you love. The chances are you will be very good at it!
- Communicating: explicit vs. implicit
- Evaluating: direct criticism vs. indirect criticism
- Leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical
- Deciding: consensual vs. top down
- Trusting: task vs. relationship
- Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoidance
- Scheduling: linear-time vs. flexible-time
- Persuading: applications-first vs. principles-first
TDJ: Develop a digitally balanced business strategyIMI: What does this mean? TDJ: Society, human behaviour, business: our world is rapidly getting more and more digital. But parallel to this development, the need for the real, the personal and the unconnected is growing. In the future, a successful strategy will cater both these trends with a digital balance in any part of business: products, services, marketing communication, HR etc. IMI: Where should we look for further information? TDJ: This fall, I will release a series of articles on this, published via LinkedIn and my website: www.whetston.com Thimon de Jong is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to email@example.com. [post_title] => "Develop a digitally balanced business strategy" Six Word Wisdom from Thimon de Jong [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => develop-digitally-balanced-business-strategy-six-word-wisdom-thimon-de-jong [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 16:19:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 16:19:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=11945 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14099 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2016-03-16 11:02:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-16 11:02:45 [post_content] =>
One of the most common struggles people have in life is speaking in public.
Source: www.webdesignerdepot.comYou may have always managed to avoid these scenarios like the plague. You may also be in a place where enough is enough and you just want to be equipped to be comfortable and confident to present without the all the drama attached. From a personal perspective, it can be sometimes easy to wiggle out of these stressful scenarios. Sooner or later from a professional context, avoiding a presentation at work or leaving it until the last minute can start to impact your career or work life.
Where to start – start with yourself and your thoughtsMost people have the same fears, looking silly, what will people think, being forgetful, babbling or not getting to the point. It is really important to overcome these fears and understand where these unhelpful beliefs come from. Once you challenge these beliefs you can make huge strides which will impact both your personal and professional life.
Understanding stressMost people become stressed when it comes to public speaking. Surveys often quote that the number one fear amongst the population is public speaking. To put this in context fear of death is number two on the list. It is useful to remember the purpose of stress. Stress is a function of the human body designed to protect you, once you reframe how you see stress it will make public speaking such a different experience. To help with this reframe remember: FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. The more relaxed you are the easier it is to communicate, so find ways to relax before presenting.
ConfidenceHelpful beliefs about your self is a great start to increasing your confidence. Always play to your strengths. What people tend to do is compare themselves to others and then they never match up. Comparing yourself to others can be limiting and damaging. Everyone has their own personality and style. Play to your strengths be your authentic self. Sometimes you just got to imagine that confident state and fake it until you make it can be a good strategy until it comes second nature to you.
StructureAlways start with the audience in mind. What is the purpose of your presentation? What would interest them? It is really important to capture the audience’s attention and maintain their attention. Here preparation is key. Have structure, a beginning, middle and end. Ensure you know what key messages you would like them to remember and find ways to make those messages memorable. Remember: what would you like the audience to think, feel or take action on.
Engage the audienceMany people would love to have the confidence to engage the audience but just don`t know how. This is about understanding your audience and meeting their needs. Build rapport, be brave and curious when it comes to audience interaction. Being able to read people`s body language and influence people will increase your ability to engage the audience. Remember, always put yourself in the audience’s shoes.
Practice makes perfectIf you ever learned to drive a car, you will know you didn't just drive automatically to your destination without guidance. Treating presentations the same will help you improve. Seek feedback from others on how you could improve and look specifically at what others do. Remember, look back, reflect on what you did well and find ways to improve. Focus on presentations as a learning experience to becoming an expert to presenting with impact confidently.
Agility: elusive, but essential and the key to thinking differently
“Agility” is an easy word to write on a page. Anyone keen to learn about what’s current in leadership development will see the word jumping out from magazine covers and website banners.
Easy to say and easy to write, “agility” trips off the tongue, allowing the writer to solve a great deal of problems with a single stroke. And there are a lot of problems to solve.
Close to home, Ireland’s business leaders face a sea of complexity in 2019. As I write this, Brexit is just weeks away and there is still no concrete roadmap for future relations between Britain and the EU.
Given the complexity of Britain’s exit from the EU, Brexit has rarely been referred to as an agile process, except perhaps in the negative. Brexit appears so complex, people are looking for a deal that will put it all in a neat box, giving us rules to follow and structures to implement.
This kind of complexity affects us as individuals, forcing leaders and professionals to contemplate what they will need to survive in this new economy – and the impact on executive development is utterly transformational.
Like riding a bike
We have long moved away from the “talk and chalk” philosophy of imparting knowledge, towards a interactive and personalised approach that aligns learning with strategic aims and organisational roles.
But, even as this becomes the new norm, we need to move forward once again. It is no longer enough to define the characteristics or develop skills needed for future-fit leaders.
Agile mindsets are needed to apply these skills and characteristics in a complex environment. Again, an easy statement to write on a page, but how can it be achieved?
Developing an agile mindset is as much about the process as it is about the “product”.
This means densely packing educational programmes from short executive courses to diploma programmes, with information for participants to draw upon and apply to their own experiences.
Case studies, specific toolkits are frameworks are the kinds of tools we use regularly. And they work – except when they don’t.
This style of information transfer, even when it’s applied to real tasks, is limited in its ability to permanently change behaviour.
We are all familiar with going to a fantastic workshop, feeling we are going to change the way we work, and then barely apply one or two of the learnings on a regular basis. Months after the workshop, we hardly remember it.
Of course, when we are exploring new territory, lessons from case studies and rigid frameworks may no longer apply and it becomes apparent that new ways are required to make our leaders future-fit.
The kids are alright
Ironically, in the world of executive development, we can learn a lot from the kids around us. Children come to new challenges without preconceived notions; hence the endless ‘but why?’ questions us parents have come to dread.
With modern executive development, the first thing that is required it to disrupt thinking patterns that have become ingrained within us.
By opening up our minds to new thinking, new thinking might actually occur.
Simple, one-off interventions are rapidly fading away, replaced by developmental journeys (or ‘experiences’) that deliver habit forming changes. No longer will professionals attend a one or two-day programme and be expected to apply all their learnings immediately. Instead they will be empowered by bite-sized advice that is reinforced at regular intervals while they do their work.
We can imagine that artificial intelligence and machine learning will better equip us to engage with these interventions at the exact moments they are required, and we’ll also become more agile in tailoring best practice advice to each unique challenge.
This process will need to be repeated constantly throughout a career, flexing those agile brain muscles until dealing with the next complex task is the new normal.
Because if there is one certain truth about developing agility, it is that like everything else, it takes practice.
We need to consistently challenge our brains to think differently, to not retreat into our shells and old habits, and to realise that as the possibilities around us are expanding, so are the solutions our mind should reach for.
Agility is certainly an easy word to write down on a page but, as the various negotiating teams trudging between Brussels and London will tell you, a lot more challenging to apply in the real world.
Simon Boucher is CEO of IMI. This article originally appeared in the Sunday Business Post.