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Moving mindsets from moderate to monumental

Cathy Winston on Feb 18th 2018
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Dear CEOs of Irish SME’s,

During this next chapter of business, I am asking you to consider changing your mindset from lean and scarce to ambitious and abundant.

In the midst of the recession most businesses lived with the philosophy of survival; take on any work that would keep the wolf from the door. That mindset and approach was absolutely necessary THEN, however now it is dangerous as we move back into a time of increased growth and development. To gain in this prosperous environment, to retain our top talent and our top customers, we must become creators again, we must be ambitious and fearless about growth.

Why is it important?

  • Ambitious companies want to work with ambitious companies. Are you ambitious in your plans or taking business as it comes?
  • We need to match our compensation with our value again. Know your worth, and demand the correct revenue for your service. Have you weeded out the bronze customers who don’t respect you and don’t pay you on time?
  • We need to build the appropriate teams to deliver the projects to the highest quality, not play our matches with 2/3rds of the team and expect to win. Is your team working above and beyond on a constant basis to complete projects? Would they recommend your company as a great place to work?
  • We need to invest in finding new sources of sustained growth and this can only be done if the “business as usual” is performing in a satisfactory way. Are you immersed in BAU in your meetings or are you finding the time to talk about future growth?
  • Finally and most importantly, we need to put our focus back on the customer and ensure we are meeting their requirements and their expectations. Does your customer’s experience and level of satisfaction feature on the agenda, or is it mainly the financial and sales projections?

McKinsey, 2017 believes that for companies to survive and thrive they must reinvent their customer experience. Satisfied customers are more likely to spend more, become loyal, and recommend you to others. McKinsey believe there are two parts to getting the most value from improving customer experience:

Find out what really matters to customers. Do they value time over cost? Do they value customer service over quality? Find out what matters to them and then exceed their expectations.

How do you link customer experience to operational improvements? What part of the customer journey needs to be improved most, and what operational function needs to improve also? Is it the ease of payment online, is there a need for a new app, is it personalization I.T. we need?

I mentioned employee involvement in one of my blogs, where to achieve business growth you must involve employees on all levels. Allow them to be the change the company needs, they can give you first hand feedback from customers, demonstrate to you what customers need, and what is the best practice in giving it to them.

As we are moving into a flourishing economy, now is the time to put the customer back as king and learn from their needs and expectations. Look at your talent and develop their skills and ideas. Lead them in developing a customer centric strategy that will help you become an innovative and pro-active leader in your industry.

Take some time out with your team and answer the questions above as a starter conversation to increase current profits and create future sources of growth.

Check out my blog on widening the conversations here, and for further guidelines and advice please email me



McKinsey March 2017. ‘Putting customer experience at the heart of next-generation operating models’.

Written by Cathy Winston.

Edited by Lisa Downey.

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