Look for the friction.
WHEN THERE IS FEAR in the economy most play it safe and hope for better days. When the stock market goes down many of us sell. When the housing market is weak, we postpone buying a new home. When pandemics bring uncertainty, we stop investing in marketing and training. But as any visionary business leader will tell you – don’t hide from the facts, take those necessary actions to protect your company – but on the other hand, don’t play dead. In tough times opportunities are everywhere if we are able to see them.
Visionary leaders look for what Barry Habib, author of “Money in the Streets”, calls, “points of friction” – those frustrations, inconveniences, and irritations – and seek to improve our experience by filling those gaps with an innovate technology, service, or product.
- In 1440, Johannes Gutenberg developed the printing press, allowing the democratization of knowledge.
- In the 14th century, China developed the compass, which later replaced astronomical means as the primary navigational instrument for mariners.
- In 1928 Alexander Flemming discovered the bacteria-inhibiting mold known as penicillin that saved the lives of countless people.
Ask yourself when it comes to:
- What are the frictions our customers experience when dealing with us or competitors?
- Do they call into a human or a recording?
- How quickly do you respond to emails or calls?
- How easy is it for them to get updates on the work you’re doing for them?
- What technologies are holding you and your team back from being efficient – databases, CRM’s, POS’s, project management, reporting, financials?
- Where is the friction in our decision making, meeting management, escalation/de-escalation of issues, and change management?
Even in times of decline and uncertainty, there are opportunities to improve, innovate, and service if we are willing to open our eyes and look for them.
“Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of void but out of chaos.”
― Mary Shelly