The Positive Touch (Shove, if necessary)

Are you waiting for something to happen? As hesitant as I am in asking that question, I believe it’s true, in a lot of cases. We’re people, we MAKE things happen, and some aren’t waiting. Regardless of whether this is the “new economy” or that it might come back (to something) we have to continue to make things happen, and in fact, accelerate. Today would be the best time to do it. But you probably can’t do it alone. You need good, honest, thinking people.

The Point? Go for the objective – push everything else out of the way…
If you have a very tight group of people, all of whom know the objective and all work together to reach that objective, you are probably very successful. They must be relentless in their efforts to search out the necessary knowledge. Then, and only then, will those efforts pay off. There’s no room for ignorance; everyone must understand the process and the job at hand. There are so many people who don’t grasp what is really going on, when it comes to getting things done – and done right. What we attempt to accomplish can get mired down with ignorance to the point that the majority not only makes erratic decisions, but goes down the wrong road completely; in the opposite direction! It’s true! It’s asinine! And it wastes precious time. In this type of situation, ignorance triumphs over intelligence. Entirely unqualified opinion is accepted on equal footing with knowledge. This can occur in large or small groups. It depends upon the people in those groups and the leadership (power is best left in the hands of those who don’t need or want it). The right people insist on getting the right information. Anything less is disinterest or laziness in getting the right information necessary to make knowledgeable decisions. And that’s pathetic. Such an organization needs a transfusion, new leadership and a lot more knowledge.

Making something happen…
Many years ago, we formed a small group of experienced industry people for the purpose of developing a cost effective platform for the training, education and elevation of truck drivers. Why elevation? Personal success; which is recognized because of the effort necessary to attain higher learning, and, vast improvement due to the acquired knowledge. This, along with practical application, continuing education and elevation translates to retention; in fact, it retains the best, most qualified drivers and other employees. The initial plan was to include entry-level training, practical application (OJT), continuing education and eventual specialized training in one of many other facets of the business. This endeavor was successful only in the earliest stage because it eventually got “mired down”. However, I used as much of the original content as I could get approved in our own operation. The result was a very strong sense of pride and accomplishment, throughout the organization. The payoff was enormous including dramatically increased retention, huge cost savings, reduced losses of all types and the list goes on. Long story short, we enjoyed a LOT of success. In this business, today’s industry answer is CSA2010 – that’s enforcement. I’m not saying I’m opposed, if that’s the only way to overcome some of the ignorance. I’m talking about going well beyond these basics. True in any business.
Retention – Keep your good insureds or customers…
I recently changed insurance agents, because I haven’t seen or heard from them in many years. I don’t even remember what they look like. Not that they did anything wrong, they just didn’t do anything. When I had a question, I called them and they usually gave me a plausible answer. I said “usually” because, occasionally, my questions were answered with “I think” and were never taken further, to positive (and correct) answers. I didn’t change for cheaper rates, and I didn’t get any. We’re people and we’re still the same as we’ve always been. Yes, through technology, we now have more tools than ever, but new, faster computers, software, e-mails and the like simply do not take the place of getting things done. But they can assist you. And customer service? What do think about that subject? Don’t look to the tech producers for that! And many others are guilty of poor customer service too. What an opportunity for those who strive to do their best! I do use new technology, a lot. I use anything that will assist me in achieving my objective. Customer service has always been the focus. But it does take constant change to continually reach that goal. We need to stay abreast of everything, including our customers’ customers and be standing there, ready, when the forgone conclusion comes to light. And that changes. To win, you have to look well beyond your competitors. Your customers are looking for something.

Deliver it.