Tag Archives: failures

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strategy failures

Strategy Failures You May See Coming

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Nearly everyone wants a good strategy. Being more strategic will pay off big when the strategy you plan for is the right strategy. Why do so many teams and businesses get sideswiped with strategy failures?

Planning Mistakes

The first mistake that many organizations make is that they hire the wrong strategy consultant (doing it internally, without external expertise, may also be a mistake).

Who is the wrong consultant? The consultant who believes he or she is the only one for the job and the consultant who believes strategic planning is about a SWOT analysis. Both are wrong.

Strategic planning includes much more than a SWOT, much more than asking about problems, and much more than suggesting do X and you’ll achieve Y.

One example is the strategy of how the business will use its time. Time is something you’ll never get back. Yes, you can start again but if the competition didn’t have to, good luck catching up.

Understanding Time

Restaurant owners understand time. Bad weather and nobody comes in for dinner. That revenue is lost forever. When your patrons choose to eat at home that is a meal you’ll never get back. The day is lost, the time is lost, gone.

The business that ships a commodity product understands time. When your customer waits the threat of the customer seeking a different vendor is pending. Being the quickest is likely linked to your brand. If it takes too long, business may be lost, gone, done. Forever.

Then there is the business that is built around value. The confusing part of value is understanding where you waste your time.

Value is subjective and having just enough is good. Doing more than enough could arguably be a waste of time. Working towards perfection takes time, and you’ll miss everyone who wants it the quickest.

Strategy Failures

Too many strategy planners get stuck in the moment of assessing what the company wants to do and confusing that with what the company needs to do.

Creating a clever mission statement is good. Stating you’ll become the best in your region, state, or the nation may be a want, but that has nothing to do with understanding how you’ll position for that achievement.

Don’t want to waste your time? Strategy failures often develop from the first mistake you make.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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Customer Service Failures

5 Common Customer Service Failures

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Customer service may mean many different things. In simplest terms, it is often thought of as a department, an organization stereotype I’m doing my part to remove. Customer service should be about a holistic organization approach. What are some of the most common customer service failures?

Helping businesses in many different sectors is actually very interesting work. You learn so much about styles, philosophies, and culture that may seek a similar result, but often vary widely in approach. Most businesses or sectors believe that they are unique. In some ways, they are, but there are also many commonalties.

Customer Service Failures

Here are five areas common areas for customer service failures:

  1. Decisions. Employees at all levels make decisions. Internally and externally, they decide. It may start with a decision about attitude, output, or communication. The only question really is, “Are they empowered?”
  2. Empowerment. Customers what results, they command action, and the loyalty to your brand is at stake. Guidelines can be helpful, but many situations are unique. The employee who is well trained in policy and procedure that is also appropriately empowered will likely extend the lifetime value of customers they touch.
  3. Response time. This measurement is common by your customers and their expectations are demanding. This is true during all aspects of the sales cycle, and of course, post-sale. This is also very applicable internally with the team and externally with not only customers, but also vendors.
  4. Protection. Great employees understand that they need to protect the company, but they also want to protect the customer. One of the most miscommunicated factors I witness with organizations is a misunderstanding of how to weigh decisions they make about how to balance this scale.
  5. Empathy. While it may feel like many customers just want action or resolution, they probably also want empathy. Every touch point must be well designed to express and demonstrate empathy. While action and resolution is often what we think about, an organization culture holds that empathy as a core value will likely have fewer service related issues.

Make Root Cause Changes

Have you thought about failures in the services your organization provides? What decisions can your organization make in these five areas, or others, that will make a difference?

If you’re going to improve failures or breakdowns, you’ll need to get to the root cause. The root cause is sometimes buried deep within traditions or values that drive culture.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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