In my previous article, I discussed the importance of keeping an open mind throughout any customer insights project. Building upon that idea, open-mindedness is not limited to the project’s findings. It extends to the development of solutions and action items.
Part of loosening our grip on preconceived notions and beliefs includes a willingness to explore new paths to success. As a business owner myself, I can relate to how challenging this is at times. I’m a strategist and analytical thinker, so I’m constantly scanning for success barriers in search of the best possible solution. But even those barriers can be based on inaccurate or outdated beliefs.
Since the overall purpose of a customer insights project is to gain wisdom and guide decision making, we are best served when our focus is outcome oriented. Many times, the best solution is one we hadn’t thought of, or one we overlooked. By keeping an open mind and considering all possibilities, we increase our success likelihood. By focusing on desired outcomes rather than barriers, we are free to explore alternative pathways. Along those lines, staying open to new ideas presents a great opportunity for tapping into one of our most valuable assets – our team.
From a big-picture perspective, it’s our team who will putting the solutions into action. They will be applying the customer insights gathered and leveraging the knowledge gained on a day-to-day basis. So, it makes sense to give them a seat at the table. Furthermore, they offer invaluable experience and familiarity regarding the topics being covered. More than likely, they’ve already been thinking about ways to maximize efficiency in key areas of the business. Allowing them opportunities to make suggestions and recommendations will help expand the discussion into areas that may not have been considered otherwise.
Aside from its positive impact on how we run our businesses, removing thought boundaries is an incredibly fun and inspiring process. We get to unleash our collaborative creativity in pursuit of new opportunities. So much good happens when saying “we can’t” is replaced by asking “what if?”
In my next article, I will discuss the value of customer-centricity and a people-first mindset. Staying relevant and competitive in our ever-changing world is about delivering value and providing memorable experiences. We do this by keeping our people at the center of everything we do. More on this coming soon!