Unlock the magic in your story now.

Get the free 20 Questions to ask before launching your Idea Workbook when you sign up for updates.

The Difference Between Good And Great

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

The tiny Italian restaurant in Carlton is in full swing. It’s 6 pm, and a couple of experienced chefs are cranking out meals. The kitchen is a well-oiled machine, the oven is at capacity, as diners and Uber Eats drivers converge at once. The food is good. It’s just not great—unlike the food served at the Italian place we recently discovered in Auckland.

On the face of it, there’s little to differentiate the chefs in the two restaurants. Both teams work mostly silently and efficiently. They are well prepared, and everyone understands the role they play in making sure diners leave sated and satisfied. But there’s one thing the chefs in Auckland do that makes all the difference. In Carlton, nothing is tasted before it’s plated. In Auckland, the chefs taste everything without exception before they plate it. They are making a hundred micro-decisions about how to delight their customers every few minutes and adjusting as they go. That single act means they have to put themselves in the diner’s seat for a second. They have to imagine what it will feel like to experience their product. And that makes all the difference.

Good becomes great when we put the customer at the centre of everything we do.

Image by visitflanders

Victims Of Success

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

We’ve all been let down by a business we were loyal to or disappointed by a product we once loved. When we dissect what happened, it’s often possible to trace the missteps to a single source. Thriving businesses become victims of their success, and great products become mediocre when the people who built them forget how they got from there to here.

No matter how successful you become, the often intangible qualities that differentiated you in the beginning, will continue to be what keeps customers coming back.

Image by pkhamre

The Forgotten Power Of The Single Interaction

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

On a recent trip to Waiheke Island with my husband, we stopped a bus that wasn’t going our way. The driver told us to hop on anyway, and he’d take us to where we could catch a bus that would get us to where we wanted to go. Then, wait for it—he radioed ahead to the driver of that bus to let her know he had a couple of passengers on board who needed to catch her bus. She was waiting for us at the depot when we got there.

The driver of the wrong bus could simply have done his job. He could have told us to wait for the next bus that was due in twenty minutes. He could have decided that in the scheme of things this one interaction was insignificant. He chose to think otherwise.

In our globalised, digital world, as we try to hustle our way to making a bigger impact, it’s easy to forget that change doesn’t have to happen at scale. Just as a single well-placed domino in a domino run can knock all the dominos down one-by-one, we each have the power to change a day or a life in a single interaction. We don’t have to reach everyone all at once.

Image by Nina

Everything Starts With Something

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

When we’re starting a project or working towards a business development goal we typically have a laundry list of everything we want to do. From developing a new product to filing our tax returns, it’s in our nature to want to make immediate and visible progress all at once. That desire to do everything often results in paralysis. Everything seems overwhelming. Everything is daunting. Everything is impossible. So we end up doing nothing.

When we’re in a state of indecision or overwhelm about the next step to take there’s a magic question we can ask ourselves to clarify our options and create momentum.

‘If you could do anything, what would that be?’

The simplicity of some of the things on your ‘anything’ list will surprise you. Suddenly everything you could do becomes the things you should do. From there the trick is to pick one thing you will do. Everything starts with something. But only if you begin.

Image by Simon Q

A World Built On Promises

filed in Brand Strategy, Success

Scott and Joanna are planning to open a two-hundred-seater restaurant along a small shopping strip that backs onto a residential area in their local suburb. They know the neighbours will be concerned about the prospect of increased traffic and noise from the venue, especially at the weekend when they open until 1 am. So they draw up a plan to mitigate the negative impact their business might have on the people who live in the area. They commit on paper to limiting the number of patrons allowed in the rooftop bar and to monitoring late-night noise levels. The trouble with the plan is that the restauranteurs’ intentions are at odds with the commercial reality of running a viable business. Their success depends on having a restaurant and bar full of happy customers spending money late into the evening. They will find it almost impossible to make the business profitable while simultaneously keeping the neighbours happy. Their goals are at odds with each other.

We sometimes make promises we know in our hearts won’t be easy to keep. There will inevitably be times when we must balance good intentions with commercial imperatives. But saying one thing then doing another is the surest way to erode, not only the trust of others but our sense of integrity. The alternative is to make more honest promises, to focus on why we’re committed to keeping that promise and how exactly we’re going to do it, rather than just simply on what’s being promised.

We live in a world built on promises.
The people who keep them are the ones who win in every sense of the word.

Image by Elisa Dudnikova

 

Unlock the magic in your story now.

Get the free 20 Questions to ask before launching your Idea Workbook when you sign up for updates.

Send this to a friend