Monday, July 20, 2009

Customers 1st 2009 Podcasts: A Conversation with Kathleen Peterson: Part 3

As we get gear up for the 2009 NACCM: Customers 1st Event this year, we're going to be interviewing and getting to know the speakers and sponsors who will bring their perspectives on customer service to you. We recently sat down with chair Kathleen Peterson to talk about the event, both today and what has changed since she first chaired it back in 2003. This podcast will have six part, so check in next week for part four.

Subscribe Free
Add to my Page

Question: On the bright side of a downturn, there’s always been innovation, new ideas and growth from strong companies. What do you think will be some of the lessons learned from this downturn?

Kathleen Peterson: I think it’s interesting because it relates to the question we just talked about, when you think about what are some of the lessons that are going to be learned when we come out of this downturn. Some are going to be harsher than others. Some people are going to have to look back and think this is what I could have done. But I think when we talk about looking at strong companies and looking at growth and that survivor instinct, we’re really looking at a situation where less is more has become a reality. When you look at innovation or new ideas, those are very often going to be very much part of the look at how we do things not just what do we do. But how do we do them. How can we do them better? How can we blow them up and change what we’ve done all together? I think innovation really speaks not to how we do things, but how can we do them differently. And that I think is something this conference is giving people an opportunity to look at how other have made improvements or changes so that you maximize your investments in people so that they’re not wasting their time pushing papers or having elements within a processes that don’t add to the quality or experience, they only the cost. So I really think that what we’re looking is becoming more involved, more knowledgeable, and move to a much more collaborative kind of infrastructure in the enterprise. The gap needs to close between strategy and execution, and lot of this is going to happen on an operational basis. I think what we have a chance to do here, I think that one of the realities about this conference that I’ve always experienced that these are senior people. These people who attend have a tolerance for risk. They’re not reckless but they have innovated and launched new ideas successfully so the opportunity to listen to someone the folks and have the balance, against what are the people side of these innovations and opportunities, and that sort of all combines into one experience here and I think it’s an brilliant time for people who need an outlet. They need other people at their level and their experience level, with the same growth issues and maintenance issues. It’s a great opportunity to test the waters and understand what else is going on to help look at how do I make sure that the business part of the operation is in the eyeball of the executive level as a strategic asset instead of a back office overhead cost that’s required to be maintained. Those are the elements on the balance sheet that can be cut, and they can be costing us. Cost can be a noun or a verb. And if your operation is costing more money than it’s delivering in value, then that’s where the ax starts to fall first. I think the ability to innovate, get new ideas, positivity contribute to growth and keep narrowing the gap from strategy to execution. There’s a lot to learn about at this conference from a lot of folks in this capacity.

No comments: