In chapter one of his book Business at the Speed of Now, John M.Bernard introduces us to a fictional character Katy, who has just joined an equally fictional company called Expedite. As part of her induction she takes a shift in a technical support group and, yes you guessed, is immediately hit with a very irate customer (a CEO no less) who is complaining that several of his facilities are down due to a problem with the Expedite software. Katy, through the use of various blogs, twitter, Skype and the general cooperation of her colleagues resolves the problem in 10 minutes much to the amazement of the irate CEO.
We can all sit back and pick holes in the story and go on about ‘appropriate controls’ that need to be in place to avoid costs rising due to an inexperienced workforce making decisions they are not qualified to make.
Equally we all have our own war stories about the time we called customer support only to be held on the line for hours, passed to multiple people, having to restate our problem multiple times, finally being passed to a management team that had the authority to ‘sign-off’ on a replacement part that cost less than the call. However, John Bernard makes his point well and goes on to argue the case that like it or not we live in a ‘now’ culture where technology has not only driven an information explosion in terms of availability but also in term of speed of access.
The impact of this on companies (and for that matter governments) who want to truly satisfy their customers, suggests Bernard, is to ensure all employees can make “quick, smart and productive decisions”. The book then goes on to describe, with real examples, how to create a ‘Now’ organisation where everyone in the company is aligned to providing its customers what they want and when they want it. A great read, full of insights and information that can be applied today! Checkout Business at the Speed of Now by John M.Bernard and our our other book recommendations in the books section of the Intrafocus website.