As the mother of two softball players, I have put in my fair share of hours cheering for my daughters. They are both pitchers so when they struggle on the mound, I feel that it is my obligation to encourage them with my shouts. “Focus! You can do it!” “Throw it in there.” At times I have encouraged them to the point of nearly losing my voice. When I ask them after the game if my cheering helped them, I usually get the same reply, “Mom, I couldn’t even hear you.” They are so focused on the task at hand that they can’t even hear the shouts from the crowd.
Sometimes in our everyday business life we do the same thing. Corporations are focused on the economic environment and are looking for ways to cut costs. Employees are focused on keeping their jobs. In all of this, we can’t lose sight of our customer strategy. Sam Walton once said, "There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else."
The best way to avoid this scenario is to play a good offensive game by incorporating customer feedback into our game plan. When we walk off the field we don’t want to realize that we were so internally focused that we failed to hear what our customers were trying to tell us.
Vice President, Consulting Services