Be FAT. Flexible. Adaptable. Teachable. That’s all they asked of us – a group of people participating on a mission trip to Haiti. That’s all they asked, but it wasn’t always easy.
We came together from all walks of life – families, students, doctors, nurses, managers, a lawyer, and consultants. Individually, none of us would be able to handle the task before us. Together, we could make a difference for Nehemiah Vision Ministries and the people of Haiti. We could make an impact; we just needed to be FAT.
Flexible: We didn’t know what we would be doing when we applied for the trip. (It ended up being medical mission providing people living in IDP camps with much needed medical treatment and medicine.)
Adaptable: We needed to adapt to whatever situation we were in. The campus was completely full when we arrived. Some of us slept in bunk beds, others on cots. I didn’t expect to sleep on the top bunk, but I did! (Even though it had been more years than I want to admit since I slept on a top bunk…)
Teachable: We did things we have never done before – helping the medical professionals, building shelves, organizing a thrift shop, and cooking dinner for over 100 people. You just had to be willing to learn and pitch in.
Those same traits – being FAT – are important for our Customer Experience Teams too.
We Need to be Flexible: In my experience, every customer listening initiative ends up having some surprises or hiccups along the way. It’s important to not be too rigid. The process may need to change, the schedule may need to change, survey questions may need to change or the way we share information and insights may need to change.
We Need to be Adaptable: We need to adapt to the situation, which might mean adapting improvement priorities, action plans, and customer strategies.
We Need to be Teachable: We need to be willing to learn new skills, to leverage new technologies, and to consider new ways to improve the customer experience.
I sure hope all of my team members think I’m FAT!