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Seek the Bright Spots

The Walker Book Club is currently reading the Dan and Chip Heath book titled Switch.  (They wrote the book “Made to Stick.”)  One recommendation that resonates with me is to “Find the Bright Spots” aka the successful efforts worth emulating.
 
Perhaps the issue seems too big or has too many intertwined problems to easily find an effective solution.  In their malnourishment example, analysis points to poverty, sanitation, nutrition, and other potential causes that are not easily solvable.  Instead, they show that by investigating what mothers of healthy children were doing – the bright spots – they discovered key difference makers and implemented cooking classes for other mothers as a result. 

Finding bright spots and understanding what makes them different can help set the stage for change.  Thinking about your customer loyalty program, a bright spot could be:

  • The Customer Service Representative who consistently resolves customer issues on the first call, when others require multiple contacts.
  • The Account Manager who understands the business impact of following up on opportunities generated from their customer program and does it when others do not.
  • The geo that improves customer perceptions, when all other geos have declining trends.

You may be aware of the bright spots in your program.  But, how much time do you spend to uncover the differences between the bright spots and the not so bright (or dark) spots?  What makes the bright spots bright?  And, what do you do once you understand the differences? 

Now, compare that to how much time and energy you spend trying to fix problems. I’m just saying… 

Kitty Radcliff
Vice President

Fast Company has an exclusive excerpt from the book. You can read it here.
 

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