How can transparency become your competitive advantage?
We’ve broken it down to three areas that you can bring in transparency into your company so that you can transform it into your competitive advantage and why.
- How much your colleagues are earning: Transparency on the cost structure of your company can prove to create an incredible bond of trust within the organisation. This not only shows how much each position earns but clearly explains why. No one is left out and there are no hidden deals behind closed doors, which gives employees a sense of clear direction and certainty.
- What your colleagues are doing: This helps employees keep track of where they are personally on a project but also what areas their colleagues are tackling, how much time they’re spending on it which holds people accountable to certain tasks. “In addition to sharing daily learnings and progress, everyone on the team also shares where they struggled and how they’re trying to improve.” This can be used to help people become more efficient and part of the team.
- What your business goal is: Having a clear business goal that is apparent to both your internal customers and your external customers makes a statement about your company. Not only does the world know that, Google’s company mantra is “Don’t be evil”, but it is something that they will be held accountable for. Similarly, you will have to stand by your business goal and this gives your company a great amount of transparency and therefore trust in your brand.
“When you’re treating employees well, transparency is a very simple proposition–it’s just telling people what you do…it’s as easy as telling the truth.”
Read more on transparency in your business here.
“Make consumers’ lives better.”
This is what businesses and brands must do. Makes sense, doesn’t it? More often than not, brands fail to meet this need. A Co.Exist article discusses the need for brands today to create meaningful lives. Umair Haque, blogger from Harvard Business Review claims, “The next global economy isn’t just about stuff, it’s about human lives.” Over time, what consumers look for in a brand has drastically changed over time from what the product does to how it makes you feel to who you are. Today it is about making a better you.
The marketplace is cluttered with businesses that sell “throwaway” products in the name of consumerism and brands that are stained with negative experiences, making it difficult for anyone with a conscience to associate with. There are however, amidst it all, brands that do it right. These are the customer centric businesses that genuinely want to improve the livelihood of its customers.
“Your customers, are beginning to take a quantum leap into an era where a life meaningfully well lived is what really counts.”
In order to keep up in this era, some brands may have to undergo internal rebuilding so that fulfilling the customer’s desire for a more meaningful life is achievable. This might mean realigning your core values with your customers and creating a cultural change within your work place that focuses on your customers’ ultimate need. Keep up with the new era of change and be the brand that is far more meaningful than ever before, be the brand that makes your customers’ lives better. At Proto Partners we can help you to do this. Our goal is to “help organisations enrich the lives of customers, one customer experience at a time.” hence making a more meaningful brand.
“Clarity of purpose in any endeavor…avoids wasting resources such as time, money, effort, and communication.”
Fast Company has written about IKEA’s bold move to redefine its core strategy, to simply make family life easier, according to IKEA’s North America president, “by providing them with convenient and affordable household items in an accessible location. Period.” The clear and straightforward message will direct everything IKEA. The article suggests that organizational change such as enforcing a brand and service message that takes place must consider everything from how the working environment appears to how employees speak.
“Absent a clear set of end behaviors on the horizon, a crew that starts rowing, perhaps even with vigor, but with little idea where they should head, will likely end up exhausted and disillusioned.”
So how can your company move ahead in the future bearing these things in mind?
Start big and be bold when there is necessary organizational change. For anything to be effective, it will need to start big. This will lead to successfully implementing sustainable change across all channels of your organisation.
Most importantly, focus on the intent and your ultimate goal as an organization. This is where your brand/service principles come in. Having an ultimate purpose like IKEA does, should focus any changes you have in mind.
Read the article here.
If anyone wants another example of how Apple take the care and effort to control how they express their brand, then this image is a brilliant example. If you are in a Service business ask yourself how often your customers see variations in your offer, whether it be through staff clothing, greetings or consistency of service experience.
The way Apple ‘thinks different’ in this instance is paradoxically ensuring by ensuring some things actually stay the same. Most companies don’t possess the brand discipline to stay the course. In this way, Apple certainly think differently.
You might not have access to someone like Steve Jobs as a CEO, however you can (and probably should) take some of the lessons they provide to ensure you provide your customers an outstanding customer experience.