Connected internal customers work in teams, even if you are a company of less than 10 individuals.
Business is not conducted in a vacuum. Your employees are not working in vacuums either, even if they work virtually on behalf of your business.
What is involved? Well, it is hardly a cookbook. Let’s take a deep dive together, shall we?
The outcome of creating connected internal customers includes one holistic, cross-functional strategy seasoned with a hybridized corporate mindset executing the types of collaborative processes which are driven by value-based teams of connected internal customers. ~ Babette Ten Haken
Does that description sound like The Way Things Are for your business? You are not alone.
In my own Playbook, there are five key areas involved in creating a business driven by connected internal customers.
Connected corporate culture. Avoid assuming that just because everyone works for the same company – regardless of size – they all are of the same mind. They aren’t. Depending on where everyone sits around your business table, they see things differently. These differences impact how they hear conversations, interpret what needs to be done and take action. If your business experiences inconsistencies as its operating norm, it is time to create a connected corporate culture.
Connected market model. Some businesses are trying to be all things to all markets. They are positioned as generalists rather than understanding what their sweet spots are. A connected market model has a non-linear feel to it and a horizontal flow. Markets are complementary instead of disparate. Market requirements utilize many of the same resources and skill sets. A connected marketing model keeps your connected internal customers focused on hybridizing their own skill sets and mindset. Everyone learns from one another. The business impact creates synergy: for you and for your customers.
The connected customer is your new business norm. It is time to upgrade your own strategy and processes to competitively align with What’s Next for business.
Connected business model. Some executives keep their business models locked away from their employees. Unlock the door to your mindset and strategy. Connected internal customers benefit from understanding the strategy driving their job functionality. Otherwise these teams feel marginalized and under-appreciated, as though they are not good enough or smart enough to understand the big picture. Connected teams have the key to the door of strategy.
Connected revenue model. As the leader, or leadership team for your company, are you reinforcing an hourly-employee or bi-weekly paycheck mindset? That’s post-industrial thinking that continues to marginalize employees and reinforce a hierarchical “Us versus Them” business model. Connected internal customers understand how What They Do drives revenue through your own company and through your customers’ businesses. Their job becomes less siloed and more holistic. What type of enduring business outcomes do you think your company is capable of achieving when everyone collaborates with each other?
Connected value model. When you have connected internal customers, your teams are focused on planning, creating, implementing, measuring, revising, controlling and articulating how they create value. Teams understand the importance of high quality, timely, error-free and innovative input, throughput and output from one internal team to another, throughout your organization and your clients’.
How does your own company measure up in each of these five areas? Which areas make you the most comfortable? Which aspects of our conversation today make you the most uncomfortable?
Connected internal customers are leaders: of each other and for their customers. Connected internal customers are the go-to resources for your clients and the source of a loyal and retained customer base.
Something for you to chew on this week. Your external customers – your clients- already are connected. Isn’t it about time your internal customer teams do the same?
Babette Ten Haken | Change Catalyst | Purpose-Driven Professional Innovation | Cross-Functional Team Leadership | Trust-Based Client Retention | In Person & Virtual Speaker, Consultant, Coach, Author |
Babette Ten Haken, Founder & President of One Millimeter Mindset™ Speaking & Consulting, catalyzes trust-based, purpose-driven, cross-functional leadership. She leverages Voice of the Customer and storytelling to translate across communication and collaboration disconnects impacting successful business outcomes across people and professional disciplines. Babette is a cross-functional business-oriented STEM professional, qualitative Voice of the Customer facilitator, and Six Sigma Green Belt (Quality). She is a member of the ASQ, SHRM, PMI, the National Speakers Association. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here. Image source: Adobe Stock.