I’ve recently read a small and inspirational book by Mac Anderson, called “212° Service; the 10 rules for creating a service culture”. It’s a great short read full of useful stories and tips which I have thoroughly enjoyed. But the reason for this blog is to share Rule 10 with you – Reinforce, Reinforce, Reinforce – as it is something that we come across week after week after week.
Often, in business, you may have worked with us, or someone else, to create an inspirational vision statement, values list, essence (or purpose) phrase and got very excited about it. Maybe it’s been launched at a company conference and then, much to your astonishment, no one in the business seems to remember it three, six or nine months later! Rule 10 in Mac’s book speaks to this very point and, if you’ve ever found yourself experiencing this, or if you’re planning on refreshing your vision statements soon then please read on…
Reproduced with kind permission of Mac Anderson:
Rule 10: Reinforce, Reinforce, Reinforce
I’m sure you’ve heard the three keys to purchasing real estate…location, location, location. Well you’ll now hear the three keys to inspiring 212° Service…REINFORCE, REINFORCE, REINFORCE.
Many leaders in times of change grossly underestimate the need for continuous reinforcement. In a perfect world, we hear something once, record it in our brain, and never need to hear it again. But in reality, our world is far from perfect. During a time of change we have doubts, fears and occasional disappointments. Sometimes, there are friends, family and co-workers reinforcing those doubts saying, “It won’t work”.
Once the management team has signed off on the ‘change message’, the challenge is how you can keep it alive until the behaviour is consistent with your goals. UNDERSTAND ONE THING – IT WON’T HAPPEN ON ITS OWN. You need to have a plan in place to make it happen. Answering these three questions is a first step for success.
- How do I keep it simple? Less is always more.
- How can I make it memorable?
- How many times can I communicate it, on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?
To some, this may sound like simple, common sense stuff. But to do it right, it’s anything but simple. It takes creative planning and input from everyone involved. But, most of all, it takes tremendous discipline to keep the ‘train on the track’. A lot of little things will make a big difference in convincing the team that you’re 100 percent committed to making a 212° Service culture happen. So sweat the small stuff and remember…reinforce, reinforce, reinforce.
Several leaders I have spoken to simply forget that one of their key roles is Chief Storyteller and it is vital that they reinforce the story (of the vision and values etc.) every day and at the beginning of every meeting. Some worry that they are becoming too repetitive or predictable or boring. But I liken this to all the sales reps who tell marketing that they need a new sales aid because, “My customers are bored of this one”, when in reality most of the customers have only seen it once or twice, but it’s the rep themselves who is bored as they see it six times or more each day!
If you are a leader who is bored of your own message then challenge yourself with these two questions:-
1. Have you got the right message or does it need reworking or refreshing?
2. Do you have a variety of different ways of telling this story?
The answer to your challenge lies somewhere in your response to these questions.
Looking forwards, please care for your message and reinforce, reinforce and reinforce it wherever and whenever you can. Be the Chief Storyteller for your business, because:
• If not you, then who?
• If not now, then when?
And if you need any help, then please just give us a call. We would love to help.
After all, iTS Leadership!
If you would like to learn more about Mac Anderson or bring Mac to your organisation, please contact Southwestern Speakers.
Also to take part in Mac’s Inspire Kindness Movement, go his website at inspirekindness.com