HOW TO SEE YOUR BUSINESS WITH A FRESH SET OF EYES
The trick is to channel our inner five year old—the one that constantly asks “why.” Here are a couple ways we can change the way we look at our business:
OBSERVE YOUR CUSTOMERS
What is their experience like? Where are they having to exert effort? Are there times they seem frustrated? Bored? Annoyed? Are these negative emotional states truly necessary? For example if your customers spend a lot of time online or filling out forms. This may be how your business has “always been,” but there are better ways today.
LEVERAGE NEW EMPLOYEES
Since new employees aren’t accustomed to the processes that are in place, it's all new to them and they are more likely to notice oddities. Do you have a model or policy in place that encourages new employees to ask those types of questions? Or are they told to keep their observations to themselves until they have been fully trained? (And therefore become accustomed to what may in fact be outdated processes, policies or technologies).
LOOK AT OTHER BUSINESS MODELS
Some problems are industry-wide and are just accepted as how the industry operates. We took one of our pharmaceutical clients to a cupcake factory to observe rapid manufacturing as a way to help them develop ideas about how to speed up their drug research and development, and they came back with some great new ideas.
THINK ABOUT STRETCH SCENARIOS
Take an aspect of your business and think about a transformational future. If a bank has a hundred customers coming in with an average wait time of six minutes, a stretch scenario would be seeing what kind of technologies or processes would be needed to give a thousand customers a wait time of less than a minute, without additional staff. The stretch goal may or may not be possible, but striving towards it helps force your brain to see your business differently.