What is…

What’s our vision? What’s our mission? Where do we want to be in three years, five years, 10 years? So much of what we think about, talk about and focus on in organisations is driven by thinking around that imagined future.

But what about ‘what is’?

Well that’s no fun I hear you say, we deal with what is every day. Let’s go check out that blue sky. The green grass on the other side. The possibility and potential of who we could be if only…

And while you might deal with what is every day, that’s a very different thing to understanding it. But here is the very big rub. You can’t get there if you don’t understand it.

If you don’t know where ‘here’ is, you can’t even begin to know how long the journey will be. Navigation 101 really. Plotting a course from point A to point B requires you know exactly where point A is.

Point A is today. Point A is what is. What you do? Who you do it for? Why you do it? How you do it? Where you do it? Basic questions. Important questions. Questions you have to take time to answer if you want that vision thing, that imagined future place to be more than a mirage on the horizon.

Being present and focused on now is hard. It requires that you be willing to look the success and failure of what you are currently doing square in the face. Those brutal facts can be daunting, but they shouldn’t be defeating. Only by knowing where you stand can you move forward.

It might sound a bit “self-help” mumbo jumbo-ish, but let’s just say for a minute that you’ve decided you want to become more customer service-centric in that imagined future.

Great.

So what do you need to do differently to get there? How customer service-centric are you today? What are the current practices and policies that are in the way? What things you currently do should you keep? How big is the distance, a short step sideways or a giant leap across a chasm?

As I’ve noted recently, evolution is critical to having a strong and resilient brand and organisation. But no brand can evolve successfully without this basic work.

You’ve got to start with what is.

See you next week.

Michel is an independent brand analyst dedicated to helping organisations make promises they can keep and keep the promises they make – with a strong, resilient organisation as the result. She also publishes a blog at michelhogan.com.

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