A few years ago, I met with the MD of John Lewis's flagship store on Oxford Street, London. Sales were slipping and the store was lacking in other key areas including the customer experience. My partner and I were invited to the store to discuss ways to shake things up across the business and to lead some workshops for management and store partners (the term they use for employees). In his words "I need to reinvigorate the store!" It was the perfect word to describe what was needed.
Reinvigorate. It sounds powerful, earthy and energetic. It's not a word you often hear used in business nowadays but it's the perfect antidote to a business that is failing or underperforming.
When you re-invigorate your business you fill it with life and energy. You can energize teams, sales, customer experiences, shareholder value and more when you choose to reinvigorate your business.
In our experience, most business owners or department heads know where they are struggling and why but the drive to hit targets often distracts them from taking the necessary steps back, hovering above their business and reflecting upon how to proceed and move from fuzzy to focused.
Over time the once clear vision they started with becomes distorted, irrelevant and inappropriate. Things change and instead of building a business toward their vision they simply go through the motions of achieving monthly and quarterly targets and the bigger picture becomes little more than a framed statement above their desk, office wall or staff canteen.
"Without a vision the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18.
Without vision, people lose the vitality that makes them feel alive, get excited to come to work and make the necessary sacrifices that are needed to achieve great things. The value of a clear and crisp vision should never be underestimated and communicating it to employees and other stakeholders is vitally important.
It's a bit like telling your kids that you are taking them to Disney for their annual summer vacation. In an instant they get it. They realise what that means and all it entails. Getting them prepared for the event is going to be easy because they bought into it the moment you revealed the surprise.
Compare that to the reaction you're likely to get if you told them they were going to Marrakesh! You'd have some work to do to sell it to them. You'd need to bring it alive with examples of what they could expect, describing it in an emotional way so they too became enthused at the prospect. They'd have to see what's in it for them before they'd be ready to embrace it.
We’ve been hearing a lot from both business owners and department heads that they’re struggling to make headway with their business - flagging behind with their targets and feeling overwhelmed and unproductive. When I ask them how much time they put aside to going back to basics, stepping back to look at the business and planning how to reinvigorate it, most admitted they gave insufficient time.
One of our favourite tools for demonstrating the power of a team working toward a common goal, aligned to a shared and common vision involves no more than a roll of cling film.
We've used this activity dozens and dozens of times and it always helps those involved to see the importance of vision and alignment. Next time you want to re-energize your team around a common purpose, shared vision or goal then you should try this. You will not be disappointed.
Set up correctly it powerfully demonstrates what happens when your team is aligned. How much more easily they can operate and achieve their goals when they share a common vision and purpose.
The activity involves wrapping a small group of people, randomly huddled together as close as they can, with cling film at waist height. Imagine a belt of cling film wrapped at waist height around the group of 6 - 8 people. And then asking them to move several feet toward a target on the floor ahead of them. Since the group was brought together randomly they'll be facing in different directions making it hard for the bound group to move quickly and with ease.
If you're interested in the full details of how to correctly set up the activity, avoid potential pitfalls and ensure you get the desired results, you can download them from here.
It's a great exercise with a powerful message delivered in a highly engaging way.
We’ve been running our own business for nearly a decade now and we know what consistent effort, careful strategy, and ongoing refocusing it needs to keep going. It makes me sad to see so many people struggling to move forward, and worse, losing the excitement for their original business vision.
We're passionate about helping other ambitious businesses leaders and owners get off the ground so they can finally get their products and service in front of more customers ready and eager to buy from them.
So we have created a program to specifically help business owners and department heads move forward with clarity again!
This online coaching program is designed so that they will:
To find out how The Customer's Shoes can help you move from fuzzy to focused and redefine your business vision, gain control of your targets, and finally start making more sales click the link below.
Join our mailing list to receive the latest tools, free resources for use with your teams and business as well as updates and offers. Your information will not be shared.