Does Business Have Social Sense-Ability?

by Jay Deragon on 01/08/2011

The word sense-ability implies an acute perception of or responsiveness toward something of vital importance. In business the most vitally important issue is people: buyers, employees and suppliers. Without them there is no business.

People have a voice used to express wants, desires, needs and intentions. This has been so since the beginning of time. Yet the majority of us either ignore or forget how important it is to listen to the “voice of people” we aim to serve.

Corporations are people containers. Leaders and managers execute strategies and tactics with the aim of serving a business purpose. However history has demonstrated the fallacy of management methods used within “corporate containers” aimed at executing the intent of leaders and managers who do not listen to the intent of the people they aim to serve. Not listening and executing on “people’s” intent means your corporate container is out of alignment with the marketplace.

Common Sense Would Say “Listen and Learn”

A CMO White Paper Titled Creating Market-Sensing Corporate Cultures says: Organization-wide Attention to Customers, Competitors and Market Conditions is Critical to Being an Ever-Alert, Nimble Enterprise That Better Anticipates, Addresses and Acts on Both Business Opportunity and Threat. A recent CMO Council study on Giving Customer Voice More Volume found that:

  1. Two-thirds of more than 400 companies surveyed do not have Voice of Customer program in place.
  2. Only 10.7 percent of companies have deployed real-time systems to collect, analyzeand distribute customer feedback.
  3. While 75.3 percent say they receive customer feedback via e-mail, only 23.1 percent say they track and measure the volume and nature of these messages.
  4. Customer voice has gone online, but only 16 percent track word of mouth on the Internet.

Today’s Chief Marketing Officer is a change agent and more than 50 percent, according to our Define & Align the CMO research, are hired to fix broken marketing organizations and lead transformation across all functional areas. This includes measurably impacting and influencing company culture, customer experience, competitive differentiation, brand recognition, sales effectiveness and business performance. To drive this transformation toward greater market sensing, customer intimacy and competitive alertness, the CMO and the CEO have to engage the C-suite in a collaborative, systematized and sustained process to create a market responsive mindset and “Cultural Sense-Ability” across the extended organization.

Forgive me if I sound harsh but the above research results and subsequent statements of intents strongly suggest that most corporations do not have or use common sense and aren’t thinking sensibly.  How long have markets known that the most vitally important issue is people: buyers, employees and suppliers. Common sense would indicate that satisfaction improves productivity, brand awareness, market sentiment and revenue. Yet the majority of businesses clearly do not think the “people’s voice” is strategically, relevant or relative to the success of business.

Social-sensibility means fixing all the dysfunctional thinking, wasteful efforts and tearing down “corporate containers”. Tearing down the “container” means let the people out and the market in. Doing so makes sense, that is if you have any common sense. Isn’t it sensible to see this?

If you need a counselor to help you see this and change this, call someone who can help or simply ask the people.

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