Keeping Promises in 2014

by Jay Deragon on 12/30/2013

fingers-crossedWhat will set your organization apart from the competition in 2014?

Businesses use different strategies to create a competitive differential and the methods used to gain competitive advantage vary by industry but the fundamental goals are the same: creating and delivering more value than expected.

Delivering more value than expected is a race driven by creativity, innovation and speed. The race never ends however the expectation for value increases with every turn and the expectation isn’t once in a while but every time.

Not delivering now with more value than expected is a disappointment to people who experience your product, service or work environment. People, whether labeled customers or employees, expect value to be delivered as promised, on time and the experience should match or exceed the promises.

Three things happen from experiences people have with your company:

  1. Not delivering as promised creates a bad experience that will be shared.
  2. Delivering as promised creates an expected experience not worthy of sharing
  3. Delivering beyond the expected creates an experience worth sharing.

The next time you’re in the break room at work just listen to the conversations. The next time you at an industry conference just listen to the conversations. The next time you ask for customer feedback, listen. The next time you log on the web listen to the conversations about your organization. What are the experiences being shared?  Bad and none are not good. What everyone wants to conversations that sign praise about how your organization keeps promises.

Engagement has become the new organizational mantra but before you chase the engagement rabbit you ought to ask yourself what type of conversations influence engagement the most.

Which Conversations Have The Most Promise?

Most everyone recognizes, or should, the power of the web and subsequently everyone tries different tactics to change the conversations to their advantage. These include:

  1. Attempting to change the conversations with public relations and marketing campaigns
  2. Ignoring the conversations expecting them to simply go away
  3. Creating new conversations about new promises
  4. Engaging in the conversations and learning what needs to change. Then improving those things simply by keeping their promises

Which tactic is likely to produce the best result? Just remember that whatever tactic you choose it will create another experience. Which of the three things likely to happen from any new experience people have with your company would bring the most value?

There is a new marketplace driven by conversations. Be careful not only with what you do but how you do it. The people are listening regardless of whether you are or not. What you say or do and don’t say or do is considered a promise.

Breaking a promise you lose. Keeping a promise is expected. Exceeding promises enables you to win, every time.   Many organizations, and people, need to learn how to keep their promise in 2014 so they can then learn to exceed it.

If you are not keeping or exceeding promises made to people then how can you expect them to keep or exceed their commitment to you or your organization?

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