I finally got it all together in one place

On January 13, 2016, in Critical Success Factors, by George Loyer

For the past few weeks we’ve looked at the Critical Success Factors of a telecommunication company that successfully transformed their operations to focus on the customer.  They knew they had to change.  But, as opposed to just starting the change process, they started by defining their Critical Success Factors.  The Critical Success Factors kept them focused on the key things that truly spelled success for them.

Up to now we looked at their Critical Success Factors individually.  Here they are all in one place.  Look at them and see why developing Critical Success Factors is the way to start when faced with comprehensive, sweeping change.

  1. We must have systems and processes that are easy to use and provide complete and correct information when we need it.
  2. We must be the best people in our industry through how we hire, coach, train, develop, and reward all our people.
  3. We must assure optimal availability of customer options and integrated support system capabilities.
  4. We must have results and measurement systems locked to our mission that drive customer satisfaction and financial success.
  5. We must know our customers.
  6. We must uniformly meet or exceed our customer’s expectations
  7. In order to provide World Class Service, our mind set should focus on opportunities, not problems.
  8. We need to show our customers that all employees of our organization are a team, working together to provide World Class Service.
  9. We need to make an obsession of measuring the way:
  • We serve our customers
  • We manage our employees.

10.  We need to make all our systems serve the customers.
11.   If we are going to be perceived as providing World Class Service to our customers,
we need to provide World Class Service to our internal contacts.

12.  We need to make the first line supervisor the critical link.

This wraps up our look at Critical Success Factors.

Tip of the series:  If you need to change more than a light bulb, start by developing your own set of Critical Success Factors!




Our telecommunications company realized quite early in the intervention that success would only happen if people were accountable for their own behavior.  Several factors were built into the Critical Success Factors to help make that happen.  One of the keys was developing superior measurement systems as described in Critical Success Factor 9.  Another brings us to Critical Success Factor 12:

12) We need to make the first line supervisor the critical link.

Especially during the transition period from their current state to a truly World Class Service focused organization, the first line supervisor is the critical link.  Why?  First, for many people, the notion of being accountable for their own behavior does not come naturally.  Second, for most of the employees in this organization their entire work experience was, one, being told what to do and then, two, being scolded if they didn’t.  On top of that, being rewarded for doing the job right almost never happened.

For these reasons, the first line supervisors had their work cut out for them.  But, the good news is, we developed a comprehensive training package for them.  An example of the training they received is the Performance Coaching and FeedBack (PCFB) workshop they attended.

In this workshop the first line supervisors learned when a person does a new job and does it right, their performance must be praised.  This is much more than an empty pat-on-the-back.  When a person does a job for the first time and does it right, they may not know they did it right unless they are told so.  If they don’t know they did it right, they may change how they do it and do it wrong.

The first line supervisors also learned that when new jobs are introduced there is a ramp-up curve before people get good at it.  When a person’s performance is off target, the supervisors were taught to:

  • Ask questions to understand
  • Review the Standard
  • Ask for a Specific Solution
  • Get commitment

When a supervisor reviews performance with a person and the person identifies the Specific Solution needed to get on track, the person is taking accountability for their own behavior.  A good first step!  The Performance Coaching and FeedBack workshop is just one example of the extensive training the first line supervisors received.

Tip of the day:  If your supervisors don’t know how to help a person take accountability for their own behavior, don’t expect success.


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