Don’t be like Jack

Most people would have heard the saying “jack of all trades, master of none”. I think there is a danger in business to overpromise and under-deliver. By trying to fulfil every challenge your client throws at you, you risk over-committing yourself big time.

Not so long ago, when I was a spritely 21 year old I worked for a large Managed Services IT firm. We had a brilliant team based on a client site full time. We look care of everything from Windows desktops to telecoms. There was a trend of having to know little about lots – Covering different systems and environments; one minute learning how to patch a phone to a switch, the next sorting out a user who couldn’t log-on to their machine. I never quite got this – We were busy doing adequate jobs up until a point, but when anything serious was encountered the whole service fell apart. We had to wait for a more senior engineer to be drafted in. The customer had to wait.
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Fear is Flawed

Throughout my career I’ve witnessed many departments and organisations where fear rules.

Employees constantly looking over their shoulder for the fear that the boss is watching. The freedom to inspire and delight customers impacted by ridiculous internal processes; dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s so that the boss will be happy. Zero signs of motivation, encouragement or inspiration from the higher ranks. Does anyone enjoy working in an environment like this?

What if the company mission and culture was simply to deliver outstanding service? To make customers smile every day. Would the iron fist ruling slowly vanish because customers are placing more orders?

It strikes me too much emphasis today is placed on ticking boxes, on internal controls and politics, on pleasing the boss. What if we focussed our efforts on delighting the customer? Empowered our teams to make the right decision for the customer, not for the rule book?

I think it’s worth a shot.