From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Creating Implementation Results

Thousands of people each month read these materials or hear me speak, nodding their heads, and chanting the building business relationship mantra. If that's all you do, then I feel sorry for you and your business!

What you learn here means nothing if you're not putting it into daily practice. In the last issue, you learned about your executive responsibility to produce mutual gain for everyone involved in your business.

For those who take action now or in the future, you'll have to motivate employees to create the results you desire for customer relationships. How do you know if your initiatives are being properly implemented?

That's exactly what you'll learn in this lesson.

If you're having trouble getting starting with what you read here, if you have questions, or just want to work something specific for your organization -- join other smart executives who have become a member of Applying Strategic Relations.

At your service,

Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

How To Know If Your Relationship Initiatives Are Being Properly Implemented To Maximize Results

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

You've invested months to develop relationship initiatives for your company, it's now six months later, and how do you know if you are making any progress. The biggest challenges leaders face in making real change for profitable business relationships is turning ideas into actions.

Your relationship initiatives are being implemented when you follow these eleven steps:

  1. Create solid, specific, and meaningful relationship initiatives.These initiatives aren't separate of your corporate objectives, but instead a way of looking at the business. Start by rewriting corporate objectives to consider a win-win relationship in all eight-relationship realms. Be specific about what this business will do for the world around it.
  2. For each initiatives setup three points of measure. It's critical to choose measures before you start taking action. Each measure will monitor something directly related to the results you desire. Choose measures that are influenced by the actions you will take, and take actions necessary to influences measures necessary to identify desired results.
  3. Map customer interactions and understand how they are influences by initiatives. Look at customer behavior, including how they buy your solution. Observe what customers do at each point they interact with your organization. Document customer expectations before and after each point of interaction, and then compare this with what was delivered.
  4. Test measures with historical data. Use your understanding of customer interactions and historical transactions to test your assumptions about measures. Your measures should accurately predict current events from past information, and be easily justified with data available. Customer behavior can be modeled from past behavior if you have a clear understanding of what influenced that behavior.
  5. Establish a baseline performance after defining measures but before actions starts. From your measures, determine what your company looks like today. Define your company by measures tied to your initiatives, and through them to your business objectives. A baseline helps you see the changes created as you move towards your relationship objectives.
  6. Increase transaction/interaction volume to get accurate measures faster. Once you have interactions defined, measures identified, and clear objectives, then increase the volume of transactions to quicken your ability to explore trends. The more iteration you can measure, the better your measures will reflect actual customer behavior. At this point to ramp up lead generation, attract new visitors, or call on who ever starts in your interactions.
  7. Monitor your actions. Only measure those things you will use or that influence desired results. Each action creates a reaction that either brings you closer to your objectives or further away. Keep doing those things that create the results you desire and discard those that don't.
  8. Use a process for improvement. Educate, do, learn, and then adjust. Small thoughtful actions improve your ability to progress. Look at your desired result, then what needs to be done to bring your initiatives from idea into action. You'll accomplish more with a defined system, than you will just winging it.
  9. Model tested behavior but ask why/how results were created. Don't blindly repeat past actions because they seemed to work. Challenge your employees to understand why and how certain results are achieved. This extra insight helps them create new actions that are more likely to be successful.
  10. Make it clear what is being measured. It's important that every employee clearly understands what is measured and how it influences results desired. Involve employees in reaching these objectives by incorporating their suggestions. Avoid the risk of over measuring by educating employees on why certain measures are important.
  11. Tie initiatives to group compensation. People do what they are compensated for; make it clear that advancing relationship initiatives is a rewarded behavior. Reward the group for moving individuals in a direction of bringing relationship initiatives into business practice. These rewards don't necessarily have to be monetary in nature.

By defining, understanding, measuring, and monitoring your initiatives you'll gain a better prospective of your progress towards business objectives. Invest the time necessary to focus on specific meaningful initiatives that help employees frame their own effort. Follow this simple process and you'll create the results you desire.

© 2005 JWH Consolidated LLC dba Center for Strategic Relations, All rights reserved.
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