How clumsy and bureaucratic organizations function is often only noticeable in crisis situations. And then it's not common sense that acts, but supposedly firmly cemented ones Regulate. A mistake.


ISO noise produces isomorphism

A young man who had worked as a sleeper steward at the train told me this: “Sometimes it happened that because of a technical problem, the toilets failed. The following was in the service manual: In the event that there are disruptions in the operation of the on-board toilets, the passengers must be offered a free drink. ”

Here, as is so often the case, it is evident that customer expectations are not the benchmark for the services provided by a Company are, but the functioning according to ISO. It seems that some managers have lost common sense. And even worse: ISO creates isomorphism. In other words, everything is becoming more and more the same. But only the special, fascinating, remarkable has one Future.

The greatest idiot

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“You can come up with the greatest nonsense,” writes service expert Vinzenz Baldus indignantly, “for example life jackets made of concrete. In this case, it is only important that you, as with all sensible products and processes, document your guidelines and the implementation steps precisely steps, how you want to produce this special service, market it and have it maintained through a special after-sales service.

And then representatives from TÜV or DEKRA will come to you and paralyze operations for four weeks - and if the specified concrete density is verifiable, you will receive your certificate…. You can really come up with the greatest nonsense - the main thing is that you make it regular and verifiable - then you will also receive your post-certification. "

Rigid standards transform employees into marionettes

Of course, securing a base quality is right and in some cases even vital. But anyone who creates another rule every time a little problem arises and invents a form for every process is process-obsessed and breeds mental cripples. He makes his Organization slow and stupid.

And if a rule in another place is not deleted at the same time as a new rule is established, then the workload increases each time. In the end, the straitjacket of rigid norms transforms the Employees in marionettes who willingly bow to even the most stupid instructions and the customers impose their industrialized service processes ("That's our rule!"). Like wind-up dolls, they talk to you on the phone or at the counter in a fast-food restaurant.

On the meeting agenda: Kill a stupid rule!

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The responsibility for making customers happy can no longer be shifted onto thick tomes. It must be directly with the customer-facing employees. The first step? “Unregulate” you! To do this, pack the following agenda item firmly in your Meeting-Agenda: Kill a stupid rule! Or in German: Which stupid rules and which administrative nonsense can we part with this week? Two key questions need to be asked:

What does the company want? This results in the basic standards and the “non-negotiable” norms that act as guidelines. Because employees and customers need absolute clarity about what is possible – and what cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. This marks the zero line of customer satisfaction.

What does the customer want?

What does he want Customer? This results in scope for inspiring customers, which employees can use to their full potential. Of course, this also requires a few rules and boundary lines, but the playing field itself should be as large as possible. Because only above the zero line of customer satisfaction, i.e. where flexibility, individualization and improvisational talent show, does enthusiasm set in.

What can be done above the zero line? Ask the customers! Above all, ask the employees who are close to the customer! They're the closest and have the most brilliant ones ideasIf only they could do it more often.

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