I like Seth, he’s a realist and has a great communication style. Here are 5 things that will destroy your business….if you let them. Collated by Justin Bariso for Inc.
From employee irritation at ridiculous processes to consumer distress over failed UX, broken elements can destroy your business. Of course, even the richest companies get it wrong sometimes. So how do you stay on top of potential headaches before they ever get to market?
In a brilliant talk delivered to the Gel conference in 2006, Seth Godin spoke about the fundamental reasons behind what’s broken in the world.
I’ve picked out my five favorites. Taking a close look at each of these problems could help you to fix what’s broken about your business before it’s too late.
5 things that can destroy your business:
1. “Not my job” thinking
Why does a broken copy machine get noticed by numerous employees before someone decides to repair it? Or why does a process stay the same, even after so many complain that it’s inefficient?
Because too many people think, “Well, that’s not my job. Someone else should take care of it.” Meanwhile, time and money are lost forever.
Fix: Fixing broken processes should be everyone’s job. Make sure your employees know that, and reward those who take positive steps to address problems.
2. Selfish jerks
It’s why companies continue to spam customers, despite the fact that everyone hates spam. It’s also why businesses try to trick you using “fine print” tactics in their user agreements.
Too many companies are willing to waste customers’ time and hurt their brand to get short-term gains.
Fix: Treat customers with empathy, and they’ll respond with loyalty.
3. Adapting too slowly to a changing world
Godin defines this third cause as when “someone is designing a business model or a product from one era and ends up in a different era and unwilling to fix it.”
Think about how Blockbuster Video dismissed Netflix. Or how K-Mart underestimated Wal-Mart and Amazon.
Fix: Hire diversely.
You need young and old, an assortment of backgrounds. Varying and dissenting points of view, when expressed respectfully, will make your business better.
Who can forget world-leading retailer Zara’s gaffe last year when they sold a children’s t-shirt that resembled a WWII concentration camp uniform. Zara apologized via tweet:
Zara claimed ignorance, but they should have known. Especially after they made a similar error in 2007, when stores were forced to recall a range of handbags which were embroidered with green swastikas.
Fix: Every business needs checks and balances. Make sure you get at least a second opinion.
5. Not thinking like customers
Godin shows a picture of a poorly designed car dashboard cup holder (pictured at 14:36), placed directly in front of the air conditioner vent. Obviously, the designer wasn’t a coffee drinker.
In contrast, consider how Facebook compensates for this problem. The technology giant launched “2G Tuesdays”, where employees can experience their product as if on a 2G connection for an hour at a time. Doing so helps designers and engineers simulate the experience of users in regions with sluggish networks, as these areas have major potential for growth.
Fix: Find ways to make sure designers, marketers, and salespeople think like your customers. All of them.