EON -43Some weeks take it out of you, some weeks energise you. Some weeks do both and you know it’s been A week.

In a week in which a couple of the big customer and contact centre conferences took place and the announcement of the spending review, I was tied up with some fascinating sessions and meetings. Client confidentiality prevents me saying more, but they were meetings with real purpose. Where things that do or do not happen make differences to a lot of people’s lives.

But a highlight I can talk about was a leadership unconference we ran for a client. The unconference format is not new but it is scary for people used to structure, to having an agenda, who go to listen & learn from other people. This is about sharing, doing and learning. It’s about you, not them.

So where does the champagne come in?

Many companies are full of brilliant people who do great work. But sometimes good intent and activity is confused with doing something that an internal or external customer can actually feel.

I used a bottle of champagne to illustrate this.

Holding up a bottle of our local english champagne from Chapel Down (apologies to the French readers…) I asked “Who wants a bottle of champagne?”. After 4 shouts I felt like Freddie Mercury as the call and response got louder and louder: “I do!”. But nothing happened until a hint was given and a few people cottoned on and ran up to get the bottle.

Actions speak louder than words.

Later I repeated the exercise. Of course the first person up thought it was theirs for the taking. But I wouldn’t give it and they backed off.

Acting alone, isn’t always enough. Back at the ranch, you have to fight for what you want to happen.

So the third time, you can see what happened in the picture above! I’d thought people might team up to beat me, but no they fought each other to get the bottle. Aspiration versus reality when it comes to getting resources! But they fought for what they wanted and got it.

Then someone walked up to the winner and asked if it was the champagne served at the royal wedding and could they take a look. And gently walked off with the bottle.

You have to think as well as fight for what you want. And those that work smartest get the prize. Winning easily – Working smarter! But it only works if it makes a difference to your customer experience. Otherwise it’s just words and thoughts.