ACG - Agency Consulting Group

The PIPELINE

A national monthly newsletter for agency principals dedicated to agency management topic

AWARENESS IS NOT CHANGE - Article #3 by Brandie J. Hinen of PowerhouseLearning.com

Issues. Challenges. All fancy politically correct words for PROBLEMS. We are quick to identify problems or challenges – it takes no outstanding ability to identify what’s not working. But even if you have acknowledged what is not working, what will you/can you DO about it? I often say that “Recognition Is The First Step To Recovery.” In other words, it does nothing to evoke change in your environment. If Joe Star Producer stands up in the next organization staff meeting and admits to being a horse’s #@!* in the way he treats his team of account managers, after we all got over the shock and laughter at his admission, we would not really expect much to change. In this day of marathon meetings with ambiguous agendas, it is no wonder that we have bred a lot of mediocrity into our language, and in the trustworthiness of our relationships. We talk a lot but don’t say much. Our communication is unclear, and therefore, we do little but admit there is “Lack Of Communication” present in the environment.

So what can we do to create action where none existed? Well, start with identifying HOW people are motivated. What’s the best way to do that? Well, just ask them! I find that most people want to be heard more than anything. ASK what your producers, your account managers, and your marketing and your office staff would like to see take place. Their answers will surprise you. Let’s not make this difficult. People want to know their contribution matters. They care less about money and material things and more about knowing that they make a difference with the effort they put in on your behalf. Ask them what they would like to receive in the form of reciprocity for a job exceptionally done. Set objective goals with their help. Set up a committee of peers from each department to measure progress.

If Joe Star Producer stand up again to admit what we all know about him, ask what will he do differently? And BY WHEN should we expect to see change? And what will it look like to the account managers. Press for specificity. We have been told and trained to do this in the sales process, why not here?

I often wonder why organizational management does not invest more in this way. Some are good salespeople for clients but not great motivators of change in their own environment. Yet, they expect great change and are disappointed when expectations and goals they set are not met. In order to take great care of your clients, you need people who care to care about those clients. Start by calling a staff meeting this Monday morning. Keep the phones off for just a half hour. Tell them you need help. Have them complete the Four Questions of what is present, missing, how they contribute, and what they see is possible for the organization. Then ask them what they would like to see different. Give away one of those giant candy bars for anyone that give you any feedback. It’s a start that, if you will follow through, will yield you both great rewards.