In Part 84, I posed the question as to whether your organization viewed the global workplace from looking in the mirror or looking out the window. I suggested that the view from the mirror is what you think you do and the view from the window is what your clients tell you what you do or they need.
The difference between the two views creates what we call a gap analysis. It is the difference between where you are and where you want to be. The difficulty here is that these two views again confront the mirror/window scenario. Wikipedia tells us that Gap analysis involves the comparison of actual performance with potential or desired performance. It compares a current state of the organization with the future state of the organization.
The problem lies within our view of the gap analysis. We are told from a very early age to only think in terms of the positive. So, when management, in many cases, look at the organization their respond is everything is fine. We are doing what our mission, value, and goals tell us we should be doing. They view the world with a pair of rose-colored glasses. They respond that the problem resides in our message to our customer base who don’t understand what we do. We have a history of excellence in our industry so everything must be going correctly. This is operating from within a bubble of our own making.
The other side of the coin is an opposing view of the world. It is one grounded in our mission, values and goals but done so from the perspective of the customer. It is the view of our organization through the panes of the window. In this alternative world, management recognizes that that the voice of the customer is the guide to how well we ae doing, Management recognizes that our goals, missions and values and even the corporate culture must be based on the demands of the customer as heard by the voice of the customer. These demands provide us with a real-time view of the marketplace and our role in it.
If you truly believe in sustainable process improvement and innovation in the marketplace, it is your responsibility to ensure that management is hearing, understanding and recognizing the problems that the voice of the customer is telling the organization. From there it is critical that you take the criticism of your processes to heart and make the required changes to meet customer demands.