Corporate life…

I guess you pays your money and you takes your choice.

Or maybe you makes your bed and you lie on it.

Same thing really.

I’m in corporate world this week, working with one of the UK’s larger organisations and I’m struck by the differences between them and us… of course what I really meant to say was the differences between those corporate types and EB.

In fact, I almost became my dad during one of my sessions today and it was touch and go whether I actually said ‘Stress? You people don’t know that you’re born!’

But I’m starting the story in the middle.

The company I’m working for operates in a competitive market place and they rely on a middle man (person, sorry) to place business with them rather than with their competitors. The problem is they have been described as ‘vanilla’ (by themselves, to be fair) but they want to be ‘Raspberry Ripple’.

Enter stage left Derigo and the merry band. We’re helping various teams around the country understand the challenges they face and to think about what they can do as individuals to strengthen relationships with the middle people.

Okay, all good stuff so far.

In essence the middle people need the business I’m working for to be more pro-active. The issue is, though, they’re busy at work and find it difficult to get the time to be proactive… poor lambs.

And here’s where the differences between them and us begin to manifest themselves. I heard phrases like: ‘I had to work until 6.30 on Friday night to get my e-mails done.’ And that was topped, in my book, by the phrase ‘if you want to deliver great service you have to throw money at it!’

There were more: ‘Don’t ask the customer if there is anything else you can help them with, they might say ‘yes’ and then you’d have to deal with it.’

But the very best and my breakthrough moment of the day was this one:

‘I think we need our customers more than they need us!’

Bingo.

Now we have something to work with but I really wish I could have shouted at them… My wife went to a breakfast meeting starting at 6.45, had six appointments during the day and went to an evening meeting, from which I picked her up at 10.00.’ Or maybe: ‘Don’t throw money at it; think outside the box to deliver a solution your customers actually want!’I

But that would just be sour grapes.

Having said that, I’m not sure who’s right or who’s wrong. If I left work at 5 o’clock I’m not quite sure what I’d do with my time.

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