29 June 2007

To be or not to be Beta

"Do or do not... there is no try." Yoda

Everyone faces crossroads at least once in his or her lifetime. Turn left or right? Go ahead or turn back? Sometimes the decision can be made in the blink of an eye, sometimes it can take hours, days, or even life...

Everyone only lives once. Nobody wants and affords to make a bad decision. If the decision is bad, the consequence can be irreversible. But, it is at least an action taken. At the end of the day, people will not live with the pain of not doing anything. Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in life is a special occasion. Life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through. Every touchpoint counts.

Although people are always advised to think twice before taking any action, conventional wisdom never suggests that people should think more than twice. Trying to see a clear picture of the future is a complete waste of time. As Peter Drucker put it, "the best way to predict the future is to create it." Act on something!

It is not about right or wrong, but to be or not to be. It is indeed difficult to define what is right, and what is wrong. To some, it may be right, but to others, it could be wrong. Who can judge? Lady Justice? But she is blindfolded. She simply cannot see. Although the purpose of blindfolding is to indicate that all are equals, it can also imply that Lady Justice chooses not to see since she knows better than anyone that inequality can never be eliminated. Right? Wrong? Who and how to define?

Live each day as if it were the last...

26 June 2007

In God we trust Beta

"God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages." Jacques Deval

Why do people trust God? Because they feel loneliness sometimes? Because they cannot trust anyone around? Because God never betrays them? Why? It is about "hope for the best, prepare for the worst." God always gives people the best. During the toughest times, God is always there to support. God is everywhere, and He knows everything. God is omnipotent, and therefore is totally reliable. But... really!?

Can God create a stone so heavy that he cannot lift? Either God can create such a stone or he cannot. If he cannot, then there is something that God cannot do, and therefore He is not omnipotent. If He can, then there is also something cannot do, namely life the stone, and therefore He is also not omnipotent. Either way God is not omnipotent. A being that is not omnipotent is not God. God, therefore, does not exist.

That is the paradox of stone.

If God does not exist, then how do people trust something not even in existence?


"Then Jesus said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.' Thomas said to Him, 'My Lord and my God!' Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'" John 20:27-29

Positive touchpoint experience is not about seeing is believing, but it is more about trust.

21 June 2007

Step Beta

"You don't leap a chasm in 2 bounds." Chinese proverb

The first step to success is to make the first step. Without the first step, nothing will ever happen. Although making the first step doesn't guarantee success, it is at least a start.

The step could be baby step, or quantum leap. Baby step is slow but safe. Quantum leap is fast but risky. Both can lead to success, or failure. But again, it is still about the first step. If there is no first step, there would be no baby step, nor quantum leap. Everything is on hold, and everyone is stuck.

It really does not matter whether the step takes one forward or backward. If it is a step forward, great, efforts made are not wasted. If backward, congratulations, it is a lesson learned.

It is more effective to take small steps during initial stage, then make a large jump at later stage. People are human beings, and have emotions. They resist changes, and always want to remain in their own comfort zone. Baby step introduces changes gradually, almost without anyone's notice. Big jump, however, attracts attention. Resistance is the greatest.

This is like long jump. One builds up speed during the run-up. The faster the speed at the time of the jump, the longer one jumps. Without the run-up, nobody can jump a distance. Even the fastest car in the world, Barabus TKR, cannot go from 0 to 100 km/h in 0 second, but 1.67 seconds.

The first step is the most important. The momentum one create by creating the first baby step will lead to the next and the next and the next. Before one knows it, one will be at the top of that mountain and achieving the goal.

Live life with regrets doing things shouldn't be done instead of with no regrets not doing anything.

Stop giving excuses, and make the move now!

20 June 2007








17 June 2007

Feedback to CustomerThink 02

Below is a comment I made for a blog written by Sampson Lee at www.customerthink.com. His blog can be viewed at www.customerthink.com/blog/the_paradox_of_happiness.

Relationship is made up of touchpoints. Positive relationship is then made up of positive touchpoints along the touchpoint chain. One negative touchpoint experience can ruin all previous efforts in building positive relationship, especially in the world of information rich and time poor. People simply show no mercy to even little negative touchpoint experience. It is unrealistic to hope that creating negative now will deliver positive in the future. Fact is, negative now will usually result in zero immediately.

Daryl Choy, the founder of WisdomBoom and Touchpoint eXperience Management, helps firms make a difference at every touchpoint. Choy can be reached at http://wisdomboom.blogspot.com.

16 June 2007

The Origin of Winning Part II

Touchpoint is every point of interaction, internal and external, seen and unseen. Although touchpoint is countless, it can be grouped under three categories: People (P), Information (I) and Deliverables (D). Why three, but neither less nor more? There is a natural relationship among people, information, and deliverables: people produce/hire deliverables based on information available.

Of the three core touchpoints, people are always the most important, but only if they have the right attitude. While positive attitude alone won't guarantee positive touchpoint experience, the absence of one will almost certainly turn every positive touchpoint experience into negative. When touchpoint experience is negative, it becomes difficult to turn everything downside up. Positive attitude is about WATER: water gives life to everything yet does not ask anything in return.

People make informed decisions based on relevant information, the lifeblood. Without it, there would be no touchpoint. When there is no touchpoint, there would be no deliverables. Although information is the enabler of competitive advantage, information overload becomes an impediment to producing deliverables. Too much information is just as bad as too little. Too many creates confusion, and too little hinders progress.

Deliverables are the end results. Deliverables without value deliver negative deliverables experience. Value is not about what the deliverables do but what they offer, which means value is only defined by people who hire the deliverables. Positive deliverables experience extends touchpoint chain.

Touchpoint is in the eye of the beholder. No touchpoint is more significant than others. It all depends on which touchpoint matters most to people who do the hiring.

In Overpromise and Overdeliver, Rick Barrera mentions three types of touchpoint: Human, System and Product. Barrera's touchpoint system is external-focus, and may not be able to apply to internal business settings. Since touchpoint is defined as every point of interaction, the touchpoint system should not only be external-focus but also internal-focus. Customer-centric initiative is necessary, but it should not be achieved without balancing internal experience.

In Service-Profit Chain, Heskett points out that "successful CEOs spend a great deal of time with customers and employees, experiencing their companies' service processes while listening to employees for suggestions for improvement." There is a direct relationship between internal quality and external result. The stronger the internal quality, the better the external result.

Balance, as in yin-yang, is the key to stability. With stability comes success. Without comes chaos. Chaos brings inefficiency, damages efforts, and eventually results in negative touchpoint experience.

In internal organization, people refer to staff, managers, and leaders. Deliverables are produced by informed people. People get informed through different communication channels. Effective communication should be 360-degree, meaning the communication flow should be top-down, side-side, and bottom-up. Since information directly affects execution quality, information collected should be relevant to producing the right deliverables which suit market needs. Information should be market-driven, as information serving only internal needs is junk. Without specific information, deliverables produced will be irrelevant to both internal and external needs. Lose-lose is the usual outcome.

In external market, people refer to customers, suppliers and competitors. Customers hire deliverables based on information made available to them through different communication channels. Information may not serve any purpose when there is no market need, however, it
has to be at least made available to facilitate hiring decision once need is being created.

The more the touchpoint, the deeper the relationship; or else, out of sight, out of mind. Relationship is positive if experience throughout touchpoint chain is positive; or else, negative.


The article is also available on www.customerthink.com/blog/the_origin_of_winning_part_ii.

06 June 2007

Light Beta

"Am I the light bulb or the light?" Joseph Campbell

Light gives everyone the ability to see things clearly. When the road ahead is easily visible, people are more willing to take a big step forward. Nobody dares make any move if everything is uncertain. Uncertainty is about risk. Risk either forces people to bite the bullet, or hinders progress. After all, no risk, no gain.

Although light improves visibility, and makes execution possible, it does not tell people which direction to go.

Perfect execution at best only produces perfect deliverable. But what is perfect? Who defines perfect? Does something perfect guarantee demand? If not, who cares what that perfect means? Everyone has his or her own definition of perfect. Although execution is important, it is not the most important. So, what is the most important in the success formula? Direction!

Direction means more. Even if execution is not flawless, as long as the direction is right, there is still hope to achieve success at the end of the day. However, if direction leads to failure, perfect execution will not lead to success. Before putting anything into action, it pays to define the direction first.

Direction also helps shape the execution strategy.

Positive touchpoint experience is about perfect execution with right direction.

02 June 2007

The Origin of Winning Part I

Relationship rules – this is a simple fact that every firm knows but very few firms really act on it.

Profit-maximizing firm focuses on profit above all else, and always wants to win first and fast, even at the expense of positive relationship. Only when firm secures winning will market be given the opportunity to win second. Win-win is not fair, because the second win is controlled by firm. When empathy is absent in relationship, true win-win is unlikely.

Winning firm understands the importance of positive relationship, and is willing to do whatever is necessary to build and sustain this fundamental factor leading to success. But, relationship cannot be measured, how can it be managed? If it cannot be managed, how can firm measure success? To quantify or not to quantify, that is the question.

Relationship is made up of touchpoints. Point is countable, and therefore can be managed. In order to build positive relationship and loyalty effortlessly, winning firm manages touchpoint to deliver positive experience consistently. Managing touchpoint experience thus results in true win-win, where both market and firm get an equal share of the winning outcome. True win-win is not about the sequence, but mutual gain in the long-run.

Along the touchpoint chain, the first touchpoint, or better known as first impression, is usually the most important, as it sets expectations for subsequent touchpoints. However, first impression is usually wrong. In order to gain trust and not to let others down, people make more efforts to deliver positive experience during the first few touchpoints . Once relationship is built, they start to take things for granted, and lack motivation to maintain. They fail to realize that trust building is not a one-time activity, but rather a continuous process. Relationship that was positive in the past can turn negative when there is discrepancy between first impression and touchpoints thereafter. Consistency is therefore paramount to positive touchpoint experience.

Winning firm keeps negative touchpoint to a minimum in order to maximize the opportunity for positive relationship. One negative touchpoint experience can be very costly. All previous efforts in building positive touchpoint chain can go to waste. The old saying "once burned, twice shy" definitely applies.

Every touchpoint makes a difference, and that difference has significant impact on experience.

The article is also available on www.customerthink.com/blog/the_origin_of_winning_part_i.