Three important sessions at the Coaches portion of the Fortune/Gazelles Sales and Marketing Summit here in Vegas. Insights from Verne Harnish, Lean Process Basics from Guy Parsons, and The Inside Advantage from Bob Bloom.

Insights from Verne:

–The next book we all need to read, “The Checklist Manifesto”
–We have focused too much on getting great people into the right seats (not that this is bad, it’s good) and ignore improving processes that cut across functional areas that can make a huge difference. Great people with great processes outperform everybody.
–Can you boil your one page plan down to a one phrase plan? Used internally only and might seem to be customer unfriendly that counter intuitively drives the differentiation that customers want. Some examples:

  • Blackberry–Easy in, impossible out.
  • Southwest Airlines– Wheels Up
  • Rackspace–It’s not about he services it’s about the support.

–To create change, focus on the “Bright spots” instead of the laggards.

Lean Process–Guy Parsons:
–Applies to every process not just manufacturing
–Study work flow from the small stuff between the good stuff. What’s between all the good work. Reducing that eliminates waste and brings value to the customers.
–Plan on eliminating lots of the “not normal stuff”
–Definition: Deliver the most value from the customer’s perspective while consuming the fewest resources, using the creative talent of your people.
–The customer perspective is important: Question: What are they really buying from you and what are they willing to pay for? Must start here.
–When you shorten the time line of a process the result is lower cost and higher value (and probably higher margin.
–Don’t ask “who” ask “how” to improve the process?
–Biggest waste to apply lean process to is the budget process.
–Waste is a symptom not a root cause. Must as Why Five Times.
–Effective is preferred to efficient. Lots of efficient people are ineffective.
–Processes are often long hours of nothing happening between moments of excellence.

Bob Bloom and the Inside Advantage:
–4 Decisive Moments to own in the customer’s purchase progression to leverage Uncommon Moments.
1. Now or Never Moment(First Brief Contact)
2. Make or Break Moment (Lengthy Transaction Process)
3. Keep or Lose Moments (Customer’s continued usage)
4. The Multiplier Moment (Repeat, Advocacy, Referral)
–Integration between Who, What, How and Own is the key to the Inside Advantage.

That’s it for today. Got to get some sleep. I fear my hair is on fire!