Passion Profile Featuring Michelle Romanica – Part 3

For the month of April I am excited to be featuring Michelle Romanica for my Passion Profile.  The first week we learned why Michelle is so passionate about the “human connection”.  Then last week we discovered what traits best describe Michelle and what traits she admires most in others.

Once again, Michelle is first a foremost a master of the “human connection”.  As a Business Outcomes Facilitator with the KeyChange Institute she supports business leaders in achieving their desired business outcomes with a process that engages the science behind learning. It aligns thought processing and behaviour choices with specific desired business outcomes.  Michelle is also a Producer for the Customer Experience Show; an internet talk radio show on a quest to raise the awareness of Customer Experience practices and principles and why customer centricity is a must for long term sustainability.

Speaking of the Customer Experience Show, I had the great honour of discussing Making Profits with Purpose for a Better Customer Experience on last week’s show, that was fun!

This week we will find out what Michelle’s response was to my question “What accomplishment are you most proud of?”

Michelle: “I am most proud of an event that took place at Pearson Airport on Christmas Day a few years ago. But before I tell you about it, I’d like to give you some background.

In my various customer service roles, I always knew how I wanted my customers to feel when interacting with me, but things didn’t always turn out that way. I wasn’t the only customer service agent feeling this. Our training involved what to say and do for customers, not how we made them feel. I prided myself in excellence so I said and did all the right things. But it didn’t always get me the results I wanted. And sometimes it left people really angry and upset, and I didn’t quite understand why? I carried out my job exactly the way I had been asked to and was polite, in doing so. This led to a lengthy period of introspection and self growth – not always a walk in the park! But from this, I learned that I could change myself to better control the outcome of my interactions. I worked hard at honing abilities and skills that I felt better served me. Without these abilities, the outcome would have been quite different and I would not have experienced the joy I received from the event that took place that Christmas.

So what some of those abilities? (can’t give away all my trade secrets! LOL)

1)     The ability to suspend my thoughts around how I was reacting to everything that was happening around me.

2)     The ability to replace those thoughts with thoughts about what the customers must be thinking and feeling in those moments.

3)     The ability to look for and consider possibilities that are beyond the obvious, before making what seems like an obvious decision.

4)     The ability to recognize and I have a choice in how I respond to everything around me (people and events).

And now, (finally!) to tell you about that event…..

By now, you probably have figured out my career was in the airline industry. The Halifax flight was almost finished the boarding process when I received a call, ordering me to go onboard and remove 25 passengers from the flight. There are safety regulations in place that call for 1 flight attendant per 20 customers for that particular aircraft. We were one flight attendant short. I had a very short window of time to not only see that 25 people were physically off the aircraft, I also had to determine who I was going to have come off, and I no alternative flight to offer them for 3 days.

I don’t think I have to tell you how our customers reacted. And the details of what took place are not really important to this story. What was important was how they felt at the end of the day when we parted. What brought me joy were the sincere words of thanks and hugs I received. I had managed to preserve the spirit of the day for them. That situation could have so easily turned out differently and it would have, had it happened earlier in my career.

And, oh yes…..I used those same abilities to make a miracle happen. We were able to pull together an extra flight to get everyone home that Christmas night.”

Curious about my previous Passion Profiles?  Cheers to Dan Rockwell, Eric Jacques, Ted Coine, Tim Sanchez, Dean van Leeuwen, S. Max Brown, David McQueen, “Write”, Linda Ireland and Ron Dimon.

Getting Started with Shared Value

As a follow up to my debut article on Motivated Online, Pairing Passion with Purpose by Creating Shared Value,  we start to explore Enabling Shared Value. First we zoom out to the birds-eye view, illustrating our roadmap at a very high level.  Within each step are numerous powerful methods and frameworks to support your journey and effectively enable your Shared Value strategies.  Then we zoom in and take a worms-eye view to ‘ASK’ the key preliminary questions essential to shaping a Shared Value strategy.

The goal is to put your Shared Value journey into the context of your corporate environment.  In my next article we will focus on the essential “DIALOG” needed to get your Shared Value journey in motion.

Big thanks to the audacious and highly creative folks at Motivated!

Passion Profile Featuring Michelle Romanica – Part 2

For the month of April I am thrilled to be featuring Michelle Romanica for my Passion Profile.  Last week we learned why Michelle is so passionate about the “human connection”.  This week we will learn about what traits best describe Michelle and which traits she most admires in others.

As I mentioned last week, Michelle is first a foremost a master of the “human connection”.  As a Business Outcomes Facilitator with the KeyChange Institute she supports business leaders in achieving their desired business outcomes with a process that engages the science behind learning. It aligns thought processing and behaviour choices with specific desired business outcomes.  Michelle is also a Producer for the Customer Experience Show; an internet talk radio show on a quest to raise the awareness of Customer Experience practices and principles and why customer centricity is a must for long term sustainability.

Dawna: “What are 5 traits those that know you best would use to describe you?”

Michelle:

“Passionate: The daily fuel that keep me moving forward.

Introspective: Constant questioning and learning.

Open-minded: So much can be learned from others and synergistic efforts produce the richest results.

Tenacious: When I am passionate about something, I don’t let “can’t be done” or “difficult to do” steer me off course.

Optimistic:  We are not doomed. We are evolving. And every person is worth the collective effort to better our world as we know it.”

Dawna:  “What qualities do you most admire in others?”

Michelle:

“Humility: People who have put ego aside for the greater good of the people he/she serves.

Intuitiveness: Being guided by intuition and not solely reliant on logic and rationalization, which can be manipulated by others.

Clarity: Being razor sharp about their vision and what they need from others to make it happen.

Transparency: Speaking the truth at all times and understanding that people can handle the truth and will be more committed for it.

Trust-worthy: Someone who does what they say they will do, when they are going to do it.”

Stay tuned for more of Michelle’s answers next Friday!

Curious about my previous Passion Profiles?  Cheers to Dan Rockwell, Eric Jacques, Ted Coine, Tim Sanchez, Dean van Leeuwen, S. Max Brown, David McQueen, “Write”, Linda Ireland and Ron Dimon.

The Health Care and Gaming Connection

Not only is cross-fertilizing brilliant ideas a clever innovative approach to solving complex problems, it can also steer you towards strategic growth opportunities.   It was not surprising to me to read about “The Pharma-Gaming Connection” in Locating Your Next Strategic Opportunity via this month’s issue of HBR.  The Health Care industry was well represented at the Gamification Summit in San Fransisco earlier this year and gaming was a hot topic at the recent HiMSS in Orlando.  The article shares examples of ventures seizing this opportunity such as Foldit; an online social game for science geeks based on the challenge of finding the most efficient way to fold proteins in hopes that they can help solve real protein-folding challenges for biopharma companies.  What struck me about the examples the article provided was that none of them were focused on solving the pervasive barriers that stunt growth and innovation in Health Care broadly; issues such as patient adherence, patient privacy, access, and patient experience.  My point is not to diminish the significance of the examples given, in fact these companies are helping pioneer the pathway for us to tackle the more systemic issues.  In essence I want to stress the need for us to target these issues.

I get super excited thinking about leveraging mass collaboration to bring Health Care into the 21st century by cross pollinating principles of Motivational Design, data visualization, and shared value.  As Hans Rosling has said “I am not an optimist, I am a possiblist”.   This is all very doable, in fact it is being done as we speak, smart biopharma companies and Health Care broadly can either chose to help shape this movement or scramble later to catch up.

Do you know of any examples of ventures connecting Health Care and gaming?  Please share if you do…

Buzz-Off!!

I am perplexed by the ever present sensitivity and negativity to “buzzwords”. I think it is cowardly to dismiss or discount something new or something that represents change without reason.  On the other hand, I acknowledge that new words are often misused or abused for impact or simply to be catchy.  “Buzzwords” remind me of what we call “one hit wonders” in the music world.  Only we don’t know if it is a “one hit wonder” until we give it time, we don’t call every new musician with a new song a “one hit wonder”.   Many are, but many are not.  Why don’t we give the same respect to new words?  If they don’t sustain into something meaningful, then label them “buzzwords”.  Not all new words are bad, many sustain to become respected business terms.  I remember when “cloud computing” and “social media” were followed by a dismissive snarl amongst the skeptics.  All I am suggesting here is that we not be quick to judge every new term or word simply because it is gaining airtime but is unproven.  In parallel, we all need to be mindful of over-using new words which can render them annoying.  No different than a catchy new song that you overplay until you are annoyed by the very song you initially loved.

So buzz-off all you new word haters and buzz-down all you new word junkies!  We all lean a little in one direction or the other and I am guilty of the latter, I do love discovering new words!  Which way do you lean?

If you had a crystal ball, which of current new words are certain to be buzz-kill and which ones have sustainability?

Passion Profile Featuring Michelle Romanica – Part 1

I am very excited to feature Michelle Romanica for my April 2011 Passion Profile. This monthly tradition was inspired by Twitter’s Follow Friday ritual where I share a little with you about the people I admire and follow. Michelle is first a foremost a master of the “human connection”.  As a Business Outcomes Facilitator with the KeyChange Institute she supports business leaders in achieving their desired business outcomes with a process that engages the science behind learning. It aligns thought processing and behaviour choices with specific desired business outcomes.  Michelle is also a Producer for the Customer Experience Show; an internet talk radio show on a quest to raise the awareness of Customer Experience practices and principles and why customer centricity is a must for long term sustainability.

I have had the privilege of collaborating with Michelle on multiple initiatives over the past few months and I am most struck by her innate ability to understand what motivates people and to share her insights in a very accessible and authentic way.   Each Friday for the month of April I will share more of Michelle’s answers with you, she went deep with many of my questions and it was important to me to share the richness of her responses with you in full.

Dawna: “What are you most passionate about? And why?”

Michelle: “Human connection in business. My area of growth has been in the realm of Customer Service. From my colleagues and the 3+ million customers I interacted with over my career, my experience has led me into the Customer Experience space and I am extremely passionate about Employee Experience that drives Customer Experience.

Before I started my business, I would get a “fire in my belly” whenever I had a conversation with someone around “deteriorating customer service”. Almost without exception, it struck an emotional chord in people that was so strong, I couldn’t ignore it. It became crystal clear that operational efficiency alone has outlived its usefulness and it was time to bring in “human connection” efficiency into the equation. Operational efficiency focuses on how well we carry out our collective tasks to produce our product/service. Human efficiency goes to the layer beneath that, and focuses on how our customers feel and respond to the people they touch inside a company, the products/services, and the company as a whole.

So why am I so passionate about learning from life lessons and acting on them? The skills and abilities needed to operate from a truly customer-centric perspective are not taught and rarely modeled, nor do they come naturally for most of us. Put our existing abilities and skills into an organization-centric command and control culture, and you have unhappy people who want to do a great job, but work in an environment that does not bring out the best in them. Unintentionally, that gets transferred to customers and we end up with customer/employee loyalty at an all time low.

The economic downturn of 2008, the growing voice of customers on the Social Media scene, and the generational gap between boomers and Gen X/Y have made it imperative for businesses to find a different way of doing business with customers. From my experience with people in business, it is my belief that the “human connection” piece, when understood and woven into the operation of the business at every level, will differentiate one company from another in today’s market place. That’s what I see the Customer Experience movement to be all about.”

Stay tuned for more answers next Friday!

Curious about my previous Passion Profiles?  Cheers to Dan Rockwell, Eric Jacques, Ted Coine, Tim Sanchez, Dean van Leeuwen, S. Max Brown, David McQueen, “Write”, Linda Ireland and Ron Dimon.