Getting to Yes, And

John Brandt: Nincompoopery


John Brandt

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Kelly has an inspired conversation with John Brandt whose career in business and journalism has given him a unique perspective on both nincompoops and, more importantly, nincompoopery.

A central idea in your book is that we have systems in place at work that give people an out when it comes to addressing real problems. 

“When leaders stop listening to people saying there's a problem here, or listening to customers or complaints, that's where the organizations get in trouble because they start focusing on what they think their job is. In fact, what it really is, is to make sure that their customers are happy and are going to come back. It’s a service model. And what happens in these organizations is that a lot of times people ask how do you watch for that? I think you watch for the listening. Do you have a culture where a complaint or disagreement is seen as an opportunity:  a yes, and opportunity? If I can dare say that.”

Please, dare say it. And often, we can find solutions if we look outside the four walls of our own business.

“Tell us about the best customer value service that you got from some other industry. What did you get from somewhere else that you were like, man, I wish I could get that everywhere. Because the truth of the matter is that when somebody comes up with some game changing idea in one industry, it's usually not the first time it was ever thought of in the universe. It's usually been stolen, benchmarked, whatever word you want to use from somewhere else.”

And your data shows that most companies are really lacking in the training area.

“First of all, we don't train enough. When we do statistics on most industries, we find a huge percentage of companies are training like 8 hours or 15 hours a year. We find that the minimum threshold is that you've got to train at least 40 hours per employee per year. We see companies that are award-winning or doing great things and the thing that they do is they're training about collaboration, training about improving methodologies, training about communication.”

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