“Keep Calm and Carry On” is from the well-known, never used poster created during WWII and kept waiting in the wings in case of an attack on British soil. It was a great call for resilience in the face of potentially horrific events. The truly resilient part of that command, however, is the call to carry on.
In response to the current pandemic, those of us who are not so stoic by nature can feel free to cry, scream, hug pets…
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ServiceElements │ Karen Davies │ April 2020
Everything right now needs to be about people.
We will get through this and when we do, people will not remember what was done but how it was done.
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These times are very personal for all of us – our staff, customers and families. Leadership will play a pivotal role. We will get through this and when we do, people will not remember what was done but how it was done. Employees will remember how they were treated by their companies and managers during this difficult time. Customers will remember the customer service, the flexibility and the understanding they received. If we are effective in putting people first during this challenging time and being compassionate leaders, it will build exceptional customer and employee loyalty.
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National Business Aviation Association conference season is underway, providing great opportunities to gain important industry knowledge and to network. But with it comes the challenge of remembering the names of the numerous people we meet. Are you good with names?
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“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
Think of the many barriers to communication in our industry: Physiological – bizav is full of loud environments like the ramp and static-filled headsets where it’s hard to hear and be heard. Cultural – operating around the globe, language differences can be a challenge. But far less obvious, and way more dangerous are the assumptions we all make daily. It’s how an Executive request for a flight to Las Vegas can end up in NV instead of NM as intended (KLAS vs. KLVS). While it would be great if colleagues, subordinates, leaders, and even loved ones could read our minds, unfortunately most cannot. Consider the simple, common exchange below:
John (Manager): “SEI JET needs XYZ. Will you take care of this, please?”
George (Subordinate): “Sure. I’ve got it.”
There is the illusion that effective communication has taken place…
By Amanda Graff
By now we all know that change is constant. Now more than ever, leaders must be agile and responsive to changes and challenges to avoid misdirection and wasting resources. With the advancements in technology, companies need to be more vigilant than ever. Choosing to remain stagnant is not an option. Change must be embraced.
That being said, if an organization’s culture does not support ‘change’. No matter how good the strategy, it is likely to fail and fall short of its goals.
This article will touch on the old adage, “culture eats strategy for breakfast,” AND why the two must be united in order to drive positive organizational results, hire right and retain good employees. Acknowledging that the two must intertwine will help minimize resistance, and ultimately ensure employee engagement and retention.
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Interview By William Garvey
Questions for Bob Hobbi
How did you get involved in coaching and organization development?
Hobbi: At one point during my years at FlightSafety I was put in charge of the company’s several hundred people involved in scheduling, accounting and other customer handling functions at its various centers and at headquarters. These were the people who, in addition to the instructor corps, actually interacted with the customers. I got that assignment because I had a knack and passion for identifying and resolving issues. My unofficial title was “The Fixer” and that part of the organization needed those talents. I started to reshape the way our customers were handled and began by rebranding those colleagues under “Customer Support” at each center. It dawned on me then that while we and the business aviation industry as a whole was technically proficient — we knew what we were doing — but there existed serious deficiencies on the people side. That’s when I started training people and ultimately put together a team of eight.
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Today, leadership is taking on a new meaning. Not only are there many changes happening around the globe and in the business environment, but there are changes occurring in our aerospace industry and more specifically in the Business & General Aviation industry. Some of the changes are obvious: technology around us and in the aircraft, global business dynamics, the shortage of qualified pilots and technicians, social dynamics and demographics, just to name a few. But, there are more subtle changes as well: the culture of business aviation is changing; our PAX and their expectations are changing; the C-Suite and the way a flight operation is viewed are changing; the value proposition for business and private aircraft is shifting.
One change that is worthy of examining is the impact of technology. We have never experienced technology change as we are today. Changes in technology are profound with many tentacles growing fast and furious into our daily lives. These changes impact us from numerous directions and ways. The changes today are incredibly dynamic and with speed we have not previously experienced. The majority of the technological changes are now impacting our human senses and how we view social aspects, as well as how we view job performance and work. These elements of technology have never been so far reaching. The issues of human factors are even more complex and dynamic. This is an element that needs and requires leadership to guide their teams and organizations through the many challenges and opportunities that advanced, improved and fast-moving technology present to us.
Who’s leading and managing all of this? Are we developing our industry’s leaders to address these fundamental fast-moving changes? Today’s leadership requirements are vastly different from that of even five years ago. If we go back, 10 to 15 years ago, we are looking at incredible transitional and transformational changes in our industry. Some we welcome, some we don’t. However, as leaders, we have to address all issues, regardless of what we like or what don’t like. All of this, necessitates changes in how we LEAD.
One example that continually rises to the surface is, people issues. People on our teams and people who we serve. Traditionally, we have assumed people issues to be addressed by our technical proficiency and know-how. However, one of the changes that we are dealing with is the fact that more and more of us take technology for granted. We view it as a basic requirement. Less and less people celebrate a good take off, a good smooth flight and a good landing. These are basic expectation!! But if someone ignored me or was grumpy or in a bad mood or seatbelt buckle was smudged, then the aircraft user will have issues. They are completely irrelevant to flying as we knew it. The complexity of aircraft operations seem to have shifted to complexity of people issues. People management is becoming more and more a part of a leaders’ job, today. People issues can morph into many unpleasant and unnecessary difficulties. In an age when we have a tough time finding qualified people to hire. Yes, we need to find ways to attract and find the type of skilled individuals who are going to help us. But we also need to lead engagement and development of a culture which helps to keep people (our teams) engaged and vibrant. We need this to help navigate the advent of technology and people issues. The good news is, we have answers and options…… The bad news is, that it takes time and it challenges our conventional thinking about leadership. First step let’s agree that we are in need of change in the way we go forward and we need help.
So what are we doing to develop the future leaders. Start with the fact that we need leadership more than ever. There are way too many unknown paths in front of us.
Effective communication is imperative building block of successful organizations. It is the first step toward achieving outstanding service delivery. Without effective communication, all links of service delivery crumble and our customers’ needs oftentimes go unfulfilled. Leadership devotes a significant portion of their time in communicating. Approximately 6 hours per day are spend on face to face, written or telephone communications with superiors, subordinates, colleagues, customers or vendors.
Well informed individuals will have a better attitude than their less-informed teammates. Knowing the direction and focus of a team is an important part of everyone being on the same page and working toward the same shared goal: excellent service to our customers. It promotes motivation and excitement about serving our customers and always fulfilling their needs. Communication is also vital in consistently delivering great service. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you received outstanding customer service and felt great about giving your repeat business to a company only to receive subpar service the next time you returned? How did that make you feel? Inconsistency in service delivery erodes our customers’ trust and excitement to return time and again, and in turn that affects the overall success of the organization. It is also a great source of frustration for our clients, and a frustrated customer is not a happy customer.
You can say, this is all great, but how do we actually make great communication happen? An effective and efficient communication system requires leadership’s proficiency in delivering and receiving information. All great leaders must first discover what communication barriers currently exist in their organization, evaluate the reasons for their occurrence and act to shatter those barriers. The great news is that you are not alone! ServiceElements has extensive experience in assisting organizations and leaders in identifying and evaluating communication barriers and creating a decisive action plan to eliminate their existence. Everyone wins when communication barriers come crashing down and dissemination of information becomes efficient.