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Growth From Their Side
This is the podcast where I live life and if something happens or I witnessed something that I see impacts a company for growth, I make a note and make sure I podcast on it. This is one I lived through as I’ve mentioned a couple of times. Kerri and I are going for our executive MBAs through Pepperdine. It’s a fifteen-month course, one week a month. It’s exciting and taxing but very quickly we were learning things that we heard of but I’d never put in place or had never heard of but such common sense you would think we would have done them ten times over. I’m calling this one, Grow From Their Side.
I’m part of a five-person smaller group inside of this class. We had to do a situation where we meet weekly. One of the gentlemen in the group, William, put up what’s called a Trello board for all of us students to track our individual assignments and group assignments. What was interesting is as William was taking the syllabus from the professors, putting them into this Trello board, which is a desktop or a mobile dashboard, it became apparent that the professors had been teaching this particular course for several years. The reason we knew that is we were taking some of the reading assignments and typing them and transposing them directly on the Trello board word for word. When we were going to the Harvard Business Review platform to download that packet or that book, it was no longer available. When we searched a general search for the name of the book and the author, we would indeed find that book. What we found was it was a different revised version of the book. Some of them had been revised a couple of times.
My point is this because William was using current technology and using an app and a tool that can allow the users of this group to follow along with the curriculum. The users of the group found errors inside the system of Pepperdine’s teaching, not huge errors but stuff that was wasting time. We had so many people looking up these two books. We must have wasted six to ten hours of emails and calls and this and that. Finally, I realized, “The book’s right here. It’s even the same cover,” but it’s a totally different named book. What is my point? My point is, this struck me hard that the professors who have been teaching this course and using this syllabus for a decade and a half did not have a pulse and didn’t have a pulse on the current curriculum from the user’s perspective.
This is the key to this podcast and I’m going to flip this over to the entrepreneurs, the managers, the owners and the leaders of a company and the managers of a division and the people leading. If you have been leading or teaching the same thing for more than even twelve months and you’re not stepping into the user’s side from the physical user experience, you’re missing everything. Here’s a couple of good examples. Let’s say you own a company that builds websites. When’s the last time you’ve logged into ten of the last ten websites you’ve built? Read the content, look at the images and use it from the user’s experience, not your employees. I’m saying you, the leader. Let’s say you manage and you teach people sales skills and you go from company to company to company. You teach sales skills. Every time you teach there are five to twenty people in the audience.
Grow your company from your employees and customers’ side. Click To Tweet
When is the last time you recorded one of your teachings and you literally went through the class as a student and you went out and bought the books. You went out to the websites and downloaded the materials. You looked at the handouts and you followed the video teaching. After going through this session, William had a Trello board because it exposed so many tiny little adjustments that have been made over many years to this curriculum that it was causing tremendous frustration to the users. I remember pausing and saying, “I’ve been teaching the same meetings for decades. I have been building websites the same way for decades. I have not personally gone on the user’s side of my teachings, the user’s side of my podcast and the user’s side of my websites in at least five years.”
I can’t even imagine but I can imagine how many small little errors I’m going to find, how many challenges I’m going to have with what’s called in my world UI, User Interface or UX, User Experience. I challenge everybody to take a moment and grow your company from their side, from your employees’ eyeball side or from your customers’ side. When’s the last time you signed up for your own newsletter? When’s the last time you signed up your own email blast? When’s the last time you’re on the receiving end of direct mail pieces you put out? When’s the last time you sat and heard some of your commercials or read some of your press releases? Get on the client’s side, get on the customer’s side and expose yourself and see what you look like. I promise it will help. This episode 424, Grow From Their Side.