If you have ever been to Ray’s pizza in New York, then consider yourself very fortunate, because the last time we were in New York and called for a reservation, an automated voice advised us to call in 6 months. No kidding!
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Imagine you are at a restaurant, where the wait time is low, the ambiance is warm and welcoming, and the service is impeccable, the waitpersons are pleasant and caring. But the food is not worth writing. How would you rate that restaurant?
Now let’s flip the example where the wait time is very long, the ambiance is cold and unwelcoming, the service is unbelievably bad, the waitpersons are rude. But the food is out of the world. How would you rate that restaurant? Is it worth your money? Well, if you are paying the full price then why shouldn’t you get the full price worth, right?
Think of the last time you flew somewhere. What would you consider if you were to rate your experience – there’s more to it than whether the flight arrived on time. Cabin service, the quality of the food, comfort and the efficiency of the luggage delivery are all important too, after all, you paid for the full experience, right?
Yet, when it comes to our job or profession, do we expect the same from ourselves? We often hope to be measured on our core functions alone. An analyst would expect to be measured on the quality of the documentation alone. A developer would expect to be measured on the code quality alone. A project manager would expect to be measured on the quality of the project delivery. A financial advisor would expect to be measured on the assets earned alone. I can go on and on, but I am sure you get the point.
I am not suggesting the above is flawed, but it is incomplete and insufficient if you expect to thrive in the new world economy.
The business landscape is constantly shifting and at a rapid speed. Technology and user experience is getting continuously redefined. But, here’s the dichotomy. The consumers or users are not some strange aliens out there, and you are down in the engine room, shovelling coal and keeping the lights, but they are you and me. Our behaviours have changed and are continually evolving. Our expectations have changed and are continually evolving. We expect a whole lot as a consumer, but tread gently when it comes to ourselves. We use different standards as a consumer and as a provider. If you expect nothing but the best as a consumer, then you should expect to offer the same as a provider.
To keep pace with the external shifts, there needs a significant change in how we perceive and demonstrate our roles and functions in this new world. You as a provider must offer the same wholesome experience as you would expect as a consumer, much more than what you think you are worth.
With this shift, suddenly as an analyst, you are stitching valuable insights in your documentation. As a developer, you are now spinning up new ideas for solving business opportunities as opposed to responding to request. As a financial advisor, you are proactively advising, as opposed to selling products or services following the old scripts, as a project manager, you are not just delivering a product or service, but an experience. The old ways no longer hamstring you to thinking that can’t adapt and scale. There is no more linear thinking. Your function and role are fluid but cohesive, and responsive, and above all, relentlessly centred around offering the full and wholesome experience.
It’s never too late. You can start from where you are right now.
Jot down all your essential functions and compare it to how you did those last week, last month or last year, and if you have been doing each of those the very same way today, then you are at risk of becoming obsolete soon. Push yourself a bit each day every day till it becomes a habit. And when you self-adjust, you no longer see your job as a routine that earns you a paycheck every other week but as artists who are constantly trying to outdo their last creation. You are no longer a hypocritical gap between a consumer and a provider as yourself. You have tuned your strings to play with harmony. You are ready for the new world and the opportunities it brings.
Now, you go ahead and give yourself a full 5-star rating.
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Success to you!