Page 1

CustomerCare News The Promenade at Coconut Creek

by XXX xxxxx

Spring 2011


orem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit.

ing elit. Etiam rutrum interdum arcu

mattis porta. Nulla eget purus massa, non

Emerging strategies to improve customer and employee satisfaction Nullam a consequat quam. hendrerit arcu. Suspendisse potenti. Duis Morbi consequat porttitor imperdiet.

molestie dapibus pharetra. Morbi rhon-

si. Nunc massa massa, facilisis ut vehicula

justo vestibulum. Integer auctor, mi et

eget, luctus sit amet nisl. Vivamus est

velit, interdum a cursus in, fermentum vel purus. Nullam urna ipsum, sodales vel

cus urna eu massa pulvinar nec aliquet

egestas ultrices, nisi urna varius mi, quis consectetur nisl urna a dui.

Donec sed leo tortor. Cum sociis

sagittis ut, hendrerit quis dui. Aliquam

natoque penatibus et magnis dis par-

lis. Ut malesuada, quam varius gravida

Curabitur molestie faucibus magna, et

egestas mi vitae lectus fermentum iacu-

volutpat, lorem neque elementum nunc, a vehicula nisl eros et ligula. Vivamus facilisis, massa et imperdiet congue, lectus

tortor lobortis tortor, in eleifend ante velit eget dolor. Curabitur ut sagittis risus.

In scelerisque sem varius enim male-

suada blandit. Curabitur rutrum est sit

amet odio dapibus ultricies. Proin volutpat pretium blandit. Donec ultricies tempor neque at tristique. Sed at magna sed ante rhoncus sodales in nec eros. Donec et libero risus. Aliquam et tortor sed est mollis dictum quis ac lacus. Etiam

rutrum, velit et porta blandit, tortor eros

ultrices eros, in sagittis felis tellus in purus. Suspendisse non tortor sapien. In

turient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus.


Pellentesque sed neque lacus. Nulla facili-

euismod sapien condimentum at. Fusce

Success Beyond the Crisis Years page 8

eu leo sit amet mauris elementum congue. Etiam dolor quam, volutpat at convallis et, feugiat sed tellus. Nunc eleifend augue

et ante laoreet commodo. Nam nec sapien turpis. Cum sociis natoque penatibus et

magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Integer fermentum, ipsum

Smithson linkes to knock off early, going on expensive golf junkets paid for by corporate lobbyists.

quis tincidunt dictum, urna nisi egestas

sapien, nec laoreet magna orci at ligula. CCN

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam a consequat quam. Morbi consequat porttitor The New UAW imperdiet. page 12

Servant Leadership page 30

at magna eu odio aliquam condimentum

at eu est. Phasellus quis quam dolor, id tempor ante. Nunc laoreet convallis ornare. Curabitur id nunc erat, a volutpat tellus. Cras eleifend ultricies odio, a

Proin volutpat pretium blandit. Donec ultricies tempor neque

Aliquam accumsan auctor faucibus.

Donec et libero risus. Aliquam et tortor sed est mollis dictum quis

pharetra est tempus id.

Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia

Curae; Pellentesque varius lacus nec nibh

porttitor et facilisis magna egestas. Lorem

at tristique. Sed at magna sed ante rhoncus sodales in nec eros. ac lacus. Etiam rutrum, velit et porta blandit, tortor eros ultrices

eros, in sagittis felis tellus in purus. Suspendisse non tortor sapien. In at magna eu odio aliquam condimentum at eu est.

ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisc-

Rebranding the UAW page 16

A Celebration Media Publication

CustomerCare News

Spring 2011

Emerging strategies to improve customer and employee satisfaction

Subscribe to Customer Care News Magazine Latest Reading on Customer Care page 5

No cost for your next digital edition. Read about what others are doing to improve their online reputation and evaluate their own customer service progress. Research shows that the reason customer satisfaction is so important is because of its impact on the many factors that affect a company’s bottom line. It generates higher customer loyalty, repeat business and increased revenue. In general terms, more satisfied customers make happier business owners, shareholders, employees and managers. The more a company focuses on customer care, the more it reaps the rewards of higher customer satisfaction. This creates a customer who will be more loyal, spend more money, treat staff better and spread the word online in everyday conversation. Happy Customers beget Happy Bottom Line and Happy Reputation Management Stakeholders. This should be the call of every company in America. page 6

Thus, was created to shed light on issues and trends in the area of customer satisfaction and customer care. The publication will cover the leading industry providers of education and resources, which are vital to assisting companies in improving their customer satisfaction scores. As a subscriber to Customer Care News, you will be engaged with the latest solutions to underlying problems that inhibit the best intentions as they relate to improving customer care. Read each issue by subscribing to the magazine. Do so by going to our website at or e-mail us at

Customer Care News Magazine 32000 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 128 • Farmington Hills, MI 48334 Engineering Students and E.I. 887-498-6405 ext. 800 page 10

A Celebration Media Publication

Publisher’s Letter


he new normal for today’s business has changed dramatically since the downturn in the economy a couple of years ago. It has moved from the philosophy of leaving customer service up to those who have

direct contact with the customers to making everyone in the organization responsible for customer service. There are several reasons for this. First, there are more workers required to have direct contact with customers as a result of fewer employees. Additionally, more attention is being paid to product

Creating World-class Customer Satisfaction from the Inside Out

outcome studies that indicate the general public cares about quality and how products are made. Nowhere has that had a more direct impact than the automotive industry. In this edition of Customer Care News, we take a closer look at labor-management as the union leadership begins to change some of the negative world views that have dogged them for generations and bring to light the “new” relationship between manufacturer and worker that has developed during the past couple of years. The line worker is going to influence public perception as much as the salesperson and advertising. Their dedication to produc-

ing quality is a top priority and is making a difference as the educated consumer begins to see the changes from design to manufacturing. The extensive question and answer sessions included in this issue highlight many of the changes that will make up the future labor-management relationship. Traditional frontline service is always important in creating a satisfied customer. A recent personal experience dramatically illustrates this point. On a recent working vacation and visit to Solace Spa at Boyne Mountain in Boyne Falls, a skiing and golfing hub in Northern Michigan, I found myself in a predicament. I am a heart attack survivor and work hard to do the “right thing.” I work out, try to eat right and pay attention to staying calm as much as possible. After a bit of stressful work on our publications, I decided to go exercise at their fitness area to get my mind off the business. As it turned out, I left the passes I had purchased for the center at home and had nothing to prove I made the purchase. When I walked up to the counter to tell the receptionist my story, they were gracious, open and understanding. I felt welcome and invited. I did not expect what came next. They allowed me to work out and simply destroy my passes when I went home. This may not seem like much, but it reflected a sincere effort on their part to accommodate their customers beyond what might have been expected. And this is a huge reason I will recommend them to others I speak with. After I worked out I asked to see the manager. We had never met and he had no idea who I was. I met Sean Handler, the Michigan Director of Spas for Boyne Resorts. I told him the story about the excellent customer care I had received. He said they are very concerned about customer satisfaction and do regular outcome studies to make sure they are getting the level of customer care they desire. I told him he will receive our “Publisher’s Choice Award” as a result of his front-desk reception and that I was thankful for their warm and inviting efforts. Backroom and frontline attention to customer support is all of our concern. And it was a pleasure being on the receiving end of such care. Customer Care News is dedicated to supporting businesses by reporting on the most important issues of the day. If you have some topics you want us to cover, let us know.



Spring 2011

Dale Jaslove

Associate Publisher’s Letter


t appears that the stormy winds of the Great Recession are beginning to sub-

side. Less unemployment, people are purchasing again, and cars are rolling off the assembly line. The workers who survived the downsizing are trying to

do more with fewer resources, but are somewhat happy that they have a job.

There are many lessons to be learned from this Great Recession, but I will allow

the historians to elucidate going forward. There is one critical lesson, however, taking

place in companies and people — we cannot continue to do the same old things and expect successful outcomes.

The time has come for workers and organizations to “rebrand” or “reinvent” themselves. This is the mantra heard across

the United States. Michigan’s new governor, Rick Snyder, has a motto — Reinventing Michigan. Washington, D.C. is reinventing the economy, and employees are “rebranding” themselves to keep their jobs.

With this in mind, I set off to explore what other high-profile organizations are doing to rebrand or reinvent the percep-

tion people have about the way they conduct business. I did not have to look far, with the UAW right in my own backyard. My exploratory journey began.

I was fortunate to interview two passionate vice presidents of the UAW — General Holiefield who represents the

Chrysler Group, and Joe Ashton from General Motors. The interviews were conducted separately so I could attain a clear picture and understanding of the UAW. Both of these men were eager and straightforward with their answers. It was truly a pleasure to speak with two well-spoken men with a very clear mission and vision.

Additionally, I met with Edgell Turnquist, executive director of the Michigan Labor-Management Association (MLMA),

which deals with labor-management issues affecting millions of workers. On April 14 and 15, 2011, MLMA will be holding its annual conference in East Lansing, Michigan. The theme for the conference is “Restoring Dialog.”

Please enjoy the rebranded or reinvented insights you might experience when reading the articles in this edition of

Customer Care News.

Dr. Keith Levick

Associate Publisher

Spring 2011


Customer Care News

CustomerCare News Spring 2011 Publisher Dale Jaslove

Associate Publisher Keith Levick, Ph.D.

Editor-in-Chief Jamie Rawcliffe

Table of Contents Questions and Answers 08

The Right People in the Right Positions: Success Beyond the Crisis Years Q&A with Daniel J. Weinfurter, CEO of

Accretive Solutions, focuses on finding success

during the economic downturn


Learning from the Past, Improving the Future: The New UAW


Editorial & Materials Coordinator Anne Seebaldt

UAW-General Motors Corporation, discusses

the future of the union and plans for growth

Production Manager Chris Schramm

Editors/Writers Mella Barnes

Amy Pagett

Operations Manager Jennifer Barth

Account Manager Fran Cohen

Website Design Melissa Sherwood Contributing Writers Eugene Greenstein, Ph.D. Richard S. Levick, Esq. Carmen Nobel Melissa Van Dyke Website Consultant Customer Care News 32000 Northwestern Highway, Suite 128 Farmington Hills, MI 48334

Entire contents copyright 2011 by Customer Care News. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial content in any manner without written permission is strictly prohibited.

Rebranding: The UAW Emphasizes the Importance of World Class Manufacturing

the UAW-Chrysler, focuses on “rebranding” the

UAW for the future


Q&A with General Holiefield, vice president of

Restoring Dialogue: Keys to Effective Labor-management Relationships Q&A with Edgell Turnquist, executive director

of the Michigan Labor-Management

Association, looks at the relationships “then and

now” between labor and management

An excerpt from Richard S. Levick’s and

Charles Slack’s book, The Communicators:

Leadership in the Age of Crisis, highlights the

benefits of the Servant Leadership philosophy


Extreme Executive Education

Article highlights world-class programs

strengthen their knowledge base and

where executives can grow and skill set

Business Team Development 38

Good Teams Don’t Just Happen

Several key elements are necessary

and informal teams

to ensure success in creating both formal

Feature Articles



What Drives the Quality of Customer Experiences in Service Marketing — Employees or Corporate Brands?

Management and Measurement report

Excerpt from the article “Being the Boss”

customer’s business relationship with a

an interview with Harvard Business

with a company employee

A Forum for People Performance

examines the correlation between a

company and his/her personal contact

The Ethernet Connection: Motivating Virtual Teams Research highlights essential tools for

successfully managing virtual teams in

various locations


Being the Boss

in HBS Working Knowledge incorporates

School Professor Linda A. Hill, who

Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader

coauthored Being the Boss: The 3

Spring 2011

Customer Care News is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. The publishers have taken all reasonable steps to verify the accuracy and completeness of information contained in Customer Care News. The publishers may not, however, be held responsible for any inaccuracies or omission of information in any article appearing in the Customer Care News.


Q&A with Joe Ashton, vice president of the

Servant Leadership: Kissing Up and Kicking Down Are Not Allowed

with Kent Lineback


TALK of the TOWN Talk of the Town News Awards Online Ratings Review for Companies Across America

The Talk of the Town News, Celebration Media and Customer Care News are proud to present the most unique concept in online user-review ratings.

Post Results

ofof the the

New w Yorrk

We began by establishing online ratings to track customer satisfaction beginning in 2009, and have researched ratings for more than 300,000 companies since that time. Our team of researchers samples the most highly respected, no-cost, online user-review websites to measure customer satisfaction. We compile the data and create an outcome study that reflects the online feedback found. Then we post results for all the companies with a 4-star or better rating at no charge on our website As a business with leaders that have reviewed and published case studies on the most desirable companies in America, we found this to be extremely helpful and created a measurement tool using this customer-generated feedback.

Award d Ca ateg gory: Resttaura ants

Excellence in Customer Satisfaction As Ratted by Custom merss On nline


presented by

Celebration Media U.S. RESTAURANTS and

Talk of the Town News w w w . T all k o f t h e T o w n N e w s .c com


Get Your Score

Be sure to visit the website and review your rating score. If you want more information, contact us at

Talk of the Town News

32000 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 128 Farmington Hills, MI 48334

Questions and Answers

The Right People in the Right Positions:

Photo courtesy of Richard Klein

Success Beyond the Crisis Years

Dan Weinfurter (second from left) meets with team members to discuss the importance of Customer Service.


ustomer Care News is dedicated to helping busi-

then what we really learned in ’08 and ’09 is that things can get

tion and employee collaboration. To that end, Dr.

nesses. So, keeping people believing in the overall mission and

nesses improve customer care, customer satisfac-

Keith Levick recently sat down with Daniel J. Weinfurter, CEO

of Accretive Solutions, a national consulting and executive search

Time-proven strategies worked in some cases, and in some

to discuss some of the keys to finding success in this economic

everyone, and people have had to really examine some of their


CCN: You have quite a successful track record, from being on the cover of Inc. magazine back in 2004 to heading up several

successful companies. How has the role of CEO or president changed in the past 10 years?

DW: I think it has changed quite a bit. Back in the “good old

cases did not. The last two years have been hard for nearly core beliefs, and say, ‘Can we make this work despite all that is

going on around us?’ Yes, indeed, the job of CEO has become substantially more difficult.

CCN: What would you say is the greatest predictor of success

in today’s companies? And what does Accretive do to demonstrate that?

days” in the ’90s, it was a rising tide, which tended to float

DW: The greatest predictor of success? The people. I think the

from 2000 to 2010, it’s been more difficult. I think about the

the intermediate to long-term, is getting the right people into

all boats, at least at some level. I think in the last 10 years, downturn in ’01 and ’02; that was pretty tough for many firms,

especially in technology. Most of us had not experienced that

level of a downturn. I learned at that point for the first time in

Spring 2011

continuing to work hard in a sea of bad news is challenging.

firm that delivers business solutions to help companies manage

and improve their financial, operational and IT performance,

my business life that revenue could actually decline. In our case,

it was not a profound negative trend, but it did impact us. And


quite difficult, even for those with large, well-capitalized busi-

only sustainable competitive advantage for any company, over the organization and retaining them. It is also important to

organize them in a fashion that works and keep them engaged.

Because ultimately it’s the people who will create the strategy and produce the outcomes for the company they work for, regardless of whether the business is products or services.

Customer Care News

This is in part the business that we are in; we make sure we

iors in a finance role, for example. In a business development

notion in that clients are not going to turn to us if the people we

sion, the ability to develop relationships, cognitive capability,

focus on that as we build our internal teams, but it’s a similar provide as consultants are average, or the people that we find as part of our executive search business are average. Clients turn to us, and continue to utilize our services, only if we provide either

teams of people who are engaged on a project or candidates that they can hire who exceed their expectations. It is essential that

we ultimately provide exceptional people to do whatever the task at hand entails.

CCN: What does Accretive do to get those people here? DW: It starts with getting the right people in key leadership roles, who have a similar focus on the importance of talent, and

providing those individuals the tools they need to hire people who are going to be the “A” players. One of the things I did

when I started at Accretive Solutions was to put an assessment process in place for all leaders — the corporate team, all the

sales people, and all the market leaders — the primary revenueproducing roles in terms of building the business. I put them all

through a rigorous assessment process, trying to define what good and really good look like, and then training them on how to go about finding talented people we can add to the team. The

theory is, if you find somebody who is supremely talented, even

if you don’t have an idea of what project they are going to be deployed on or where they are going to fit into the organization, you should still strongly consider hiring them. Really talented

role, you look for competencies like social boldness, extroverand this whole notion of a personality that is intellectually

curious, that will work hard to be the advocate for the client.

To a very real extent, you want your business development

people to wear the client hat and be their advocate, to work hard to understand what their real issues are, and then bring the right resources to bear so those issues can be addressed. In

a finance professional, you have some of those same characteristics, but attributes such as conscientiousness become more

important. Detail orientation obviously is critical, because the role of accounting and finance require this discipline. But in the

end, you still need both of these roles to have similar behavior in that they view the “client,” however this is defined for the

role, as of paramount importance. And that they work hard to satisfy whatever initiative the client hires you or the firm to do, of course short of being deceptive or being dishonest. To this

point, my view is that it is essential to be truthful, and if something a client advocates is a bad idea or is not going to work, we

need to say, “I’m sorry, but this is not going to work…. I can’t subscribe to this particular theory,” and be willing to — and this is hard — walk away if you’re being pushed in a way that

is not feasible or viable to you. That is really hard to do, but it is important to behave in this fashion as the media constantly

reminds us as things blow up when people don’t behave that way or cut corners.

people are very hard to find.

CCN: So, in today’s unstable economy and shaky financial

The research shows that exceptional talent produces outcomes

did maybe 10 or 15 years ago? Is there a new level of customer

that are substantially above what an average person could produce. A quantitative study was done in a call center environment

environment, the traditional customer service doesn’t work as it service that is needed to be successful?

where an “A” player produced six to 10 times what an average

DW: I think so. I think it requires raising the bar to greater

a complex environment, an average person oftentimes couldn’t

longer OK. Organizations have multiple options on almost any

player produced. The same research study demonstrated that in

do the job at all, so “A” players are necessary for success. In our

case, where we don’t really have a recognized brand in many of our markets, we really need great people, because clients will

only hire us if our consultants are better than the name-brand firms they could otherwise hire. So it becomes very real.

CCN: Define the great people. What does that mean? What are some behaviors or characteristics of what we do see as great?

ness development person are different than the desired behav-

product or service, and if you are just OK, you risk defection

and giving ground to competitive offerings. And there are

countless examples of that happening. I did a consulting project

in the hospitality industry and it was quite revealing: say you walk into a very nice hotel on a given afternoon and there might

be an hour line just to check in. What’s the probability of a consumer coming back to that particular place? There are plenty of

other options for a traveler and my view is that this just doesn’t work. It could be that everything else about that experience was

Spring 2011

DW: I think that it varies by role. The behaviors in a great busi-

heights so that what used to be considered as acceptable is no

perfect, but a long line at check-in to a hotel is a non-starter. It is also not good for an airline, but in this case, the consumer


don’t grow, it is really no fun at all. It is hard to create opportunities for growth and development for your employees

if the company is not growing. So if

you can do both, that’s brilliant. But our typical project team over time would

position themselves to be a true partner with the client, and then try to

understand the ways that we can really Photo courtesy of Richard Klein

help — be it helping to grow reve-

Dan Weinfurter (left) and Dr. Keith Levick talk Customer Service

has fewer options, thus the airlines tend to get away with lower levels of customer service.

CCN: I find it interesting that, of your 11 locations around the United States, the Detroit office is one of your highest-

performing divisions, at least from my research. How could this be given that Detroit continues to dig itself out of what many

believe is a depression here in Michigan, compared to the rest of the country?

DW: Well, it is interesting, and it is true: Detroit is one of our best-performing locations. It is either the largest or the second

largest that we have in the whole country, depending on how

that is good enough and deep enough

so that you get the clients to be sufficiently honest about what it is

that they face so we can really provide real solutions in terms of how we might help.

CCN: So then maybe the client is not as

honest, because they see you as trying to sell them something?

DW: Absolutely. It’s a normal vendor-client, interpersonal reac-

tion. If you think somebody is trying to sell you something, you tend not to disclose fully. So you really need to get

the relationship to a level where there is trust, such that the client knows that if they are candid, that we will behave in a way that is appropriate and we will not make it difficult for them. The goal of course is to develop a “trusted advisortype” relationship, where we’re really trying to be helpful, not trying to sell.

CCN: Is this a new philosophy? Or is this something that’s a continued philosophy that’s led to your success?

DW: This is a continued philosophy that has led to the suc-

team here, and so we have great people in all the various posi-

are pretty smart; we’re not going to sell them anything they

tions. I think that is a basic requirement when times are tough.

This is perhaps somewhat counter-intuitive. The other aspect

to this is that we changed our approach. Rather than try to sell something to our clients, we try to understand how we can

help them with reducing costs or growing revenue. Even when

times are tough, both of those things matter. Reducing costs is

Spring 2011

The hard part is building a relationship

you count. And I think it is the combination of two things. One is that we’ve worked really hard to assemble a world-class

something that people will care about from now until the end of time, and growing revenue is also critical, because if you


nue, reduce cost or improve capability.

cess of the business I have been part of in the past. Our clients don’t really want to buy. One has to assume that people are

educated buyers, and that they will buy only things, services and products that are going to make a genuine difference in the

organization. The product or service has to make their jobs better, easier, faster or drive revenue in a way that isn’t being done

today. Perhaps unlike things were in the 90s, organizations are unlikely to invest in things that are nice to have; those days are gone, perhaps forever.

Customer Care News

CCN: I would imagine in each division everybody’s working

Just OK is not nearly good enough. In our case for example at

other reasons why Detroit is one of your strongest performing

manager/sales executive hired is really a $1 million decision.

from your philosophy and what you believe. Are there any offices?

DW: Most of the reasons for Detroit’s success predate my arrival

to Accretive. I’ve been here now for six months. So in the case of Detroit, the market leadership began to invest heavily in bringing the right people in more than a year ago, and we have seen this pay off in terms of dramatic revenue growth in 2010, with a continuation of this expected in 2011. Some of the other offices and markets have been less aggressive in investing in people, so

Accretive Solutions, getting the correct business development A leader of any given business unit, such as a market leader or

practice director, is typically at least a $5 million decision. In all

companies, senior leadership positions play a critical role; easily there are hundreds of millions of dollars at stake in these hiring

decisions. Do companies really exercise the proper levels of due diligence and discipline to get the right people in those critical

roles? I think from my experience the unfortunate answer is that more often than not it does not happen.

their growth is lagging a bit. One of the things I’m trying to do

CCN: How much would you say, in selecting that great person,

across the board so that the company can again grow at levels

personal one-on-one interview behavioral intake?

as part of my new role is to put investment in people in place that it once did, going back prior to ’08 and ’09 when things got much more challenging.

CCN: Correct me if I’m wrong: If you have the right people on board, they’re going to be doing the right thing by the customer,

so there’ll be greater customer satisfaction. As a result of providing better service, there will be more revenue, more profit.

DW: Right. And then the outcome of those engagements tends to be higher levels of satisfaction, which is self-reinforcing. It feeds on itself.

CCN: So there’s a direct relationship between employee satis-

faction and customer satisfaction?

DW: Yes, absolutely. A team of academicians at Harvard

Business School demonstrated this empirically in the 90s. And the ultimate goal, what we really hope for, is for our clients to be

is attributed to diagnostic tools and assessments versus just your

DW: I think it is some of both. I would never not hire some-

body or hire him or her purely based on a diagnostic test, no more so than I would want to hire somebody just based on an

interview. I like to have a combination of techniques; turning over all the necessary rocks to find great people, which is hard

to do, and putting them through a rigorous interview process,

coupled with assessment, and then do reference checks that

are not the reference checks of the people they gave you to

call. Interestingly, this is one aspect of recruiting that has

changed dramatically. With tools such as LinkedIn and

other social media, it is relatively straightforward (for almost anybody) to find people that are in your network (or you can get to) that know the candidate you are considering

and really check them out. When I came into this job, the chairman of the board talked to 20 people that were not on my reference list.

so thrilled with the work we do that they tell other people — in

CCN: Our readers are very interested in real solutions to cus-

have plenty of organizations call us for help. We will still have

could you recommend in terms of satisfying the customer?

an unsolicited fashion. If we can do this consistently, we will to sell, but the job is infinitely easier.

CCN: If you were to have one message for HR directors, what would that be?

DW: They need to increase their focus on getting the right

people into the organization and into the right roles. I still

believe that recruiting is the most important, yet least discihiring managers or the HR groups pay adequate attention to the importance of making the correct recruitment decisions.

DW: …Readers should pay a lot of attention to the quality of the people they have in frontline roles. Are they trained

appropriately? Are the incentives and metrics that govern their behavior correct? But the first thing to consider is the quality

of the individuals in these roles; because if you have the wrong people, it doesn’t matter how well you train them or manage

them. Then consider if they are supported, and if they are man-

aged in the fashion that is going to produce the right outcomes

Spring 2011

plined, process in American business. And very seldom do

tomer satisfaction. Do you have any suggestions for them? What

for their clients or their customers. And that, probably more than anything, is what a reader could look at. CCN



Photo by Chris Schramm

Learning from the Past, Improving the Future: The New UAW

s part of Customer Care News’ continuing series of

interviews with business leaders regarding employee collaboration and improving customer satisfaction and

Spring 2011

customer care, Dr. Keith Levick recently spoke with Joe Ashton,

vice president of the UAW-General Motors Corporation (GM). 12

Customer Care News

CCN: Some use the term “reinvention” when looking at

CCN: This is a critical issue for Michigan and across the country.

Chrysler] called it “rebranding” from the UAW point of view,



General Holiefield [vice president of the UAW-

and the Michigan Labor-Management Association confer-

Without giving any secrets away, what’s the response regarding

ence theme scheduled in April refers to “restoring dialog.” As

JA: I think for the first time, General Motors is taking a long look,

UAW today?

Lake Orion was scheduled to be built in Korea, and they sat down

the vice president of the UAW-GM, how do you see the

JA: I think all three statements, whether we say it’s reinvention, rebranding or restoring conversation, are all important elements in

the new UAW. I think it’s important to continue to have dialogue

with General Motors. They have taken an initiative with their new CEO Dan Akerson to continue to have ongoing dialogue with the UAW leadership. Because it’s so important for the UAW to be successful, whether it’s at Ford, Chrysler or General Motors,

like they did with Lake Orion. The vehicle that they’re building in

with us, and we worked out an agreement to have that vehicle built here. And we’re also looking at bringing trucks that normally have been built in Mexico in the past back here to be built. We can

be competitive now; our quality is second to none. We have an experienced workforce and we know that we can do a better job

than anybody else. And that’s whether it’s General Motors, Ford or Chrysler.

those companies have to be successful also, and we saw in the past

CCN: Compare if you would, what’s going on today with what

Their share of the industry is up; people are looking more at the


several months a real turnabout with Ford and General Motors.

American brands. Their quality now is competitive with any brand,

it was like 10, 15, 20 years ago. What are some of the major

and I think we are taking a step in the right direction. And I think

JA: I think one of the major differences is competition. There’s

to show the American public that not only the company, but the

there was 10 years ago. Ten years ago, our competition was with

to continue to do so, we have to have that dialogue and we have

UAW and its members also have a stake in the success of these companies.

CCN: The past few years have been a rollercoaster, especially on the Big Three, with the economy and the bankruptcies; what’s it been like for the UAW and GM?

JA: Well, needless to say, it’s been a very, very difficult period.

I think the leadership of Ron Gettelfinger and the previous Vice President Cal Rapson did a tremendous job by sitting down and negotiating an agreement to keep us out of absolute

destruction. We were heading for bankruptcy, and the bail-

so much more competition than there was 20 years ago, than

the Japanese companies. Now the new competition is going to be with the Korean companies and also the German companies,

which are coming back into the picture. There are so many

brands out there that your brand has to stand out. And I think

with the engineering that Ford, General Motors and Chrysler have been doing, it is giving us a step forward. I think the orders for General Motors’ premier electrical vehicle speak for themselves. I

think the orders far exceeded what General Motors thought and what any analyst projected, and I think that kind of technology and the quality that we are building in our vehicles is going to set us apart.

out enabled us to continue to operate. And since that’s hap-

CCN: Can you speak to customer service? And when I talk about

Motors has done something that they have never done before, or

customer but also the internal customers. In other words, every

pened, we have several success stories. We need more. General

haven’t done in many years, and that’s to decide to build a small vehicle in Michigan, in Lake Orion. That saved thousands of jobs, not only in building that vehicle but also the suppliers. And

“customer service,” I’m talking not only in terms of the external

employee is one another’s customer. Have you seen a shift or a different way of thinking regarding customer service?

that’s the thing we are looking for. We had to be innovative in

JA: There has to be. That’s why quality is so important. Quality

put more and more jobs back in the states. That’s what it’s about.

as more or less one of the main issues. We have an obligation

that agreement and we are looking to convince the companies to That’s what the upcoming negotiations are going to be about —

only to bring jobs back to Michigan, but also to bring jobs back throughout the country.

to the American public to build the best cars available. Also, to give customers the best service available, because we know now,

Spring 2011

jobs. Jobs, jobs and jobs: those are our three highest priorities. Not

used to be an issue that the company and the UAW perceived

statistically, that if you get a good vehicle and good service, seven

times out of 10 you’ll buy another vehicle from the company again.


And that’s something that we all focus on, not only the company

JA: I think we can say the relationship with GM has gotten to the

president of the UAW] or anybody else in his administration about

that started during the past few years, and that kind of communica-

but the UAW too. If you have listened to Bob King [current

quality, about being competitive, that’s what we are going to have to look at, not only in this negotiation, but also in the negotiations to come.

CCN: In looking back, comparing today versus 10 or 15 years ago,

you note that competition is one critical issue. Is there anything else that stands out to you?

CCN: So, as you see things moving forward from this date on, where is the UAW headed?

JA: I think it’s going to be important for us to have the 2011 nego-

have picked up market share and that they’re continuing to pick up

years ago. I think

the UAW took the first big step when

it took the liabilPhoto courtesy of Joe Ashton

to end up where we were two years ago.

wages are much

than they were 10

think that we are on the right track, that General Motors and Ford market share. We want to continue to build on that success and I think the only way to accomplish that is working together.

CCN: Do you think that the negotiations in 2011 will be a little smoother and more transparent between the companies?

ity of the medical

JA: We would hope that would be the case. We feel that General

Three. The cost

deal with on a day-to-day basis, has been much more transparent

away from the Big savings on that to the industry itself

Motors, I can only speak for General Motors because that’s who I than they have in the past.


CCN: One of the things that I have noticed is the shrinking of

in particular were

I would imagine that has affected your membership. What is the


and GM and Ford always


about the legacy cost. Now, it’s something that they don’t have to

manufacturing in the State of Michigan and around the country. UAW doing to get new members?

deal with anymore and it makes them more competitive. I think in

JA: There’s no doubt that it’s had an effect on our membership. In

more vehicles. This is in the best interest of our membership, the

But Bob King has started an aggressive campaign to organize

the long run, the auto companies will be more competitive and sell Big Three and our suppliers.

CCN: I would imagine that taking liability away from the auto companies was a tough sell?

JA: It was very difficult. We have been fortunate; not to get

into the VEBA (Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association) structure itself, but the agreement involved General Motors’ and

Ford’s stock, and they ended up being worth much more than we originally negotiated.

CCN: In the past, there was a perception of an adversarial rela-

Spring 2011

have an adversarial position with each other because we don’t want

tiations be successful for both parties, and for us to move forward. I

more competitive

tionship between the UAW and the Big Three. How would you describe the relationship today?


tion continues today. We, or the company, aren’t in the position to

JA: : I think there is no doubt that

Joe Ashton

point where it’s not just “business as usual.” There’s open dialogue

fact, this whole country has had a shrinking manufacturing base. the plants around the world…. Under Bob King’s leadership, we are going to be much more aggressive in our organizing efforts.

Also, the biggest growth in our union has been gaming. Besides

the casinos in Detroit, we organized almost 3,000 people in Foxwood in Connecticut and 3,000 people in Atlantic City.

Additionally, we have a contract in Indiana, so we have been

very aggressive. And we currently have another nine or 10 additional campaigns in the gaming industry going on. We feel that by the end of the year, we’ll have an additional 8,000 members.

People don’t realize it but the UAW was the first union to organize dealers in the United States. Dealers have never been organized,

and that’s what we started in Detroit, then Atlantic City, then Connecticut, then Indiana and now we’re looking at Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Customer Care News

CCN: I think you’re right, most people are not aware of that.

Having trained in some casinos, I know the stress the dealers experience.

JA: I don’t think people realize the amount of stress that the deal-

ers experience. It’s a very, very difficult job; without tokes (tips), it’s

not a high paying hourly job. And I think it’s an area that we have

work in, the issues are similar and the UAW is there to protect all workers’ rights.

CCN: Protecting the rights of workers certainly comes with

challenges. This had to be a huge undertaking during this past recession.

been successful in organizing. Like I said, this year alone we have

JA: The downtrend in the economy has had a desperate effect on all

in Detroit and we expect to organize another 8,000 throughout

you’re in the union, you’re a worker. Ninety-nine percent of the

five new agreements. We’re going into negotiations again this year the country.

CCN: So, the UAW is aggressively pursuing foreign auto plants in

this country and unionizing parts of casinos. I also read that the UAW is trying to unionize European facilities.

JA: I think it’s important for us to realize that it’s a global economy; it’s a global union and global workers. And we have to take an active position and protect the welfare of those workers. If they continue

to make low wages and they continue to be treated improperly, we have an obligation, because we’re not only a union, but we’re also a

social organization. The UAW for years, starting with the Walter Reuther era, was an organization that stood up for the rights of

people — be it civil rights, women’s rights, workers’ rights; we were and will continue to be on the front line.

CCN: I’m guessing that many people have no idea about that part

of the UAW. They only see what they have read or seen on television, which oftentimes is extremely negative.

JA: Well, I think it’s sad because if you look back in history you will

definitely find that the UAW helped to build the middle class. The

boat that we were floating at the time — everybody was on it. It didn’t matter if you were a schoolteacher, whether you were union

of us. And it really doesn’t matter if you’re management or whether people work for a company; they don’t own it. Therefore, we’re all in the same boat. There have been significant cutbacks across the

board. And we believe that we all have to have a voice together to

turn this around and make not only the auto industry work, but

also the entire country. When the auto industry was doing well in Michigan, it didn’t only affect autoworkers; it affected schools, police, fire, teachers and suppliers. A study conducted by Cornell University showed that each job in the auto industry affects seven or eight other jobs. That’s why when there were discussions about

GM and Chrysler going down, we knew it would affect seven

million people across the United States. We have to create more jobs here, and we have to expand our presence to other types of industries.

CCN: What are some of the active things that the UAW is doing to restore, reinvent or rebrand itself?

JA: Some of the things that I already mentioned like being more involved globally, more aggressive organizing especially with the

transplants, and involvement in gaming and other industries to

expand the union. And equally important is the openness of management and the UAW to work together to make these companies and its people successful.

or whether you were non-union. It was this movement that started

CCN: If you have one piece of advice for other companies, even

down to other organizations. That’s why it’s so important to main-

two years, what would it be?

with a pension plan, which led to health plans, and that trickled

tain a union movement in this country. In most cases, people don’t

outside the auto industry, as it relates to recovering from the past

realize it’s a social voice for working men and women.

JA: I think it’s difficult just to say one thing, but I think the most

CCN: Are you alluding to the fact that workers in Germany,

we are talking about management or labor. To keep an ongoing

France, Korea, etc. face similar issues as the American workers?

JA: I think all countries are facing the same issues, including comabout it. Regardless if you’re a dealer, an autoworker, a policeman,

a fireman, a teacher; whatever industry you’re in or country you

dialogue and listen to the people in most industries that deal with the product, build the product, whether it’s the dealership that sells it or an automaker that makes it. Listen to what they have to say. It’s important to remember, in this global economy, that quality,

Spring 2011

panies that outsource work to different countries. There’s no doubt

important thing is communicating with your workforce, whether

competitive price and exceptional customer service are the three most important things that drive the consumer. CCN


Photo by Chris Schramm

General Holiefield, vice president of UAW Chrysler, was interviewed by Customer Care News’ Associate Publisher Dr. Keith Levick at the UAW Solidarity House in Detroit

Rebranding: The UAW Emphasizes the Importance of World Class Manufacturing


ustomer Care News is dedicated to helping businesses improve customer care, customer satisfaction and employee collaboration. To that

end, Dr. Keith Levick recently sat down with General

Spring 2011

Holiefield, vice president of the UAW-Chrysler to discuss

the changing face of the UAW in today’s economic climate. 16

Customer Care News

CCN: For most organizations and companies during the past

CCN: During the bailout, many in the industry were caught

and Chrysler going bankrupt, I’m sure it’s put a major strain

er. There seems to be this negative stereotype of the members

more members?

public look differently at the UAW today?

two years, it has been economically brutal. And with GM

on the UAW. What is the UAW doing right now to attract

off guard with so many Americans not backing the autowork-

of the UAW. What has changed and why should the general

GH: If you were able to witness what is going on behind the

GH: I think we’ve demonstrated largely that we’re not just a

Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, you would be very elated

a union that’s out to really destroy or bust a company, but to

scenes with the parent companies that we have, which are

to see…the work relationships…that have not been very visible to the public. And speaking from a Chrysler standpoint, the relationship between the UAW and Chrysler, LLC is just

absolutely remarkable. We have recognized that we’re all in

the same boat; our attention and detail to quality will not be surpassed by anyone by the time we’re finally done. We’re all 100 percent in favor of World Class Manufacturing (WCM). We don’t call it a program, but a way of life.

WCM is a quality initiative that was presented to us by

Fiat, first introduced during the negotiation process during the bankruptcy. The UAW, through myself, accepted the

WCM as part of the agreement, and after witnessing that

particular process and way of life in its natural habitat (in Italy and in Europe), it was unlike anything that I have witnessed

before. I don’t think the process exists here in the United

union that is seeking dues from its membership; that we’re not

work with them and to demonstrate to the companies at large that we bring a lot of added value. …The membership that we

do have realizes that we are truly supporting their best interests. I am on the forefront of World Class Manufacturing. I

have stepped out there with the company; in some cases, I am ahead of them. I became the guy that is preaching quality to

the workers. I am telling them not to let anything that’s not of

top quality go out of those factories, that we will pay a price, a tremendous price, provided that happens, and that the very

jobs they save may be their own. Also, I have told them they

should inspect every part, even if it’s from a vendor or supplier, because we need to know whom it is that is sending inferior

parts into those facilities, that it’s not always just the workers

on the line that are doing inferior work, but it’s the parts that they receive from their suppliers.

States as a quality initiative. But it is certainly going to set

So there’s a new focus on suppliers that President Bob King

out the United States.… My coworkers, the employees of

with Ford and General Motors alike, and we have become

Chrysler aside from anyone else in manufacturing throughChrysler, LLC, are excited over it. It’s transforming not only

our facilities, but also the attitudes and the culture amongst

the employees within the workplace. They are excited; they’re on fire.

CCN: Is the UAW looking beyond the United States borders?

GH: Well, we’re in a global competitive fight in today’s mar-

ket. It’s not like the days of old, when it was just domestic competition. The competition is not only fierce, but it is over

capacitated. There are a lot of automotive manufacturers out here in business today and they’re all playing to win…. So we

have come to that realization that we’re in a global battle, and

has brought to the forefront, not just with Chrysler, but advocates with these companies that we represent. Not just in the car sector, but I also represent Volvo, Freight Liner

and Mack within the heavy truck sector, right along with

General Dynamics. And we’re looking to foster great relationships. They see another side to us, and it’s not us beating the

companies up, or them beating up the unions, but us working together to leverage the best possible employees that we can

afford to give to the company, and also us leveraging the best products that are made by UAW American workers. We just don’t believe that there’s any finer work class out there than American workers, and we feel that, in working together with

the companies, we can have the best class of work for the money they have to spend.

our achievements to date are just remarkable, if you could just

CCN: You bring up a very interesting point. In August 2002,

together, we are not only going to take Chrysler to the top of

the UAW at the time, in the Detroit Free Press. I copied the

see the things that we are doing. But with all of us pulling

ror, because here we come.

Spring 2011

that heap, but everyone will be looking in their rearview mir-

I read a quote from Bob King, who was the vice president of quote and have used it in some of my education and training.

He said, “If we want to keep manufacturing jobs in the United


States, which is a major objective of the UAW, then we can’t

work. We have got to tell them that this is just not the way

we have an adversarial relationship, then we’ll see more work

products to get outside of the facilities. And we have to make

be fighting management where we represent members. And if going overseas.”

GH: … It’s ironic that you should raise that today, because

just earlier this morning we had a meeting, and he echoed

those words again. …He is saying we shouldn’t fight with the companies that are very supportive of our members, and

from the facilities, but at the highest corporate level, and also

be very transparent with one another in our day-to-day deal-

ings as they relate to quality and productivity. You know that customer satisfaction means everything in today’s market.

CCN: When we talk about customer service, it is beyond just

and work through our problems. We have done some tremen-

your car. I think that all the people who are working in a facil-

dous things in the agreements at Ford, General Motors and

Chrysler that have made us competitive across the landscape. So we can roll our sleeves up and we can fence with the best

the external customer who comes into a showroom and buys ity, in a plant, are customers to one another. We are all each other’s customers, don’t you think?

of them. The quality within General Motors and Ford are on

GH: Absolutely! We are all each other’s customers. …In every

surpassed them.

who you are — is a direct customer to one another…. We’re all

par with the Japanese autoworkers; in some cases, Ford has

CCN: This seems to signal a shift in the old industrial mind-

set that’s been prevalent since the 1900s to a more customerservice-oriented philosophy.

GH: Yes, it is, and it is all about us rebranding ourselves to the degree that we would be more effective in bringing people

facility that we work in, each employee — it doesn’t matter

customers. We should have the respect down the food chain for one another that we’re not sending inferior parts or we’re

not doing an inferior job that’s going to prohibit or inhibit

him/her from getting his/her job done. I’ve told the employees, “When that product rolls out the door, it’s got to say ‘you.’ …That car ought to resemble you.”

into the union, with a customer service philosophy. The public

…And the facilities have to resemble the workers. We have to

it’s not a bad idea to have unions aboard.” Ron Gettelfinger

witnessed already over in Italy. The facilities are hospital

or private sector would be more apt to say, “Hey, you know, did quite a bit of that, too, while he was here. He laid a lot of groundwork, and it’s a credit to Bob King that he made that

statement in 2002. He’s got that mantle in his hand today.

… I’ve seen a shift in a lot of things that I would never have dreamed possible because of his leadership and because of

what we’re doing together as a union along with the management. It’s a different mindset altogether.

CCN: In recent years, American cars have begun to take over the lead spots in customer satisfaction and quality. How has the UAW contributed to this growth?

GH: Again, in today’s morning meeting, Bob King empha-

sized the importance of quality. It is him reminding us as

leaders of the UAW that we cannot forget that we have to play the role as it relates to quality and productivity, and making

Spring 2011

sure that we’re in lock-step with the management, not only

that we should give every bit we can give to remove barriers in working with one another, so that we can continue to talk

make sure that they are hospital clean; something that we’ve clean, with no stretch of the imagination.

CCN: I agree with you. When you walk into a place, and it’s clean, people are proud of it.

GH: There’s instant pride. We’re going through that same transformation within Chrysler. It was part of an awakening for me when I went to Turin, Italy, and over to Naples and over to Poland to visit the Fiat facilities. I had to put coverings over

my shoes. I couldn’t walk in there with just my shoes. I had to put on a white shop coat, and when we walked through the

facilities the place was spotless. I mean hospital clean, even the restrooms. …This is a credit to all the employees there

that sustain the facilities every day, and I said to myself, “Why can’t we have this?”

sure that we’re very supportive of that — that the best goes in,

During the bankruptcy proceedings with Chrysler and negoti-

rienced some members and coworkers buying off on inferior

said to me across the table. He said, “General, I’m going to

and that we only get the best out.… In the past, we’ve expe-


we do things today, and we cannot and will not allow inferior

ations that was one of the first things that Sergio Marchionne

Customer Care News

tell you: there are no ifs, ands or buts about this….I’m tell-

That day President Barack Obama went through there on a

come to Chrysler.” I said to him, “Well what is World Class

the way the employees were presenting to him with all the

ing you if I can’t have World Class Manufacturing, I won’t Manufacturing? I think we build nice-quality products now.”

He said, “No. No, you don’t. And I know you don’t know what World Class Manufacturing is.” I said, “Well, I think I do.”

tour he was blown away…just looking at the processes and pride. I haven’t seen that in Chrysler; in all my years, I’ve never seen it.

Well, I did think I knew.

…The head guy in Italy that runs WCM operations said to

“Well, before we throw the baby out with the bath water,

culture in every facility, and we need to find out what it is in

someone needs to give me a crash course so I can understand what it is that you’re asking for. I can’t either bless it or deny it

if I don’t know what it is that you’re talking about,” I said. So he says, “I’ll take care of that.”

CCN: Looking at the Italian workforce, what would you and the UAW like to pull from them and incorporate into the American workforce?

GH: It would be World Class Manufacturing. It’s their atti-

tude toward quality and it’s their attitude toward sustainment

of the processes that they have created to help get them to World Class Manufacturing. And it’s their attitude to being

the best at what it is that they do, and truly mean it. I see it in every fiber of their beings, in how they work very closely with

one another, employee with employee. And I couldn’t tell you

who was the management when I walked in that facility… and who were the employees. They all were a very close-knit group.

And I said to the union that we met with over there, “We just launched the Grand Cherokee, and it is heralded as the best Grand Cherokee ever built by Chrysler. When that thing rolled off the line, it had a little bit of you guys in it,

because you guys showed us how to make that the best Grand

Cherokee ever built.” And I said, “Guess what? It is. It is the

best one that we have ever built. And that’s no stretch; it’s the truth. That automobile is solid.”

It’s because of their principles, and we were able to go over and take a look at how they do it with an open mind. When

Sergio Marchionne told the employees at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant he was going to shut the plant down, and that they were going to clean it up, they were like deer

in headlights. He did that, and he invested in them; he

the cleaning materials to get the job done. You would not believe what you see down there now; they are so full of pride.

Jefferson. They told me it’s a community thing, them working

together. That’s not the culture. There’s something very special that they all share. And we found it in each of the plants in Italy. …And they just took off.” And he says, “… These



things that we want to tap into

to say, ‘We’re not

just a car company. We’re a people company,


we’re an employee company.’ …And

if they’re happy, we’re



get the best out

of them…. It’s

going to show in the products; it’s

going to show in the facility. …Once you figure out what it is that makes them tick, you’re not going to beat them.”

CCN: If you had one thing to say to the American public right now, about the UAW today, what would it be?

GH: We’re not the UAW of old. …Leave the light on for us; we’ll come in, we’ll show you what we can do and interact with

you and work with the employees. We are not here to destroy

a company, but to work better and in harmony. We recognize that we’re in a global war with our competition. This is America, we want to make it a happy place to live and to work,

and we want to see our children grow up [to be] strong, con-

tributing adults. We want to make certain that the family unit survives here in America, and we want our companies and our businesses, our industrial manufacturing base, to be sustained

Spring 2011

invested the time in those employees and the money, and all

me, “General, there’s a culture in every plant. …There is a

and to surpass everyone. So, in working together, we know that we can accomplish that. We are the new UAW. CCN


Restoring Dialogue: Keys to Effective Labor-Management Relationships


ssues between labor and management have an impact

on more than just an organization or company itself. Ineffective labor-management relationships can lead

to poor quality products or services provided and, ultimately, poor customer satisfaction. Recently, Dr. Keith

Levick sat down with Edgell Turnquist, executive director for the Michigan Labor-Management Association (MLMA), to





the attempts to “restore dialogue” between workers and managers.

CCN: Ed, what is the MLMA organization? ET:

Well, the organization is the Michigan Labor-

Spring 2011

Management Association. Actually, its roots went back to

the Michigan Quality of Work Life Council back in the

’70s. I got involved with them in 1985 when the City of


Southfield was in the early stages of its labor-management program. Then, in 1998 I was asked if I would become the support person for the organization under a grant with the federal government to rebuild the Michigan Labor-

Management Association. I took over as director in 2001

and have been playing that role since then. Our organization

has two functions. We do training on an as-needed basis. But our main function is doing our annual conference once

a year at the Kellogg Center at Michigan State University; and that’s usually held in April of every year.

Customer Care News

CCN: What would you say is the primary mission of the

and creating a conference. What is the theme for this year’s

ET: Our mission is promoting labor-management coopera-

ET: This year is going to be “Restoring Dialog.” This was

it’s a product from the private sector or a service that’s pro-

state mediators in conversation at their mediation jobs that


tion — dialogue between labor and management…whether vided in the public sector…to create awareness and to create

dialogue that’s going to help improve the product and help improve the quality. It’s been said that you have to learn how to do more with less. In the workplace, when you have a solid

labor-management organization that’s working together and they are exchanging dialogue and looking for new, creative

ways, it was not hard for us to put together programs that

would actually create better quality, more quantity, yet at a reduced cost.

I could give you a simple example of snowplowing where I worked, for the City of Southfield. That was one of our pri-

mary functions during the winter, to keep the streets clear. Back when I first started, whenever


something that was brought up to us by our federal and our they have, both in the public sector and private sector. They are finding themselves challenged. When they’re called to

come in and mediate a contract or dispute within an organization they’re finding that when they get in there they are

actually being asked to come up with a decision that’s going to work for both parties because there has been no dialogue.

Both parties are not even communicating or even putting together a solid effort to try to work out their differences. So, with that in mind, with our theme…we put together

nine workshops. They are all based on skills — communication skills, brainstorming skills, teaching folks how to work

together and giving them the tools that they need to go back and show their constituents — whether it’s the labor

we had six inches of snow or more, it

would take us about four days to clean the streets. If you’re sitting behind a

plow truck, working 12 on and 12 off for four days, it becomes very, very

hard to do. It’s tiring and it wears on you. We actually developed, through

the labor-management program, a program where we could do the streets in two-and-a-half days. …If everything

went well, and you didn’t get blasted with any secondary snows, we could

actually get it done in two days. From a standpoint of cost to the citizens,

that was about a 40 percent reduction in cost. And the way it was done was to listen to the guys actually doing the work. They told us the equipment

equipment to do the job. So we looked into their complaints and issues, put

together a plan, gave it to the city council, and they provided the tools they needed.

CCN: You mentioned earlier that one

of your primary functions is running

Spring 2011

Photo courtesy of Edgell Turnquist

they were using was not the proper

Edgell Turnquist


group or the management group. Our trainers are primar-

ily from Michigan. We have folks from Eastern Michigan University;


have corporations in Michigan that provide


ers. And we ask

the trainers to

focus on providing tools that the

only what they’re doing when they’re at the workplace, but what they talk about when they leave the workplace and how they promote their company. They need to be proud. They

need to have an avenue where they feel as though they’re part of the organization and they represent that organization all

the time. They need to stand up and be proud of what they do, no matter what that job is.

Again, I’ll always go back to my roots. I remember the

in a booklet and

world. But through our labor-management programs, in

take back with them to apply in the workplace. CCN:



know, I recently interviewed General Holiefield, vice president of the UAW-Chrysler, and Joe Ashton, vice president

of the UAW-GM, and the essence of those interviews was

custodial staff felt like they were the lowest people in the

developing the dialogue and putting them in charge of their day-to-day jobs, we really made them stand up and feel good

about their jobs. And they weren’t called janitors anymore; they were called custodians. By giving them a different title they felt more important. They felt more empowered to look

at and openly voice their concerns about the work they were doing.

on rebranding the UAW. For many years there has been a

CCN: Are you saying that in order for people to feel better

they talked about the importance of understanding that we

to open the door of communication more? And that’s the

negative perception of the old UAW. In those interviews, are each other’s customers. It sounds like there’s a link to your theme of restoring dialogue. What do you think?

Everybody is going to be faced with this phenomenon of doing more with less. So we all need to understand, no matter what you’re doing, no matter how much money we make for doing our jobs, no matter how long we work at our jobs, everybody’s going to be affected by this.

about what they do and have a different perception, we need essence of your theme this year?

ET: Yes, right…. “Restoring Dialog” is a form of redesign-


ing and/or rebranding oneself. People have to feel as though

things that we’ve

forward. But the perception of workers needs to change as



agree. One of the

been doing now for 10 to 12 years at our conference

they’re part of an organization if they’re going to move

well and workers need to take responsibility for how they are seen.

is hosting forums

CCN: With that being said, and as a union leader and execu-


of management and labor? I know this is a difficult question,

at the end of the


feedback…. The feedback we often

receive is about things that happened years ago, things that

tive director of the MLMA, why do you think there is a split but in your opinion, what do you think is the main cause? And what do you think we need to do to remove that gap?

were in the news media, and the negative perception that

ET: That’s really a good question and an interesting topic

go to work, they punch in, they leave for the day, come back

the city that part of the problem was that if I’m the manage-

autoworkers are just lazy. There’s been stories that people

and they still get paid for not doing much of anything. There are many negatives stories out there. However, we promote

that there are good people that work in all industries. It

Spring 2011

importance of the image that they project on their jobs, not

people can actually put together

could be auto, the public sector, for cities, for counties; it could be in the Coca Cola factories. There are many good


and dedicated employees. And they need to understand the

to think about. I used to think back when I was working for

ment, then it’s my job to manage, and if you’re the worker, it’s your job to just go out and do what I tell you to do. And that’s kind of how it seems to be. I’ve heard this statement many a time, “If you don’t like what I’m asking you to do,

then there’s nothing stopping you from letting the door hit

Customer Care News

you in the rear as you’re leaving.” And you’re welcome to

ET: Agree. …And to teach them that it’s OK to look at

and more dialogue, it’s almost like there’s no relationship

into work with a fresh thought in your mind and communi-

just go ahead and leave. But you know, as we created more

between the two: that managers view themselves as being one family and this is the way we do our business. And

workers are another family. And in reality, without two-way

communication, it’s very hard to do a job exactly the way they want you to do it.

CCN: Because you’re not communicating. ET: Yes, because of the communication breakdown, you have no idea what they want you to do or not do. So you

need that dialogue. I’ve seen huge strides [once the dialogue was created] where, all of a sudden, groups weren’t fighting

anymore. They were having good, open communication;

and the jobs were being done the way everyone wanted them

to be done. As a worker, there’s nothing worse than doing

things differently; it really is OK. It’s OK to wake up and go

cate it. And we need to give [workers] the tools to communicate constructively.

CCN: And remem-

ber, we’re talking about years of dysfunctional


of communicating,

speaking and listen-

Now that organizations are leaner than ever before and workers are working harder with less people power, we need to communicate and work together. The old ways of doing business are just not going to cut it any longer.

ing to one another. And, as you know, if you’re a smoker or

a drinker, or whatever it is, trying to change a habit is a real

challenge. But that’s what the Michigan Labor-Management Association is about.

ET: …It’s one of the things we do — to help labor-man-

something and having to be told to do it again.

agement work together more effectively. Now that organiza-

CCN: It comes down to the communication. So the vehicle

harder with less people power, we need to communicate and

in which to remove that gap is to get people (labor, management, it doesn’t matter who you are) to start communicating and have that dialogue. Hence the theme of the 2011 MLMA conference.

ET: As the director of this organization, and

having 30 years here,

what I did see when I started in 1980 was the lack of communication.

I saw the ’90s as the start of building com-

munication. We kept

tions are leaner than ever before and workers are working

work together. The old ways of doing business are just not going to cut it any longer.

It’s been said that you have to learn how to do more with less. In the workplace, when you have a solid labor-management organization that’s working together and they are exchanging dialogue and looking for new, creative ways, it was not hard for us to put together programs that would actually create better quality, more quantity, yet at a reduced cost.

stressing to folks that

CCN: That’s a real-

ity of today’s world. In

every organization, private and public, workers are doing a whole lot






no question about it. Any final thoughts or message you want to

share with our readers regarding



there are going to be times you have an issue that you cannot

conference, the organization, or anything else?

that is where we are today. We need to come together and

ET: Everybody is going to be faced with this phenomenon

agree on. So you need to work together to resolve them. And communicate clearly with one another.

CCN: We have certainly developed some poor communica-

tion habits in the past 100 years. I think we can agree that

an organization’s survival depends on all employees (labor with one another — sounds like the makings for a good conference.

no matter what you’re doing, no matter how much money we make for doing our jobs, no matter how long we work at our jobs, everybody’s going to be affected by this. So

we need to open the door of communication and work together as opposed to working against one another

Spring 2011

and management) communicating openly and honestly

of doing more with less. So we all need to understand,

to create a successful work environment for all people to prosper. CCN


Goren and Associates, Inc. We Believe Learning is a Process, Not an Event!

Goren and Associates Inc., headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, is an organizational training, executive coaching, and consulting company since 1981. We design and develop customized courses to fit the needs of our clients. Our goal is to create a collaborative partnership with our clients. Together, we strategically assess, define, develop and deliver the highest quality and relevant learning solutions for employees. • deliver high energy, instructor-led training • certify the organization’s trainers to facilitate our coursework • work with poor functioning teams to become re-aligned, resulting in higher performance • assist organizations in managing all phases of a change initiative • deliver organization and employee assessments • provide one-on-one leadership coaching • facilitate strategic planning and visioning • facilitate executive retreats

Goren and Associates, Inc. 32000 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 128 Farmington, MI 48334 800.851.0824 www.

Our Belief Goren and Associates believes that people are a company’s most important investor. Yes, investor! They choose where, when, and how to invest their time, effort, skills, knowledge and attitude. These investors are the organization’s most valuable and vital resource. We believe that a performance driven culture where employees are treated as assets whose value can be enhanced through investments, creates a win-win return-on-investment (ROI) for both the organization and its investors.

Feature Articles

What Drives the Quality of Customer Experiences in Service Marketing — Employees or Corporate Brands?


In today’s increasingly technology-based soci-

ety, consumers have discovered the convenience

and benefits of shopping online. However, this

has left a gap in personal interactions between conSpring 2011

sumers and companies. Despite this fact, there is still

a need for high-quality customer service when those 26

Customer Care News



take place. The

following report

from the Forum for

Pe o p l e


Management and

Measurement examines how a customer’s business relationship

with a company as a whole may be influenced by per-

service encounters and relationships. A key aspect of that

a study by Dr. Frank Mulhern, academic director of the

involve personal connectivity. Oddly, the popular focus on

sonal contact with an employee. The report is based on Forum and associate dean of research at Northwestern

University’s Medill School, titled, “The Employee or the

Company: The Relative Importance of People Versus the Company Brand on the Customer Experience.”

distinction is that relationships matter most when they

relationship marketing over the years has been far more about data and software systems than the most important element of relationships — people.

While research has identified business character-

istics and attributes that establish a strong bond with

When business was indeed “personal”

the customer, at the heart of these relationships is

ers came to the retail scene, commercial transactions

ers as valued indi-

Long before Internet commerce and “big box” retail-

involved personal relationships between buyers and sellers. Merchants such as mom-and-pop grocers, tailors and shoemakers knew their customers personally. Buyers and

sellers enjoyed ongoing interpersonal connectivity that spanned their personal and business lives.

The rise of modern business brought with it a de-

personalization of retail commerce as large corporations supplanted small enterprises. As a surrogate for personal relationships and what they embody, including

trust, authenticity and personality, corporations turned to branding. Brands, largely through non-personal media communications, fill in the gap created when business

“treating customviduals”





Ultimately, employees

2001). it ’s


can improve cus-

tomer satisfaction

In today’s increasingly technology-based society, consumers have discovered the convenience and benefits of shopping online. However, this has left a gap in personal interactions between consumers and companies.

in their roles as

the living brand of the organization, and display strong,



established customers.




No matter the type of business, employee perceptions,

transactions take place between customers and large de-

attitudes and behaviors are central to the customer’s expe-

This report addresses the distinction between busi-

of the chief shortcomings that undermine a company’s

personalized businesses.

ness-as-brand and business-as-people. It evaluates, from the consumer’s perspective, the relative importance of

people versus the corporate brand in a service-marketing context. The study explores the idea that consumers may

be more interested in personal relationships than the corporate brand.

In the book, A Brave New Service Strategy by Barbara

Gutek and Theresa Welsh, a distinction is made between

brand and reputation. In one example, during the early

2000s, The Home Depot, in a cost-cutting move, termi-

nated many of its full-time home improvement experts/

sales people and hired in their place less experienced, part-time staff. During that time period, customer service and sales plummeted, and the value of Home Depot

stock slipped eight percent while its rival Lowe’s saw its

stock price climb 180 percent. Acknowledging its mistake,

Spring 2011

The role of people in service relationships

rience with a company. Poor customer service, then, is one

Home Depot reinstated many of those full-time positions, and sales ultimately recovered.


Insurance industry as a model for service industries

The Forum’s study focused on the personal insur-

levels of individual sales agents for a national insurance

However, the experiences discovered through the course

to the company overall. A key element of the analysis is

ance industry (life, health, auto and property insurers). of the research and the findings themselves are central to

many service industries including health care, financial services and education, as well as smaller personal services, such as home repair.

The insurance industry in the United States is highly

fragmented, and comprised of more than 100 brands, with few of those brands reaching top-of-mind (first recall)

awareness, according to a study by Branding Strategy Insider.

Having a network of knowledgeable, helpful and trustworthy sales agents is crucial to customer satisfaction and financial success.



the emotional connection

that the customer perception metrics are aggregated by

sales agents, allowing for precise assessment of the relationships between sales agent engagement metrics and customer perceptions.

Data collected for the research consists of three major

components. They are:

• Customer Satisfaction Survey: The insurance company conducted a customer satisfaction survey, admin-

istered online, that included questions about the quality of the experience with the sales agent and the quality of the experience with the company overall.

• Employee Engagement Survey: All sales agents were

low, with pre-

administered online as part of a series of admin-

brands is very

considerations, suggesting that the category is commod-

asked to complete an employee engagement survey istrative tasks that agents are required to conduct online.

ity-like for many consumers. The very nature of buying

• Employee Performance: A limited set of individual

task by the consumer since he or she usually doesn’t see

tomer retention rates and the change in the number

insurance may be viewed as a rather negative “must-do” an immediate benefit to the purchase. The buyer’s interactions with the company — carried out through a personal

performance standards were used to measure cusof outstanding insurance accounts over time.

connection to an agent — then become very important in

Results — experiences with agent versus company

ance companies have an opportunity to set themselves

asked to rate their overall experience with the sales agent

ceed. Having a network of knowledgeable, helpful and

on a scale ranging from “extremely positive” to “extremely

how the company is viewed overall. This is where insurapart from their competition in order to grow and suc-

trustworthy sales agents is crucial to customer satisfaction and financial success.

The insurance industry is an excellent arena for inves-

tigating the role of front line personnel in the customer

experience because insurance is a significant high-involvement purchase that can result in long-term, customer-to-company

relationships. Meanwhile, the insurance industry is struggling

with whether to maintain net-

works of independent sales agents

In the customer satisfaction survey, customers were

and, separately, their overall experience with the company negative.” The mean rating for the agents was signifi-

cantly higher than the mean rating for the company. This result shows that on average customers rate their agents

How the research unfolded

higher than they rate the company with respect to the quality of their experience.

Evaluation of the scores on an agent-by-agent basis

shows that more than 90 percent of the agents scored

The key implication is that the agent is the “public face” of the company, and plays a positive, measurable role in the customer experience.

higher on customer satisfaction with the agent than with

the company itself. There are a number of possible reasons why

a customer would rate an agent higher or lower than the com-

versus selling through their own sales force. Direct selling

pany overall. Customers interact with agents differently

required), but eliminates the opportunity for the personal

insurance product, filing a claim or any other transaction

allows for lower premiums (no sales commission payments

Spring 2011

company to the ratings customers gave to the agents and



mium prices/rates ranking as one of the top differentiating

relationships between the company and the customers.


The analysis performed matched the engagement

than they do with the company. When purchasing an

with an agent, customers have a personal interaction with

Customer Care News

the agent either in the agent’s office or the customer’s

a strong, positive brand reputation, it may have more to

the company is limited to a website visit or contact with

in the company’s reputation.

home, or by phone. In contrast, customer interaction with

a customer call center, whose representatives are likely to

gain by investing in its employees than in investing more Investments in employees could include sales and

be different each time a customer phones.

product information training, meaningful incentives and

advertising used by an insurance company compared with

opment, extension of

It’s interesting to note the differences in the types of

its agents. The company advertisements are generally

expensive (network television and magazines) but impersonal. However, the agent ads generally appear in local

newspapers and weekly “shopper” publications, usually with a photo of the agent. Agents earn additional good-

will through community involvement such as board memberships and sponsorships. The key implication is that

the agent is the “public face” of the company, and plays a positive, measurable role in the customer experience. The engaged, high-performing agent

Research results from the employee engagement sur-

vey and employee performance standards showed that the customers’ rating of the agent is closely associated with

the performance of the agent. The study found that the agents in the top quartile

in terms of both engagement and customer satisfaction had significantly higher levels of account growth and

customer retention. In other words, when an employee had

a strong relationship with the

company, and the customer

similarly had a strong rela-

rewards, career devel-

benefits, and improved

compensation. Interestingly, a Mintel Comperemedia online

survey of 275 insurance



When an employee had a strong relationship with the company, and the customer similarly had a strong relationship with the employee, the organization realized the greatest performance results

that a majority of

agents (63 percent) prefer web-based sales and product training that allow them to learn in their offices while

continuing to serve customers and build their businesses. This suggests that insurers should recognize the prefer-

ence and provide agents with support and incentives that simplify their efforts, rather than distracting them from their core goals.

It also suggests that all companies should look for

Companies that truly care about their employees and customers and constantly change their products and services to meet changing consumer needs will succeed at the expense of companies that are purely sales driven. This represents a true peoplefirst approach to business.

tionship with the employee,

creative and sensible ways to




an effort to enhance the joint






care about their employees

and customers and constantly change their products and

services to meet changing consumer needs will

the organization realized the greatest performance results.

succeed at the expense of companies that are purely sales

the best performance is achieved by both having highly

business. CCN

This represents a very large effect and underscores that engaged employees and satisfied customers. It also shows

driven. This represents a true people-first approach to

that focusing on employee engagement is not enough.

The Forum for People Performance Management and

employee engagement is paired with a high-quality cus-

Marketing Communications (IMC) graduate program at

Performance improves the most when a high level of tomer experience.

What it means for business and steps for improvement

A key conclusion of the insurance study, as it applies

build relationships with individual employees more than

a corporate brand. This suggests that when a company has

Northwestern University. A central objective of the Forum is

to develop and disseminate knowledge about communications,

motivation and management so that businesses can better design, implement and manage employee engagement both inside and

outside an organization. To view the full text of the research

Spring 2011

to other service-oriented businesses, is that customers

Measurement is a research center within the Medill Integrated

paper, please visit the Forum website at Contact the Forum at 630-369-7780.


Servant Leadership Kissing Up and Kicking Down Are Not Allowed The following is excerpted from the recently published book,

The Communicators: Leadership in the Age of Crisis by Richard S. Levick and Charles Slack.

Spring 2011


ment of all vital stakeholders.

“Servant leadership,” espoused by executives such

y the time a crisis occurs, it’s too late to ask

as James H. Blanchard, former chairman and CEO

in your mission. They either do or they don’t

Georgia, is a holistic strategy for doing just that. Some

your employees and customers to start believing

— and whether they do or don’t may well determine your chances for survival. Companies are thus well-advised to use


their peacetimes wisely to fortify the confidence and commit-

of Synovus, a major bank holding company based in

15 years before the current financial crisis erupted, Blanchard sent a clear warning to every supervisor in the

Customer Care News

are gone.

Regardless of whether a manager was generating the

best numbers in the company or barely scraping by, Synovus would no longer tolerate their saying all the right things to

superiors only to return to their own departments and berate or abuse the staff.

“We call that saluting the flag and kicking the dog,”

Blanchard says. “We decided that people who were inclined to supervise like that just didn’t have a place in our company.”

Blanchard put his own credibility and reputation on

the line by making this announcement, not behind closed

doors at an executive retreat, but before the entire company. “I remember standing up and saying, ‘if we don’t fulfill that

commitment to you as team members, you have no reason to believe anything I ever tell you.’”

Thus began the company’s formal experiment with ser-

vant leadership, a concept developed more than 40 years ago

by philosopher Robert K. Greenleaf, who stressed that positions of authority carry obligations rather than entitlements.

Servant leadership defines the supervisory mission in

terms of helping subordinates succeed and achieve through appreciation and reinforcement, not intimidation. Instead

of focusing exclusively on correcting weaknesses (a losing proposition, in Blanchard’s view), leadership training courses

encourage supervisors to recognize and build on the strengths of their people.

At the CEO level, servant leadership is defined by the

in the top 20 of ABA


Banking “Top

Performers” and earned a spot on Fortune’s


“Best Companies to







retired in 2006 as

Photo courtesy of Richard S. Levick, Esq.

company: treat your workers with respect and dignity or you


but remains on the



received a num-

ber of prominent

leadership awards. “If




leadership as just

Richard S. Levick, Esq.

another management style to get

more out of folks, it won’t wash,” he says. “But if you’re doing

it because you think it’s the right thing to do, it’s a win-win. People give more of themselves for the good of the organiza-

tion. Your productivity increases, and your customer satisfaction increases.”

Nobody, least of all James Blanchard, believes that servant

“attitude that ‘I am here at the pleasure of the board, I am

leadership or any other management philosophy by itself

ers, customers, and employees,’” Blanchard says. “‘I’m a

companies focused on short-term returns versus long-term

here to respond to my constituents and benefit shareholdcustodian.’”

In the months following Blanchard’s announcement,

many supervisors, including some highly intelligent and

could have prevented the current economic crisis. But it’s the principles and goals that pay the highest penalty when the economy goes bad. In



successful performers, balked at the new regime. Some left

where public opin-

of employees and supervisors who remained is committed to

broken by a single

Synovus voluntarily; others were shown the door. The core principles that have become a guiding force at Synovus.

Synovus is not a self-realization workshop. It is a mul-

tibillion dollar business. It has serious fiscal responsibilities and it meets those responsibilities. “We demand a lot, and we

expect a lot from our employees, and we require excellence,” Blanchard says. “What we’re really saying is the old command and control type of supervision is not wanted here.”

ion can be made or event or statement

going viral in the

Servant leadership defines the supervisory mission in terms of helping subordinates succeed and achieve through appreciation and reinforcement, not intimidation.

social media, arrogant, self-entitled managers put the very principles of capitalism and freedom on trial. Blanchard, for one, believes the tenets of servant leadership may be our best hope to right that course.

Many other leaders who have never heard the term

“servant leadership” have already incorporated its philosophy

magazine’s “Top 100 Banks.” A year earlier, Synovus ranked

sible crises along the way. To be sure, the implications of

ness. In 2008, Synovus was ranked number 15 on U.S. Banker

Spring 2011

As it turns out, what’s good for people is good for busi-

in dealing with employees and customers, and averted pos-


servant leadership extend well beyond internal management

and speak to the ethics with which companies treat their markets.

For example, when Toro a few years back learned that

some older model ride-on lawnmowers might be subject to rolling over, then-CEO Ken Melrose directed the company to install expensive rollover protection systems free to any-

one who owned one of those models, regardless of how long they’d owned it or from whom they bought it.

“Wall Street was unhappy,” Melrose told MBA students

Photo courtesy of Richard S. Levick, Esq.

in a 2006 speech at Bethel University. But “we were doing

the right thing.” While the motive was humanitarian, it’s not

hard to understand that the cost of those systems is minimal in comparison with the potential damage that could be caused

when a consumer is tragically injured and a company appears not to care.

Melrose also began using servant leadership as Blanchard

did: internally, to remake the corporate culture. He began to act, and act dynamically, from the moment he took over Toro

as an ailing (many said dying) company in the early 1980s. His first cost-cutting acts were to eliminate management perks such as company jets and big bonuses. Such actions sent

a clear message: I am here to serve the company. So armed, Melrose was also better able to make the necessary job and

where we are today.”

“I think very few executives, as a percentage of the total,

have abused the privileges of the offices that they’ve held,”

It’s debatable

tions] have smudged everyone. The truth is that CEOs have

To be sure, the implications of servant leadership extend well beyond internal management and speak to the ethics with which companies treat their markets.







adds Blanchard. “The very few but very prominent [excepbeen so demonized that it will take years to recover.”

Whether you call it servant leadership or just good busi-

current corporate

ness practice, a population of CEOs with more servants and

reflects the views

“That kind of sensibility can restore reputations that have

leaders in the U.S. and strategies of a

James Blanchard and a Ken Melrose, or how many of them are just less flamboyant versions of Bernie Ebbers — less

flamboyant, but comparably appetitive, self-interested, and

fewer commanders may be our best hope, Blanchard believes. been damaged so badly in the last few years. I think that’s

good for the country. I know it’s good for the free enterprise system.” CCN

dangerous. The fraud Ebbers perpetrated led to a spectacular

Richard S. Levick, Esq., is the president and CEO of Levick

and its shareholders billions, and resulted in what was then

munications firm. He is the co-author of The Communicators:

corporate collapse in 2002 that ultimately cost WorldCom the largest bankruptcy in American history (along with a 25-year jail sentence for Ebbers).

“Every time we go through a crisis that involves fraud

or malfeasance, it not only damages the people and the companies involved, but the entire system that has made us

the greatest, most affluent nation on the face of the earth,”

Spring 2011

enterprise system, it takes a chink out of the armor. And that’s

budget cuts to return Toro to profitability, without alienating rank and file employees.

Blanchard says. “Everything is fragile. When fire touches

wood, it burns. When corruption and deceit touch the free


Richard S. Levick, Esq.,

Strategic Communications, a crisis and public affairs com-

Leadership in the Age of Crisis and Stop the Presses: The Crisis & Litigation PR Desk Reference, and writes for www. Levick was honored in two consecutive

years (2009-2010) on the prestigious list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the Boardroom” by the NACD and Directorship magazine. Levick Strategic Communications is based in Washington, D.C. and can be reached at 202-9731300 or at

Customer Care News

Extreme Executive Education World-class programs where executives can grow and strengthen their knowledge base and skill set

Photo courtesy of Stanford Graduate School of Business

by Anne Seebaldt

Vidalakis Dining Room at Schwab Residential Center at Stanford doubles as a classroom for out-of-the-box assignments in which participants roll up their sleeves and work in teams. Schwab annually houses more than 200 full-time students—primarily first-year MBAs. In summer, it exclusively houses Executive Education participants.


hether they’re located in the north, south,

their companies drive corporate performance and sustain strategic

ness graduate schools are offering extreme

HBS’ Executive Education Program includes a wide variety

east or west, some of the country’s best busi-

advantage — even in an uncertain global economy.…”

executive education these days. The following article highlights

of leadership and management courses, incorporating vital topics

the top in Business Insider’s exclusive listing of the top full-time

ing, customer relations and employee relations. Relevant customer

the executive education offerings of 15 schools ranked among MBA programs in the world (excluding those not located in the United States).

Harvard Business School

An acknowledged leader in business, Harvard Business School’s

(HBS) Executive Education Program includes the Program for

Leadership Development, the General Management Program and

the Advanced Management Program. David B. Yoffie, senior associ-

such as dealing with global markets, media management/marketcare courses currently being offered, according to Charlie Breckling, managing director, marketing, executive education, HBS, include “Building and Leading Customer-Centric Organizations” (sched-

uled to take place at the HBS campus in May 2011; it is also offered in Europe the following year). Another key program, offered on

campus this April, is “Achieving Breakthrough Service Driving Performance and Profitability.”

According to Yoffie’s written message, the program utilizes

ate dean, chair, executive education at Harvard Business School,

social media programs such as LinkedIn to allow executives who

Education Message: “From our main campus in Boston to our many

readily share what they learned from their experiences. Breckling

had this to say about the program in his written HBS Executive

venues around the world, we offer more than 60 open-enrollment programs designed to meet today’s global challenges…. Each inten-

sive offering is designed to develop visionary leaders who can help

have taken part in the program to not only keep in touch, but to also

said Harvard carefully studied social media networks before dipping its collective toe into the water in 2009. Today, he added, “We have a pretty broad social network.”

The key is giving those on their social media networks “informa-

tion they can use. Across all of our social media programs, what we’re

trying to do is to add value,” Breckling said. He acknowledged that

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business

two groups on LinkedIn. The first group, open by invitation only, is

School of Business Executive Education Center, “Leadership is a

between 11,000 and 12,000, said Breckling. “We provide them with

Titles include Positive Leadership: Leading Positive Change, the

designed for alumni and past participant groups; the numbers total keep them engaged as part of the community and to

allow them to network with each other,” he added. The “friends of ”

According to the website for The University of Michigan Ross

popular category of programs offered by Ross Executive Education. Emerging Leaders Program and Management of Managers.”

Melanie Weaver Barnett, chief executive of executive education

group, on the other hand, is open to anyone. Very similar to an alumni

for The University of Michigan Ross School of Business, said the

Harvard takes a more casual approach to what it places on

“I think all of the schools teach concepts and frameworks and best

group, it tends to provide more program information.

Facebook, and with more than 11,000 “likes” on its Facebook page, that aspect of its social media campaign continues

growing. Additionally, Harvard is making use of other Internet

outlets, including YouTube and Twitter. Video testimonials of participant experiences as well as “faculty-taught leadership” grace

YouTube — the total being somewhere between 50 and 60 videos

university sets its program apart from the rest by its methodology. practices and so on,” explained Barnett. “What we do differently at

Ross is a methodology we use called ‘action learning.’ It is really dif-

ficult to do it well, and we do it exceptionally well, because we’ve done more of it than any other school…. The topics may be similar. The differences are in the methodologies and outcome.”

Students come from all over the world for the school’s open-

and growing — with more than 21,000 views. Harvard’s Twitter

enrollment pro-

and programs as well as selected retweets of those who tweet about

could last from

page has approximately 4,000 followers and features links to articles Harvard’s programs.

Breckling is encouraged by Harvard’s exploration of social media.

“It’s a great way to engage with people, and people have been very responsive.”



one to four weeks. For


programs, it might be several months to a year-long experience, but students don’t meet every day.

Regardless of the type of executive education program selected

Stanford Graduate School of Business

at Ross, the advantages participants gain include “better judgment

Stanford Graduate School of Business, had to give only one reason to

action learning process, they gain not just capabilities to get things

If Priya Singh, assistant dean, office of executive education,

choose Stanford for executive education, it would be simple. The big-

gest reason to come to Stanford is because of the people who teach there. “Program participants have a chance to interact with some of the world’s most influential faculty,” Singh said.

Stanford offers numerous one-week programs designed for exec-

utives, Singh said. “Most of our programs cater to higher-level man-

and thinking skills, greater capability to innovate, and, because of the done, but they get them done as part of the learning experience,” Barnett added. “We enable meaningful change in organizations.”

The school’s executive programs are also offered in Asia, includ-

ing an executive education office in Hong Kong that features a “whole slate of programs,” and a sales office in Pune, India.

“We’ve completed at the Ross school over 2,000 ‘action learn-

agement roles and senior-level leadership,” she explained. “Executive

ing’ projects in companies and nonprofit organizations around the

Singh added that “[Stanford’s] open-enrollment program port-

leadership, management and strategic human resource manage-

education programs are open to the general world of executives.”

folio is designed to equip senior executives with what we think they need — tools, networking relationships, etc. — which allows them

to perform at the highest levels in their management roles…,” said Singh. “All of the Stanford executive [education] programs really prepare managers or leaders with the skills they need to positively

Spring 2011

find the right courses.

“content is kind in social media” and that Harvard’s graduate school publishing division makes a “great content partnership.” Harvard has

world…,” said Barnett. “We excel at teaching and learning around

ment. We do this in both customized and open-enrollment program settings.”

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Advanced Management Program, Executive Development

reshape their organizations.”

Program and Corporate Governance: Best Practices for Directors

rates an interactive program finder

the Aresty Institute of Executive Education, part of The Wharton

The school’s website incorpo-


(searchable by subject areas or management level) to make it easy to

are among the featured executive education programs listed for

Customer Care News

School of the University of Pennsylvania. The institute incorporates

Columbia Business School

strategy and leadership as well as programs that offer both customized

offers a number of open-enrollment courses in New York City. It’s

“We have programs geared toward senior leaders who scan the

ness needing continuing education. From the school’s website you can

individualized programs addressing various areas of management/ solutions and industry practices for businesses.

horizon for threats and opportunities,” states a welcome letter on the institute’s website from Jason Wingard, Ph.D., vice dean, executive education and adjunct professor of management. “We also cater to

middle managers who are moving into a broader management role for the first time. When you come here, you have the opportunity to work on your business challenges with the most published business school

The Columbia Business School Executive Education program

easy to find a course that suits the needs of you or anyone in your busisearch by date, program level, topic or title. One interesting program

offered from a customer-service perspective is Customer Centricity; it is taught in May and October on Columbia University’s New York

City campus. Custom programs are also available and are designed to help companies deal with challenges within their organizations.

faculty in the world.”

Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

MIT Sloan School of Management

offers jointly sponsored programs with numerous academic and busi-

program with a wide variety of open-enrollment choices for the busy

user-friendly program finder feature. It also offers custom programs

MIT Sloan School of Management offers an executive education

executive, who can take classes that last only two days or focus on

one of several executive certificates covering a range of management topics.

According to the school’s website, executives can “choose from

over 20 programs led by internationally renowned experts from MIT

Sloan School of Management and other MIT schools and research centers. Our-open enrollment programs are offered in three areas of

concentration, which address the business needs and goals of execu-

tives worldwide: Strategy and Innovation; Technology, Operations and Value Chain Management; and Management and Leadership.”

The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University

ness institutions around the world. The school’s website features a

for smaller as well as large companies; in addition, custom programs

can be designed to meet the diverse needs of government agencies and industry associations alike. The Executive Scholars Program helps to

bring focus to executive studies by allowing students to earn certificates

in six key areas: financial management, general management, leadership and management, marketing and sales management, nonprofit management, and technology and operations. Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth features the same faculty

Degrees are also available through the MIT Sloan Fellows

members who teach the university’s MBA program. One of the key

MBA, a recent addition to the school’s programs. An interactive plan-

(TEP), a three-week, advanced management program; other programs

Program in Innovation & Global Leadership or the MIT Executive ning guide and planning calendar simplify getting information about available programs.

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

The University of Chicago Booth School of Business offers sev-

eral areas of executive education study: finance, general management,

open programs Tuck offers executives is the Tuck Executive Program

focus on leadership and strategy. Custom engagement programs, which feature a client-focused approach, are offered to help companies achieve goals and make stronger organizations. Yale School of Management

The Yale School of Management’s unique offerings in the world of

leadership/organizational behavior, marketing and sales, and strategy as

executive education include The Chief Executive Leadership Institute

offered in London, England, in the heart of the city’s financial district.

mingle to discuss real-life global business challenges. According to the

well as custom learning initiatives for your business. Coursework is also The theory behind these custom learning initiatives is spelled out

on the school’s web page: “The success of an enterprise requires effective use of human capital — the sum of the knowledge, attitude, and

competencies of people in an organization — and social capital, the

value of managers’ relationships within and beyond a firm. Our custom

learning initiatives help your staff understand both assets and leverage to which leadership generates commitment and mobilizes the creative energies of the workforce to achieve common goals.”

school’s website, the program is “The world’s first school for current

CEOs featuring applied research and peer-driven learning through

lively exchanges among the world’s top business leaders, influential

public policy officials, media opinion leaders, as well as the world’s foremost scholarly thought leaders, employing candid, confidential discussions of actual current global business leadership challenges and compelling societal concerns.”

Spring 2011

them to maximize your company’s organizational capital — the extent

(CELI). This program features special events at which top executives

Yale CEO College is designed for a smaller group of corporate

officers (12 to 15 on average), and is geared toward executives report-


ing to the CEO or top management team. You need not apply as this

brief, hands-on “college” is by invitation only. All attendees have either an MBA degree or equivalent experience.

New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Delhi, London, St. Petersburg and Shanghai.

Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management

Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management offers vari-

At New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business,

ous options and campuses where people can earn an MBA degree. One

school part-time every other Friday and Saturday. The course takes 22

it) combines a small number of intensive on-campus residences with

experienced executives can earn an Executive MBA degree by going to months to complete, and almost half the students in this program have already earned advanced degrees.

The University of California-Berkeley Haas School of

Business offers a variety of executive education courses in several

key areas, including leadership, sustainability, biotechnology, and management and strategy. By completing 17 program days (which can be a mixture of custom and open-enrollment

courses) satisfactorily in three years or less, students can earn an Executive Certificate of Excellence. From the school’s website, you

can search programs by either level of management or topic to find the best fit.

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business offers prospective

students a number of executive education options, including the Advanced Management Program (AMP), the Duke Leadership

Program, the Dynamic Management program, and the Duke MBA— Weekend Executive program as well as custom education opportuni-

ties in conjunction with Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE).

Harvard Business School Office of Executive Education, Stanford Graduate School of Business University of Michigan Ross School of Business Executive Education Center The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Aresty Institute of Executive Education MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Sloan Executive Education The University of Chicago Booth School of Business Columbia Business School Executive Education

a set of reading and written assignments done between the residences

and submitted electronically. “Call it learning at a distance, rather

Executive Education Programs, in an article on the program’s website, Learning at a Distance. Lynch further states in the article: “We believe

it brings together the best executive MBA training, organized around case analyses and class discussion, and the enhancements offered by distance learning technology and the Internet. The potential — and

actual — student audience is, quite literally, a worldwide one. As, these days, it needs to be.”

University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business offers a

month-long program this summer, The Executive Program, which

Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business

Executive Education Links

of the more innovative choices (and Purdue was one of the first to offer

than distance learning,” said Jerry Lynch, academic director, Krannert

University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business

Spring 2011

Duke also offers programs outside the United States in Dubai, New

is designed to aid senior managers in increasing their expertise across

various business disciplines. The university also offers open-enrollment programs in several areas, including growth and leadership as well

as both general and advanced management. Students may also earn their choice of certificates in Management and Leadership as well as a

Distinguished Certificate in General Management or choose a custom program. CCN

Kellogg Executive Education Kellogg School of Management Northwestern University Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth Yale School of Management Executive Education New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business Duke University Fuqua School of Business Purdue University Krannert School of Management University of Virginia Darden School of Business


Customer Care News

Business Team Development

Spring 2011

Good Teams Don’t Just Happen


verything in the workplace involves teams, formal or informal. We have grown accustomed to this structure and most of us believe we know very well

how to get work done in a team environment. But do we?


Customer Care News

Formal teams are established for multiple reasons.

Sometimes it is because one person alone cannot complete the amount of work to be done. Often, the task at hand

requires expertise from cross disciplines. Or maybe the responsibility for the end product is shared across depart-

ments and organizations and all must have input into the way the work is to be done. Informal teams, on the other

Photo courtesy of Eugene Greenstein, Ph.D.

hand, most often evolve out of necessity. “I can’t get this done alone.” This may still include all the same reasons for

creating the formal team: too big to complete, need varying

expertise, joint responsibility for the outcome. However, informal teams tend to be more flexible, more productive, and develop and disband, based on the work to be done, not

going on forever to become an organizational burden in and of themselves.

Now consider some widely accepted keys to an effective


Eugene Greenstein, Ph.D.

• A clear purpose

• Skills and expertise needed for the task at hand • Structure

o Defined roles and responsibilities

o Processes

o Communications

• Individuals who know how to work as members of a team

If the above keys are true for both formal and informal

teams, why are informal teams often more effective than

the formal ones? Because the informal teams have a clear primary driver, with all the other “keys” subordinated to

that driver. And that is the clear purpose, coupled with a

motivated champion and motivated team members. “I can’t

accomplish the clear purpose alone. I don’t have all the

skills and expertise needed to accomplish the clear purpose.” These kinds of teams are very good on continuous improve-

ment projects. As projects increase in size and scope, how-

leader to impress, as may be seen in a formal, managementspawned team.

Just as with a baseball team, each team member needs to

know his or her position and how to play it well. Everyone

needs to know who the team captain or leader is, as well as who is responsible for what. If the first baseman decides he

is going to be the pitcher or the pitcher is going to be count-

ed on to hit a home run, the game is not going to be won. To have a successful team, competent people with

known roles and responsibilities are

needed, especially as the size of the

Just as with a baseball team, each team member needs to know his or her position and how to play it well. Everyone needs to know who the team captain or leader is, as well as who is responsible for what.

team increases.

How will the team get things done? Well, there have to

ever, formal teams are required.

be rules for how the game is going to be played. Those rules

evolves based on the skills and expertise required, com-

processes are the standards for the moment until a better

With that critical need in mind, an informal team

bined with choosing team members who have self-selected or who are willing to be on the team and who most likely

have demonstrated in the past that they are “team capable.” Team-capable members will know the benefit of and

have the ability to implement defined roles and responsi-

seeing the success of the team and achievement of the clear purpose as shared success, not struggling to grab control as

process or standard is defined. If you don’t have a stable

process you won’t know if a change you made to it results in an improvement or is just a random event, so it is important

that you establish stability. Things can be changed if it can be shown there is a better way of doing it, which is where the

standards come into play. Having these standards allows us

Spring 2011

bilities within the team. They will function well in any role,

are the processes we define for how things get done. These

to determine whether or not our creative idea is better, and if it is, we can adopt it. Thus we need data to make decisions.


We can’t forget about communication. How many

It ’s always important to ask, “is this what you mean” and

only to find out we

The ultimate purpose for any work done in an orga-

times have we thought we communicated effectively

The ultimate purpose for any work done in an organization should be clearly tied to creating value for the customer, just as any clear purpose for a team must be articulated in terms of its contribution to creating value for the customer.


nization should be clearly tied to creating value for the

it can be very com-

articulated in terms of its contribution to creating value



sounds so simple, but plex. How many of us have gotten into e-mail



someone we don’t

know or don’t know

for the customer. To that end, it is critically important for

individual employees to understand what creates value and how they and their work contribute to creating value for the customer. Along



intent. Those assumptions or perceptions become our

member attributes

reality, even though they may be completely wrong. We infer based on what facts we know about the other person

and end up walking up the ladder of inference. What if our assumptions are wrong? We need to check our assumptions before we take them as reality. One might be surprised and find

Important attributes evident in members of effective teams:

that the other

• The understanding of a clear purpose

that purpose is linked to creating value for the customer

tise that can be contributed to a team effort (it is important that this individual is confident in his/her competence, allowing him/ her to freely share ideas)

what it takes to be a good team member and the ability to apply that knowledge



structure, including defined roles

and responsibili-

ties, good communication, and well-defined processes to have a successful team.

How, then, can we intentionally develop employ-

practice. Create a practice field for individuals to come






this, it is imporlish

bond team by






members building

Having meetings

to get to know

people, or even going



they informal or formal, to get the job done? Let them

together and experience a situation where they have a task and no clear, pre-ordained structure for how to get

it done. In both formal and informal teams people need to learn how to work together, establish processes where

required and create open communications to get the job done right. People need to take responsibility for specific

tasks and not assume the job will just get done. If the team is effective it does not depend on the leader/boss to make all the decisions. The bigger team becomes a bunch of little teams working together based on clear objectives, which they can define for themselves to work a given task.

This practice field is created through experiential

lunch or a sport-

learning. Apprenticeship and trial by fire have long been

them can do this.

that simulates a situation where a team needs to form to

ing event with

Good communi• A personal knowledge of



relationships. • An individual skill or exper-


ees and the organization to create effective teams, be

a set of wrong

tant • The understanding of how


these strong team




Spring 2011

customer, just as any clear purpose for a team must be

well? Why does that happen? It happens, in large part, because we make assumptions about the other person’s

cation is necessar y for teams

trusted and effective means of teaching. A practice field survive provides much-needed learning opportunities and does so risk free. CCN

to work well so

Eugene Greenstein, Ph.D., is an associate of Pendaran, Inc.,

walk up the lad-

experiential learning for teams and organizations as a whole can

that people don’t

der of inference.


repeat back what you heard in a non-defensive manner.

based in Ann Arbor, Mich. Additional thoughts on the value of be found at the organization’s website

Customer Care News

The Ethernet Connection: Motivating Virtual Teams down the hall to her home office, reviews her e-mail over coffee, checks in with her team via

instant messaging and accesses her employer’s online man-

agement systems to ensure her group’s operational and


Spring 2011


iz wakes up very early in the morning, walks

financial resources are on track. Although Liz’s routine is most

motivate her team (located in three different cities across the

reality is that the majority of her peers share at least some of

physical distance from the corporate infrastructure.

likely the pinnacle of a “virtual” work environment, today’s the virtual elements of her day-to-day experience.

world) to provide outstanding customer care in spite of their Luckily, Liz is ever-vigilant against knowledge compla-

This is a very different scenario from 25 years ago when

cency. She has discovered and uses several tools that may be

building, greeted the team,

are the result of research and analysis by respected human

the average customer service manager commuted to an office

. According to the National Training Laboratories, learners who engage with games as part of their educational process retain 75 percent of the knowledge they acquire.

gave them a morning pep talk and then sent them

totally unknown to many of her managerial peers. These tools resource authorities and include:

on their way to happily

Low Virtual Distance

greeted customers in per-

Sobel Lojeskii, Liz knows that distance is much more than

work side-by-side as they

First, based on the research she has read from Dr. Karen

son or, at the very least, by

the blocks and oceans that separate her team. In fact, Lojeski’s

retreated to a small office where he/she sat at a large wooden

distance, it is not totally responsible for creating it. Operational

phone. The manager then

studies show that while physical distance can influence virtual

desk and spent a good part of the day manually flipping

distance (the ability to communicate face-to-face and use vir-

employees got paid.

relationship and social distance) often have a greater impact

through status reports and signing checks to ensure his or her Interestingly, as a manager of people, Liz’s world is heav-

ily comprised of a set of carefully orchestrated technological interactions — from the money she uses, to the customers

she greets, to the teams she manages. Yet with technological complexities constantly on the rise and online relationship management tools struggling to keep up, Liz still faces one

problem common to all managers past and present: how to

tual communication tools, etc.) and Affinity distance (cultural, on team success than physical distance alone. Liz knows that

ensuring her team functions in a “low virtual distance” environment means that her effectiveness as a leader grows by 30 per-

cent, her team’s satisfaction jumps by 80 percent and her team’s project success rates (including customer satisfaction) increase by 50 percent over high virtual distance environments. Liz got a jump start on creating a low virtual distance environment by

The Performance Improvement by Incentives (PIBI) model is comprised of eight important events including: 1. Assessing the differences between the company’s goals and employee performance;

how the rewards are distinguished from compensation or (for resellers) pricing issues and the fairness with which awards get

2. Selecting the most appropriate program (most


often a quota-based program); 6. Providing incentive awards should have a 3. Ensuring the program boosts the value people assign to work goals by providing rewards,

positive impact on emotion and organizational spirit;

communication and support; 7. Measuring motivational outcomes; and 4. Training to make sure people do the right things that contribute to success;

8. Analyzing the program against the performance objectives and costs, with

Spring 2011

5. Supporting the program through careful attention to the ways rewards are given,


information recycled in order to adjust future programs.

Customer Care News

was found in the research, helped her team achieve a 44 percent increase in performanceii. Games

Last but not least, and much to the

chagrin of some of her cohorts, Liz is an avid advocate of bringing the experience of the games that all of us enjoyed

as children into the modern workplace. She is astutely aware that, regardless of the far-flung locales of her team, there is

a common, fundamental human enjoy-

ment of games. The primary reason is

that our brains seek the mental hook, clear goals, immediate feedback and

Photo courtesy of Melissa Van DYke

instant rewards that a good game offers.

Melissa Van Dyke, President Incentive Research Foundation

ensuring she budgeted for at least one face-to-face meeting a

According to the National Training Laboratories, learners who engage with

games as part of their educational process retain 75 percent of the knowledge

they acquireiii. This is why her team’s

incentive system maintains a game-like

point scoreboard, why her online training module is set up as a vignette-based game and why her team’s annual face-to-

face meeting involves several games that benefit the hosting community.

Like all managers, Liz faces a myriad

year, created small teams, ensured every employee had excep-

of challenges when trying to motivate her team to higher lev-

and laid out a clear, common vision for the team — a vision for

only increases with the entrance of changing technologies,

tional technological understanding of virtual networking tools which she consistently seeks her team’s input. Team Incentives

Second, as part of creating a common, shared purpose for

her team, Liz implemented a very succinct incentive plan using a common incentive platform that all employees can access

els of customer satisfaction. The velocity of these challenges

cultures and locations. By using a mixture of virtual distance, team incentives and gaming techniques, Liz stands a greater chance of creating a highly engaging environment for her employees — and ultimately her customers. CCN

regardless of their location. The platform allows all employees

Melissa Van Dyke is the president of the

and to learn about the most recent customer service initiatives.

reached via phone at 314-473-5601 or via

to receive instant feedback on where they and their team rank

Based on work done by the Incentive Research Foundation, she made sure that the program was at least a year long, that it set challenging, but achievable, quota-based goals and that

followed the eight basic steps laid out in the Performance

Improvement by Incentives (PIBI) model and, similar to what

e-mail at i


When Distance Matters. Karen Sobel Lojeski, Ph.D.

Incentives, Motivation and Workplace Performance: Research

and Best Practices iii

Spring 2011

is was in harmony with broader organizational goals. She

Incentive Research Foundation. IRF can be

Companies use team-based business games to increase



Photo courtesy of Professor Linda A. Hill

Spring 2011

Professor Linda A. Hill


Customer Care News

Being the Boss


n the following excerpt, taken from the arti-

cle “Being the Boss” in HBS Working Knowledge, senior editor Carmen Nobel incorporates an inter-

view with Harvard Business School Professor Linda A.

Hill, who coauthored Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader with Kent Lineback. Carmen Nobel: Your book discusses three imperatives for

Q: You include a chapter called “Don’t Forget Your Boss.”

network, and managing your team. What are some of the

with their bosses. What do they need to keep in mind?

becoming a great leader: managing yourself, managing your issues inherent in each of them?

Linda Hill: It starts with using yourself as an instrument to get things done. And because you’re the instrument, you’ve

got to know that instrument very well and use it appropriately, so that your imprint matches your impact. We talk a

lot about what it really means to be the boss. For instance,

Managers often fail to realize their role in their relationships

A: It’s common to let the person up the chain be most responsible for whether you have a healthy relationship, but you’re equally responsible. If you don’t manage that relation-

ship right, your team is not going to be able to do what it needs to do.

Powerlessness corrupts as much as power. You shouldn’t

although you do have formal authority, you don’t want to

feel powerless with your boss. That’s not the deal. You have

Managing your network is in the middle of the book,

the boss. You also have to see the boss as human and fallible

have to rely on that too much to get things done.

before the section on managing your team. That kind of throws some people because when you think about being the boss, you mostly think about the people who report to

you. But unless you manage the context in which your team resides, there’s no way that your team can be successful. So

you have to understand the political dynamics, you have to

understand how to build a network with peers and bosses, and you have to set the right expectations for your team and the right resources. We really think that’s at the heart.

The last piece is your team. That’s about all the com-

plexities of what it means to build a team—a team is different

to figure out the sources of power you have to influence in all the ways that you’re human and fallible, and figure out

how to deal with the reality of who that person is—rather than the ideal of what you’d like that person to be like. There

are really bad bosses, and you can’t be naive or cynical about this. It’s hard to be successful with a bad boss, and some-

times success means figuring out how to get out of that situation. But before you decide that’s the deal, you need to

take responsibility for the relationship, because it’s definitely two-way.… To





visit: CCN

the future—that managing isn’t all about today, it’s also about

This excerpt from “Being the Boss” was reprinted with

performance of individuals. We also talk about preparing for managing your team for tomorrow.

Spring 2011

from just a group—and how you think about managing the

permission from HBS Working Knowledge.


TALK of the TOWN Talk of the Town News Awards Online Ratings Review for Companies Across America

The Talk of the Town News, Celebration Media and Customer Care News are proud to present the most unique concept in online user-review ratings.

Post Results

ofof the the

New w Yorrk

We began by establishing online ratings to track customer satisfaction beginning in 2009, and have researched ratings for more than 300,000 companies since that time. Our team of researchers samples the most highly respected, no-cost, online user-review websites to measure customer satisfaction. We compile the data and create an outcome study that reflects the online feedback found. Then we post results for all the companies with a 4-star or better rating at no charge on our website As a business with leaders that have reviewed and published case studies on the most desirable companies in America, we found this to be extremely helpful and created a measurement tool using this customer-generated feedback.

Award d Ca ateg gory: Resttaura ants

Excellence in Customer Satisfaction As Ratted by Custom merss On nline


presented by

Celebration Media U.S. RESTAURANTS and

Talk of the Town News w w w . T all k o f t h e T o w n N e w s .c com


Get Your Score

Be sure to visit the website and review your rating score. If you want more information, contact us at

Talk of the Town News

32000 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 128 Farmington Hills, MI 48334

CustomerCare News

Customer Care News - Spring 2011  

Emerging strategies to improve customer and employee satisfaction

Customer Care News - Spring 2011  

Emerging strategies to improve customer and employee satisfaction