Two More Questions

A week ago I promised I’d be answering questions from students at Baker University who had read my book as part of their coursework. Unfortunately, I’ve been pretty busy since then, so I apologize for the delay.

Today I’d like to address two related questions that came from two separate students.

The first question (or set of questions) is: “When writing this book, did you have to narrow down to seven steps? Did you have more in mind? Since you’ve written your book, would you add another level?”

I’ve thought about this a lot since I received the list of questions. I think the answer is “no.” I think the framework of “seven steps to the power of mobility” is pretty comprehensive. There are steps that I wish I could’ve spent more time developing within the book. (There were a couple of places where I basically had to say “this topic could fill an entire book” and pointed the reader towards some of the books on the topic.) There are also, not surprisingly, some areas where either my own understanding of the topic has improved, or technology itself is advancing, and I would write those sections differently today. But all of those potential improvements are within the seven steps I laid out. So, no I didn’t have to narrow down the list to seven steps and, in hindsight, I wouldn’t add an eighth step now.

The related second question is “Which step in the seven do think is most often overlooked by companies?”

This question is very easy to answer. The seventh step is “learn from your customers.” As I say in the book “unfortunately, listening to customers is a skill that does not come naturally to most of us. Really listening and really learning from your customers will require intense focus and likely will require significant change in your business.” I’ve worked for a bunch of companies throughout my career. Listening to customers wasn’t natural for any of them. Some have tried harder than others, but that doesn’t make it easy.

The amazing thing is, as consumers, we have a very strong awareness of how important this is to us. We know how frustrating it is when companies don’t listen to us. And we know how rewarding it is when companies do.

So, there’s no doubt in my mind that the seventh step is the one that is hardest for companies and that is the most overlooked. It may also be the one that is most important. Are you listening?

One Response to “Two More Questions”

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