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Contact Center Fulfillment, Chicken Sandwiches, Mindsets & Monkeys

contact center fulfillment is not monkey businessIn our blog last week we mentioned our Quarterly Quality Forum.  Here we go again.  Part of our QQF includes case study of companies that we admire.  Chick Fil-A was our most recently featured QQF company in part because their leadership has such fantastic vision and crystal clear insights about how to run a great company.  Dan Cathy is Chick Fil-A’s CEO and “SOB” (son of the boss).  His father S. Truett Cathy founded the company over 40 years ago.  They sell a ton of really yummy chicken sandwiches ($4 Billion) and have been profitable every year since their founding.  Dan Cathy asserts something that our management team really latched on to in our QQF:

"If we have to keep telling people what to do, it means we're not modeling the behavior ourselves and if we're living it every day, we don't need to talk about it”

What a profound simple truth.  Keller and Love for Harvard Business Review recently blogged about modeling and modifying behavior.  It’s all about mindsets. In their article Keller and Love use the story of four monkeys…

Four monkeys are sitting in a cage with a bunch of bananas hanging from the roof, accessible by a set of steps. Whenever the monkeys try to climb the steps to get to the bananas, they are blocked by a blast of cold water. After a few days, the monkeys give up. Researchers then remove the water hose and replace one of the original monkeys with a new one. Seeing the bananas, it starts up the steps. What happens? The other monkeys, being social creatures, pull it down before it gets blasted with water. This happens again and again until pretty soon the new monkey doesn't bother to go for the bananas either.

Over the next few weeks, the researchers remove the rest of the original monkeys one at a time and replace them with new monkeys who've never seen the jet of water. Even though there's no longer anything to stop the monkeys from reaching the bananas, each new monkey is always pulled down by the others.

By the end of the experiment, not a single monkey has ever seen a jet of water, but none of them tries to climb the steps.  

As leaders of a contact center fulfillment business, we know it is important to do our best to model good behavior.  And we are thoughtful about making sure our processes and policies are not perceived as cold blasts of water by our people.  It’s a great place to work and we’re here to help you.

By: Scott Bell

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