As with many Americans, it is back to school season in my house. My children are still young enough that “school” is really just glorified childcare a few mornings a week. But for me, it means returning to WPI in pursuit of my MBA (my approach must be the world’s longest MBA program: five years down and three more to go). This semester I am taking a class on marketing, and I was pleasantly surprised when my professor included in our first session the following TedTalk in which Simon Sinek challenges us with: “Why do you get out of bed in the morning, and why should we care?”
I’ve been a fan of this video for quite some time. While I definitely see the importance of Simon’s challenge in the realm of marketing, I’ve been using it in conversations around leadership and employee satisfaction. This is because it is not only important for your customers to understand the ‘Why’ of your company, but your employees must understand this as well. It is this why that will keep them aligned with the company’s goals. It is this why that will keep them engaged, excited, and giving it their best.
In Made to Stick, the Heath brothers make many excellent points about successfully conveying a message. The part that stuck the most with me was a clear “commander’s intent“, which is essentially the true “why” of an operation so that no matter what happens, the leaders in the field understand the larger objective. In the book, Chip and Dan Heath tell the story about a newspaper editor in Dunn, NC who had +100% subscription in his distribution area by focusing on the names of the people in the local news stories. He excelled at making his intent so clear and simple to his employees that a staff photographer would know to shoot the crowd watching an event rather than the event itself. That leads to more names, which leads to success.
Here at Avaya, we know our “why” is collaborative communication. Everything we do is focused around that, as Pierre-Paul Allard explained so well in a recent article (I think if Pierre-Paul were closer to my age or younger, this would have been entitled “This is how we do“). Having our “why” so well defined helps our employees and our customers understand our vision. When I visit with customers or just explain who I work for at a social gathering, I can easily explain what we do, and more importantly, why we do it.
I encourage you to pause … and think … why do you get out of bed in the morning? Do your employees know and believe that? If not, you are likely not convincing your customers either. And if people don’t understand the why, they almost certainly won’t care.
I got my first Apple laptop this year and was quickly in a situation where I did not know exactly how to do everything I wanted to do. Working at a company that uses a HTTP proxy, I immediately needed to know how to enable and disable a proxy. Did I call Apple for help? No, like you, I simply went to Google and searched for “how to set the proxy on a mac” (link). As I skimmed the results, I found a YouTube video on exactly this topic. I was able to play the video, pause and rewind it as needed, until I got my proxies set correctly. Ah, the wonders of the modern age!
If you are like most technology users, this is a reflexive move: search the web, find a video, and problem solved. This isn’t just true for computers either: I needed to replace the trimmer line on my trimmer at home but wasn’t sure of how much line to use or the best way to add it. A quick search and I was back to wiping out unwanted weeds.
At Avaya Client Services, we know that when faced with a problem on an Avaya solution, our partners and customers will turn to the web. Like most technology companies, Avaya maintains an extensive written knowledge base at http://support.avaya.com which has only gotten better with the re-launch of the site this spring. While black and white text can be helpful (after all, you are finding this blog helpful, right? Right?), raising the bar with video can really help get the knowledge across. Who better than Avaya to be the first in our industry to expand our knowledge base with video? After all, we are an industry leader in video solutions.
With great pride, I want to introduce you to the Avaya Mentor program. This programs tasks Avaya subject-matter-experts with publishing short videos on various services-related topics across all the Avaya product portfolios. These videos are primarily focused on aiding the installation, configuration, and/or troubleshooting of Avaya solutions. By making these videos available to you, we expect you will be able to resolve your problems quickly, perhaps even faster than the time it takes to open an Avaya ticket.
Since we started publishing videos in January, we have seen the consumption of these videos grow. We have now published nearly 400 videos and have received more than 56,000 views spanning 155 countries. We average 40 views per video per month, whereas our text-based KB articles average three views per month. Clearly, video is a powerful medium for our associates, partners, and customers.
This shouldn’t be all that surprising as we’ve all experienced how much more informative a video conference can provide when compared to a standard audio call. With Avaya’s acquisition of Radvision, my geographically-dispersed staff and I have been enjoying using theScopia Desktop client for our meetings. Video provides richer context, conveying more information in the same time.
Want to learn more about the Avaya Mentor program? View the overview of Avaya Mentor embedded below, then logon tohttp://support.avaya.com and browse for videos. If you don’t have your login handy, you can also see all our videos athttp://www.youtube.com/AvayaMentor. If you want to be notified when new videos are published, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter at @AvayaMentor.
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