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Part 2:  Field Guide

Seven Steps to Creating Positive Change

Congratulations! By clicking through you have taken the first step in creating a better culture for your company. The next step is to take action. While the process is not difficult, it does take some time and it definitely takes commitment.

Before getting started, as the owner or leader, you must first be committed to making changes. If you are not, stop here and wait until you are. Going through this process and not following through will cause more harm than not doing anything at all.

There is more than one correct way to approach this process. The process explained below, while not exactly the same, is similar to what Walt Disney companies used to create their theme parks and also used to implement positive changes within the parks and company. Walt Disney companies refer to it as Story Boarding.

The following are simply suggestions to help you get started: 

Step 1:  Identify the people/employees that you want involved in the process. This can be from everyone to a select few. Both have advantages and disadvantages. You can also ask for volunteers. This ensures that those not involved don’t feel left out.  

Step 2:  Set up planned times to hold the brainstorming sessions. It will take more than one meeting. After the first meeting, participants will continue to think about and uncover additional thoughts and ideas.

Step 3:  Create topics: See the article for topics. Each of the 5 areas listed can be broken down into individual topics, i.e. Physical appearance of Building - Inside and out. (Signage, Landscaping, Check-out area, Restrooms, Dressing Rooms, Office Areas),  How phones are answered and how replies to customers are handled, emails, texting, etc. What is your perception within the community now and what do you want it to be? How do you change the perception?

Step 4:  Meet with participants:  Set ground rules. Establish what you are trying to accomplish. “Create a better experience for our customers and a better working environment for our employees”. There are no stupid questions or suggestions, only ideas. In the first or even second meeting, you should not debate the ideas thrown out. Simply write them down (preferably on a board that everyone can see) and leave all ideas up until the conclusion of this meeting or the entire process.  You will want all participants to refer to these ideas throughout the process.

Step 5:  Re-visit all ideas and dissect: Kick out or eliminate ideas that are not worthy. Then, break down all other ideas until you have come up with solid thoughts on how to make changes or improvements.

Step 6:  Create a priority list and a timeline:  Select the ideas that should be implemented first and in what order and a timeline for getting it implemented or accomplished.

Step 7:  Action

The Results:  A better customer experience, which will create more loyal customers, larger and more regular purchases, and better word-of-mouth advertising. Plus, better and more loyal employees.

SoundADvice is a co-production of this station and ENS Media USA to help local businesses increase their sales and their return on investment in advertising. Your SoundADvice marketing tips are emailed to you on our behalf from ENS Media USA.

ENS Media USA's address is: 6523 S. Killarney Ct., Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108

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