Returning aircrews inspected their damaged machines to see where bullet holes were clustered and then asked the ground crew to strengthen the very places where they were hit.
Managers do this time and time again. They repeat this kind of thinking over and over in their organisations. They see the bullet holes and fix where they hit. They have the data and the evidence is clear for all to see. Their debriefing is full of impact drawings and hole cluster charts. They know what to do. They instruct their teams to do the fix. Yet still, there are more losses, fewer returning to base.
Hiring an experienced consultant brings with it a different way of thinking. A different perspective on the same issues. A perspective that leads to change and growth. A perspective that when seen from the edge of the battlefield, can bring solutions based on their wide array of experiences drawn from other conflicts.
A consultant would show that the place you really should strengthen is where the bullet hole didn’t hit…why?
Because that aircraft that didn’t return were more likely to have been hit there.
Those that were hit in less destructive areas all returned safely…if a little bit worse for wear.
Clearly, this is a metaphor for customers that leave the business or suffer in silence. Feedback is only one type of feedback. What about those that leave and don’t give you feedback? Surely, these are the people that you should be asking why. Why did they not come back and more importantly, why didn’t they tell you why they were leaving before they did so?
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” ― Arthur Conan Doyle