I was lucky enough to recently come across a report written by The Economist Intelligence Unit, a research, analysis and publishing sister business of The Economist and BDO (UK), an audit, accounting and business services firm, called SERVICE 2020: MEGATRENDS FOR THE DECADE AHEAD.
BDO commissioned the EIU as they see service as key part of their offering, with 96% of their customers willing to recommend them to their colleagues. They also see that the world around is changing, that business is more competitive and connected than ever before and wanted to understand what would be the key trends/drivers of success in the decade to come.
Thus, the report surveyed a wide range (479) of business leaders in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific across all industries and sizes. The report was also supplemented by interviews with a number of experts.
The report, like a crystal ball or fortune teller, highlights eight trends that their research tells them will underpin business success in the decade to come. They are:
If you want to read more and dig into each trend, you can get a complete copy of the report at the EIU’s website here or you can download different chapters according to each trend from the BDO website here.
First of all, I’d like to say that I like the report. I don’t agree with all of its findings. But, I do like many of the areas that it highlights. What I really like is:
However, when I dug more deeply into the report and looked at the questions asked and the answers I found something that concerned me about the answers.
Let me explain.
Q14a, 14b and 15 imply people are and will be the biggest elements in delivering service now and in 2020 and that technology and process will play a growing role.
What troubled me was that the results to Q15 focus on a lot of things but most of them tend towards process and technology and not the people that are highlighted in Q14a and Q14b.
Or, am I wrong?
Or, is it that people are implicit in all of these things?
What concerns me is the impact that this research could have when when used and communicated to people, people that are essential to delivering the great service that a company may aspire to.
I think it’s a huge assumption to make that everyone will see and get how important people are in the mix of delivering market beating service. That mistake has been made all too often before.
After all, we are only human and only need to look to our own experience to understand how assuming that people know that they are included or loved or liked or respected or will be helped or develop or nurtured or lead or properly managed or…….can be a big mistake.
If make this assumption, it can be dangerous and threaten to create situations where investments are made in new process and technology that fail to deliver because we failed to bring our people along with us or have them involved in the process.
Perception and understanding and assumption are great at destroying plans and hindering delivery on much that is promised.
So for me:
Some people just like to be told once in a while.
What do you think?