Hit Your Creativity Button To Delight Customers

Hit Your Creativity Button To Delight Customers

During a recent short out- of- town adventure, my leadership antennae went into high gear. Going into any new local, I am usually very excited and pumped to learn and recharge my batteries. It is a great opportunity to take time to just think and dream and plan. This particular trip involved heavy rains, flooding and thunderstorms. They were relentless and I was at a “beachy” resort. To add to the frustration, nobody at the resort seemed particularly caring or concerned with the needs of their visitors. Except for one amazing maintenance man. A true leader.

 When we initially arrived the conversation with an employee at the front desk sounded like this:

“Welcome. Here is your information about the facility. Your room will be ready in a few hours. Have a nice evening.”

I responded:

“Is it possible to make it a little warmer in the lobby?” My toes were turning blue at that point.

To which they responded: “We keep the thermostat at the same temperature all the time.” No further explanation or words of support.

After shivering for a while in the main area, a maintenance man approached us and asked us what was wrong. We explained the situation to him and he said with a smirk: “Follow me”.

He guided us through a maze and down an elevator and through a large ballroom and finally to an outdoor sitting area that had a roof to protect us from the torrential rains. It was warm outside and we were thrilled.

With gratitude we exclaimed: “Thank you so much. We so appreciate your help! We will be fine here.”

Wow! With a little creativity and great deal of kindness we felt cared for.

Do you care for the people you see each day in your workplace? Do you delight your customers so they feel appreciated?

Here are four ways for leaders to hit their creativity button to show others they matter:
 

1. PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SPOT
 

No one at the front desk had any desire to see how we were feeling. They were fixated in carrying out rules and disseminating information without viewing the situation from our perspective. There was no emotion. They were robotic. The maintenance man cared about us.

In our workplaces it may be easier to just spew out words about what needs to be done or deadlines to meet, but consider how we may come across. If someone on our team brings up a challenge, lead by acknowledging their concerns. Tell them you hear their frustration and will address it. If a customer feels slighted or upset, open your mind to making things better. Lead with kindness.

2. BRAINSTORM POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS
 

Even if we don’t have a perfect resolution to a co-worker’s struggle or a customer’s dilemma, take the time to think creatively. Ask yourself:

  • What might work here?
  • How can I alleviate their challenge?
  • Is there a small step I can take to help minimize the situation?
  • Who else may be able to help resolve the problem?
     

3. GUIDE YOUR TEAM MEMBERS AND CUSTOMERS WITH CARE
 

However you decide to lead, make sure to be aware of the other person’s concerns. Ask questions if you are uncertain of the frustration. The maintenance man knew we just needed to be in a warmer temperature even if he couldn’t stop the rain. He guided us with a smile and warmth. It might not have been the most divine location, but we felt valued.

4. HELP CREATE A CULTURE OF CREATIVE THINKING
 

Model the way for everyone else on your team to delight your customers and one another. Leaders are able to influence others to be cognizant of the needs of team members and customers. When we are creative and show kindness, we develop stronger work relationships and loyal customers.

Terri Klass
Leadership
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Terri founded Terri Klass Consulting over 20 years ago to partner with organizations to create cultures of empowerment and develop future leadership. She delivers hi ... Click for full bio

How We're Investing in the Search for a Cancer Cure

How We're Investing in the Search for a Cancer Cure

Written by: Frank Jennings, Ph.D., Portfolio Manager

I hate cancer.


I’ve lost one too many friends to this insidious disease and I’ve made it a priority to be part of the effort to find a cure for it. Every day, I draw motivation from the people I’ve lost in my work as Portfolio Manager of Oppenheimer Global Opportunities Fund.

I may not be a doctor or medical industry professional, but the work my team and I do has brought us to the front lines of the ongoing fight against cancer. The Fund’s guiding philosophy is to invest in emergent growth companies that we believe have the potential to grow into large, highly profitable businesses.

Our search for these types of companies has given me renewed hope that we are closer than ever to finding a cure for one of the deadliest scourges humanity has ever known.

OppenheimerFunds’ Role in the Fight


Oppenheimer Global Opportunities Fund invests in a number of pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that are developing breakthrough drugs that can potentially treat the disease more effectively without debilitating side effects, make it easier for patients to manage pain, and possibly even lower the cost of treatment.

The cutting-edge therapies that are in development may even pave the way to the ultimate goal – a cure for all forms of the disease. Of course, one glance at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) website is all it takes to remind us we’re in a fight that often feels like an uphill race against time.

At some point in their lifetime, nearly 40% of the population will be diagnosed with cancer, according to the NCI. Last year in the United States alone, 1.7 million people received this dreaded news from their doctor, while nearly 600,000 people succumbed to the disease.1

These statistics certainly make it fair to ask why I’m so optimistic about the future of cancer treatment and the potential for a cure.

Well for starters, just consider that geneticists have finally mapped the entire human genome. Today, 100 million people have had their genomes mapped, which has enabled us to confirm, for example, that there is a particular gene mutation that places some women at a high risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer at some point in their life.

This is important on several fronts. First, it allows doctors to know beforehand whether or not a cancer drug will work on a patient due to the genetic makeup of the cancer. This means fewer drugs will be prescribed inappropriately. It may even help bring promising new treatments to market faster.

By knowing a cancer’s genetic makeup, drug trials can be conducted only on people with a high probability of success. In turn, this will result in less money wasted, better outcomes for patients, and ultimately, faster approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other international regulatory bodies.

The Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Companies We Believe In


One of the largest holdings in the portfolio is in a company that develops and markets therapies that mimic a person’s own immune system to fight cancer. This particular company, which is headquartered in the U.S., recently developed a new antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology that allows its medications to attack cancer cells with fewer side effects than chemotherapy.

This firm has a number of innovative cancer medications at its disposal – including therapies for treating various types of lymphoma. The company continues to sign partners onto its proprietary ADC technology, and we believe it is well-positioned to earn millions in royalties over the long term, making it an attractive acquisition target for larger drug makers. 

There are a number of European pharmaceutical and biotech firms in the portfolio as well, including another company that specializes in immunotherapy – which seeks to boost the body’s immune system to fight off cancer.

Analysts have predicted this company’s treatment for multiple myeloma has blockbuster potential. And although the drug is primarily used to fight blood cancer, there are signs that it could also work against solid tumors as well. Now beyond the “cash-burning stage” that afflicts most drug makers at some point, this company is on track to becoming a mature biotech firm that’s positioned for strong overall sales and steady royalty income in the near future.

Over the last five years, shares of this company have climbed more than 2,000% and we see potential for continued strong future growth.

How the Cancer Fight Aligns with My Investment Philosophy


I believe companies have a lifecycle – just like people do. There’s a beginning, adolescence, prime years, and an eventual decline phase. Companies usually begin as entrepreneurial ventures powered by the spirit of a startup. If they’re successful, they gradually mature into corporate entities and can enjoy an extended run of success. The decline phase typically takes root when companies get too big and bogged down by bureaucracy, regulation and saturated markets.

The Fund seeks to invest in businesses that still have exponential growth ahead of them. I’ve been excited to discover that there are quite a few companies like this at the forefront of the fight against cancer. Investing in these types of companies within the Oppenheimer Global Opportunities Fund can help clients achieve their desired investment outcomes, which is my top priority as a portfolio manager.

Combining this core mission with my personal desire to see cancer eradicated is one of the most gratifying parts of my job.

Learn more about how we think about investments differently, visit challengetheindex.com



Foreign investments may be volatile and involve additional expenses and special risks, including currency fluctuations, foreign taxes, regulatory and geopolitical risks. Emerging and developing market investments may be especially volatile. Eurozone investments may be subject to volatility and liquidity issues. Investments in securities of growth companies may be volatile. Mid-sized company stock is typically more volatile than that of larger company stock. It may take a substantial period of time to realize a gain on an investment in a mid-sized company, if any gain is realized at all. Fixed income investing entails credit and interest rate risks. When interest rates rise, bond prices generally fall, and the Fund’s share prices can fall. Below-investment-grade (“high yield” or “junk”) bonds are more at risk of default and are subject to liquidity risk. Diversification does not guarantee profit or protect against loss.

Mutual funds and exchange traded funds are subject to market risk and volatility. Shares may gain or lose value.

These views represent the opinions of OppenheimerFunds, Inc. and are not intended as investment advice or to predict or depict the performance of any investment. These views are as of the publication date, and are subject to change based on subsequent developments.

Carefully consider fund investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Visit oppenheimerfunds.com or call your advisor for a prospectus with this and other fund information. Read it carefully before investing. 

OppenheimerFunds is not affiliated with IRIS.xyz.

©2017 OppenheimerFunds Distributor, Inc.

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