Leading Customer Insight teams isn’t easy.
As the breadth of content on this site will show, a wide variety of skills and knowledge are needed to master the role. But, perhaps the greatest difference, in those customer insight leaders I see succeed, is their attitude. Compared to others, who “get by“, highly successful customer insight leaders understand that attitude matters.
To that end, I’ve been reading other leadership blogs looking for timely advice. Tips to help all leaders in business, but with particular relevance to our customer insight leader readership.
Developing your self-discipline
The first one to strike me, was this post from a favourite blogger of mine, Michael Hyatt. Michael offers a wealth of good advice for leaders on his ‘virtual mentor’ blog. In this particular post he addresses what can be a perennial challenge for those seeking to lead. How do you maintain your commitment? How do you stay disciplined enough to do the work, lead the team, inspire internal stakeholders — when you don’t feel like it? Some good tips here about the importance of reconnecting with your ‘why’.
Hopefully that gave you at least 1 tip that you can put into action. All leaders struggle with their self-discipline sometimes. But what about motivating your customer insight team. How do you go beyond self-motivation, to motivate your analysts?
Learning from behavioural science, how not to motivate your team
I don’t know whether you’re a natural optimist or pessimist, but I sometimes find it easier to learn from mistakes than ideal theory. What doesn’t work, when trying to motivate your team? Have you seen the problem? Are even your star analysts failing to deliver consistently, or just seeming to not care as much? Perhaps understanding why your current approach if failing, can help you see another way.
That is the point of this article in Success magazine. Henry Albrecht (CEO of wellness technology company, Limeade) shares four reasons why common approaches to trying to motivate teams (including customer insight teams), fail.
Each of the four reasons are backed by learning from the field of behavioural science. I certainly relate to the importance of helping work feel meaningful. Helping your analysts connect with the ultimate outcome sought can work so well, compared to obsessing over just the technical work or the Powerpoint deck or the performance metrics.
Did any of those four ring true for your team? No need to beat yourself up, most of the approaches debunked have been taught as good efficient management in the past.
Of course, the problem with your downturn in team performance could just be the weather. Have you considered the role of the season?
Chill out over the summer & have fun with your team
Management writer, Harvey Schachter, shares this contrarian but sensible advice in business pages of Canadian newspaper The Globe & Mail. Addressing head on the fact that many people emotionally feel like summer is for fun at the beach not toil in the office, he suggests some alternative remedies. We’ve shared before on the importance of getting enough sleep. Harvey joins calls from Michael Hyatt to also prioritise the importance of a good holiday/vacation. Getting the most out of that time can make all the difference to how valuable your team members are when they return.
Beyond that idea, Harvey also shares some interesting tips from the world of football (half-time talks) and sports management (observing others). There are also some fun & practical ideas at the end of this piece.
So, there you have it. I hope that sharing those has helped you.
Enjoy the sun and enjoy leading your team. Customer Insight can make such a difference to organisations, but that change rarely comes quickly. So, do learn to also enjoy the journey as a leader. Since attitude matters, feeling positive about your role will also rub off on your team. Have fun!
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