In my customer service workshops and speeches, I often talk about the importance of being authentic, of being real. Here’s a real-life story about Nick Sarillo, a Chicago-area pizza restauranteur who saved his business with a very humble and equally authentic email to his customers. http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120315/BLOGS06/120319853/suburban-chicago-restaurateurs-unusual-plea-to-customers-pays-dividends Even if you’re not particularly interested in business, it’s a short read with a simple message about being authentic in our dealings with our fellow humans. It’s refreshing, especially considering that his bank and his PR team discouraged him from doing what, in his gut, he knew was the right thing to do.
My wife and I recently had a glass of wine with a woman who is a sys admin for a small company here in Seattle. I asked her what systems she supported and her reply was refreshing. She said, “Whatever my users need to do their jobs. For some, it’s a Mac, for others it’s Windows.” Contrast that with my friend Jim who told me last night how his company’s IT department dictates what tools will be used without understanding the business needs of the individual worker. I realize, of course, that in the enterprise, it can be difficult to support multiple platforms and practical considerations sometimes dictate a single platform for all (or most) users. After all, that’s why both Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines standardize on the Boeing 737. Makes it easier to train cockpit crew and mechanics and you only need to stock parts for a single platform. Still, if our jobs in IT are about helping our users work more creatively, productively, and efficiently, doesn’t it make sense to choose the right tool for the job instead of applying a universal solution to everyone?