Aligning Behaviour with Strategy – Moments of Truth Approach

In my February 2009 Newsletter, I wrote about how Moments of Truth shape your business. These often brief interactions disproportionately influence how clients and customers experience your business. (The phrase was the title of a great book by Jan Carlzon, former CEO of SAS airlines – he transformed the business in the 1980s – who said “We have 50,000 moments of truth every day”.)

Have a look at the worksheet below. It’s a simple and useful way to get people focused on the Moments of Truth in your business, and to generate the stories which you can use to clarify what behaviour is, and is not, aligned with your strategy.

This is an exercise that is understandable and important at every level of the business.

  1. For the relevant results area (I have picked a few typical ones above), collect examples of particularly good, aligned, stand-out interactions – there are many ways to do this: you can get them from clients/customers, by shopping at your own business, by leading a discussion with staff…communicate about them enthusiastically.
  2. In the same way, pick out particularly poor, off-the-mark examples.
  3. Make the examples as concrete as possible so they can be recognised in non-technical language: “When the client phoned to say they were lost in the one-way system on a dark and rainy February afternoon, and were going to be late, Jane asked if they could see a street sign. When she knew where the were, she sent out an Associate in a car to lead them to the office, and in the meantime asked catering to get the kettle on. When they arrived she made sure someone was waiting in the car park to usher them in, and she arranged with the Partner that the meeting be put back 20 minutes to give them time to settle down and gather their thoughts. The client hasn’t stopped talking about it since, and it’s three years ago.” (True story from a UK top ten law firm.)
  4. Consider what has to be in place to get the aligned behaviours you have identified. Ask yourself, do people have the knowledge, skills, tools and incentives to act in the manner which aligns with our strategy, and are they going to be naturally reluctant to engage in non-aligned actions?
  5. If not, what do you need to do?

One further thought: beyond preventing unsafe or illegal actions, avoid creating a moral-sapping micromanaged police state. Focus more on encouraging aligned behaviour than preventing non-aligned ones.


© 2012. Andrew Bass. All Rights Reserved.