Intimacy at Scale

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I’ll let you in on a secret. I have more than one client.

While of course we don’t hide this, the goal is that the experience of any one client is never affected by this fact. I want each client to feel like they have my undivided attention.

In our leadership advisory role there is a limit to how many clients I can have to provide that personal touch. It’s hard to scale. But not impossible.

With Constituent Hub our software tool, we are solving the biggest problem of the organizational change leader. They are forced to use a cookie cutter, generic approach because it’s too hard to do custom change work (which is required) at scale.

This is something I think about a lot.

How is your relationship to your work? Are you intimate with your business? It’s easiest for the owner of a business to be intimate. Think about a craftsman founder like Vera Wang or a founder whose personality is burnished into a business like Phil Knight at Nike. Intimacy reflects ultimate accountability and allows for total authenticity.

These are the things we are after as leaders aren’t we?

Can everyone in the business generate the same level of intimacy an owner possesses?

A perfect example of the opposite of intimacy is shared by my friend Brian Ahearn. He explains why the bond was broken between himself and one of his favorite companies because they chose to not treat him in a customized way – the absence of intimacy. Check out Brian’s article.

Countering the enemies of intimacy:

  • Short-term measurements – Provide context for performance measurements.
  • Arrogance – Relish the relationships with your customers and remind yourself that they could be fleeting.
  • Being superficial – Provide focused momentum and purposeful continuity. Go deep.
  • Selfishness – Take action for the good of the group.

In other words, be real, honest, and accountable.

A key component of intimacy is passion. Intimacy is very personal. That’s why the phrase, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” is so silly.

To do this week: Review your measurements and rules. Cut out or adjust anything that blocks the intimacy with your organization.

Intimacy and scale are not mutually exclusive but it takes work to get there. The value equation is enormous.

Let me know how it’s goes. Click the “comments” box below to participate in an on-going discussion via LinkedIn.

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On July 31, 2018
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