Archive for 2011/10/27

Leadership as a service (LAAS)

2011/10/27 2 comments

What’s your occupation?

If you are like me you don’t give the same answer to children and adults. To other adults I say stuff like “web development”, “User experience”  and the name of my organization. To kids it’s a whole other thing. I work with airplanes and Bamse. And to tell you the truth, the answer to the kids is in my opinion actually a better answer.

I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard that the founder of Swedish H&M said that he wanted every employee to say that they were selling clothes when asked about their occupation. He wanted everyone to feel that they were also part of that big process, independent of if they were coding business logic or cleaning toilets. If you don’t know that your work should lead to more sold outfits, then you have a problem.

But then again; how silly isn’t that? I don’t work with the actual planes in any practical sense and even if I’ve walked the Gemba in one of the Little Hop (Lille Skutt) costumes (don’t share this info with your kids), I don’t daily with Bamse. I’m working on improving our webs. Or am I?

You could, as we see it, realize that if the purpose is to bring these kids and their parents on planes to Bamse and get there with a smile on their faces, there is so many things that must work. They must buy the trip, get the transportation, etc, etc. And what happens if we sell them the wrong trip so the parents are upset while arriving? And how joyful will the greeting from Bamse be if he has the wrong info about when the kids are arriving?

At TUI Nordic we talk about giving service to each other in order to maximize the service to the customers. In other words: in order to secure that the greeting from Bamse is the best, the Bamse guy should have been given the best service from us, his colleagues. This is called a Service Profit Chain.

This also calls for another type of leadership. Instead of staff servicing their bosses with completed work, a manager should see himself as providing a service for his staff. Leadership as a service, in other words. Interesting and difficult but also rewarding.

Or perhaps it’s just me wanting to say to kids that I work with airplanes and Bamse without lying to them…

Categories: Agile