20 January 2017

How to Keep Your Treadmill from Becoming A Coat Rack

Have you ever made that big investment for a systems solution to only realize later that it doesn’t fix your problem? Many companies do, and end up with rather expensive and odd coat racks. Which leads to this story.

Don't let your new investment become a coat rack
Don’t let your new investment become a coat rack

I had dinner with a good friend last week to catch up and talk about all the big plans for the new year.  My friend, who is an active professional in his mid-40’s, is obsessed with self-improvement and aging gracefully.

He is a dream for the fitness industry, as he tries anything in the name of fitness: fasting, diets, new workouts, new equipment, and multiple gym memberships.

On the way to his bathroom, I happened to walk by his treadmill, which has become the “not dirty enough for the laundry hamper, but not clean enough for closet” storage space in his 3-bedroom San Francisco home.

My friend is one of the “73% of people who set fitness goals as new year’s resolutions but eventually give them up”.  He bought all kinds of new fitness products (treadmill, stationary bike, medicine ball), new services (Cross Training membership, Yoga studio membership, etc.), but he did not have an adequate, complete game plan to tie it all together.

He gives it his best for a few weeks/months, and when he does not see the expected results, he ends up having a new, rather expensive coat rack.

Finding How the Pieces Fit

I had a meeting recently with a client who was struggling with their latest “coat rack”: an aging and customized system. They know that this aging system is a key part of a more comprehensive solution, but they’re not sure how it fits in with all of their other systems.  

The senior leaders at my client’s company have a “gut feeling” that customer experience is important. Specifically, that having omni-channel capabilities is the key to success in their market (you can read more about what omni-channel is here).  

They understand that their customers want to interact with them in many ways – self service, live chat, email, SMS, and phone – but they don’t know how their current solution/technology landscape – and associated processes and team staffing – can deliver a true omni-channel experience that differentiates the company.

Having senior leadership “support” is all that teams need to start shopping for solutions. They meet with vendors who promise amazing results if you just purchase their products.

They have case studies and ROI calculators that illustrate the amazing results.  They see dazzling and really impressive demos that promise to solve the problem.  

But without a complete game plan that assesses their current technologies, a clear definition of future outcomes, and a solid business case that justifies these investments, the teams in charge of making it happen do their best to find a solution that will solve their problems, but do it without the best information …..sound familiar?

Try A Different Approach…and Get Stuff Done

Do the game planning upfront and make the pieces fit
Do the game planning upfront and make the pieces fit

What I suggested to my super smart and successful friend is an approach that involves building a complete game plan before buying anything.  

Set realistic goals, short and long term objectives, a realistic nutrition plan, a stress management plan, adequate scheduling strategies, and a feedback mechanism to check in on the progress of your plan, so you know how things are moving along and what steps to take next.

As we cracked open the second bottle of nice Zinfandel, we grabbed a pad of paper and started mapping the key components of his complete game plan.  

While there are no guarantees of his ability to achieve success, having a roadmap of all key components, an understanding of how they relate, a clear goal (short/long term) and regular check-ins, will help him to stop the cycle of “throwing $ at my objectives with no outcomes”.

Authored bY

Zeev Gur

Zeev Gur is a senior sales executive with PTP, focused on helping clients solve a variety of challenges revolving around customer experience, call center systems integration, and intelligent planning. Zeev has previous experience working with Apptus and Oracle, and currently lives in the Bay Area with his family.


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