United this Easter with John Hale

With so many people moving over Easter, it’s no wonder United Airlines had to recruit extra staff, just in time and ‘invite’ an already paid passenger or two, to take the next flight. Which could have sounded just like this:

“Attention all passengers, if you are travelling today and would be prepared to take the next flight, United would like to offer you an incentive for doing so, please see one of our cabin attendants if you are interested…”

What did they do?

In a world where every passenger is a news reporter?

They did the unthinkable!

United employees got three security and police personnel to drag a reluctant Chinese Doctor passenger from his paid seat, kicking and screaming down the aisle and created a social media catastrophe!

Instead of creating a ‘raving fan’ in a volunteering passenger with free future tickets, today United created yet another ‘raving bleeding terrorist’, just like Dave Caroll and his band a few years back, when United failed to pay a $900 guitar damage claim. A bad claim policy decision, which ended up costing United an estimated US$180M in stock price losses, when this You Tube clip went viral with 17M views!

If your business values and ethics do not permeate every layer of your organisation, today’s ubiquitioius and transparent world of mobile camera sharing will ultimately bite you.

2018-05-07T20:25:24+10:00Categories: Results, Strategy|Tags: , |

‘Hats off’ to your People with John Hale

January is a popular time to plan for the year ahead with clients and look for fresh ways to create superior value and remain competitive. During these annual events and workshops, we find that having the right market strategy not the whole answer. Your people matter too. In today’s increasingly fast cycle global markets, that are characterized by hyper-competition, technology driven innovation, increasing web based disruption and decreasing consumer switching costs, sustainable sources of competitive advantages are becoming harder and harder to find.

Often it is a firm’s people that are the only remaining source of sustainable competitive advantage. Last week I chatted with Dan Monheit, Founder at Hardhat, one of the leading lights in Australia’s digital media and marketing industry. As Dan responded to my questions around his firm’s strategic positioning, it became clear that as successful as Hardhat has been in the last decade, they operate from an inspired and humble place. Dan and his team work hard and have no illusions about the real forces of change that exist for all firms, including themselves.

Dan shared with me that the average age of the Hardhat team was 26 and that Hardhat invested generously in developing their people, both professionally and personally. I could feel that the love Hardhat extended to its employees was indeed a source of sustainable competitive advantage for them. After our meeting, I took a peek at Hardhat’s website. Their pithy tagline ‘Hustle.Humilty.Heart’ resonated perfectly.

2018-05-07T20:25:24+10:00Categories: Strategy|Tags: , |