Three words that can completely change your reality…

In my coaching process, I tackle organizational effectiveness: how to optimize time, business processes, profitability, team structure, etc. Not such a sexy topic, is it? But it is precisely this structure that ultimately allows us to experience freedom: the freedom of time, the freedom to conduct 80% of our activities in our area of excellence, to make a real difference in our clients’ lives, and to develop a team culture where everyone has a blast, all while building an effective, efficient and profitable business practice. Suddenly, the topic got a little sexier!

Today, I’d like to introduce you to 3 Japanese words, or rather, 3 business concepts that have the power to change everything in your current business practice…

Muda

This term refers to futility, uselessness, waste. It is one of the core concepts of the lean process philosophy, which aims to better allocate our resources to reduce losses and increase our profitability.

Originally, this concept was associated with the manufacturing field, as it relates to seven types of losses: (1) transportation (in terms of excessive motion of products); (2) inventory of goods and raw materials; (3) motion that does not add value, such as with employees or equipment; (4) waiting; (5) overproduction; (6) overprocessing, and (7) defects.

In my view, the fact that this concept was initially developed for manufacturing doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to us—quite the contrary. How often do we waste time just because we haven’t properly planned a project? How often do our team members ask for extra guidance because we haven’t delegated a task well? How many times do we have to contact a client or the compliance department because information was missing? How many tasks do we undertake simply because we always have?

What does this concept mean to you and your business practice?

There are 2 types of muda:

  1. Actions without added value, but necessary for clients. These are generally more difficult to eliminate, such as administrative or some operational tasks.
  2. Actions without added value that are unnecessary for clients. These actions contribute to waste, have hidden costs and should therefore be eliminated, here think of the tasks that you (or your team does) simply because “it’s always been done that way”.

What can you do now?

Take a step back and assess what you and your team have been doing. Ask yourself:

  • Does this tasks/action really add value for clients?
  • How could we achieve the same result in half the time?
  • If we were really efficient, what would we do differently?

Muda is the efficiency and effectiveness of your business practice.

Kaizen

This Japanese term means “change for the better” or “continuous improvement”. This commitment to continuous improvement is based on the idea that small positive changes can lead to big improvements.

What does this concept mean to you and your business practice?

When working with teams during private coaching sessions, I often talk about “fine-tuning” their business practice, that is, spotting that one small difference that will end up making a big difference. Often times, we already have all the tools, ideas and strategies, but all we need is a small adjustment to take our business practice to the next level.

What can you do now?

Take a step back and ask yourself:

  • What projects have we started but not finished?
  • What do we need to complete, stop doing, or start doing?
  • If there was one change we could make in our business practice, what could it be?

Kaizen is that tiny difference that makes ALL the difference.

Omotenashi

The Japanese use this word to describe what they consider to be their unique approach to hospitality: to take care of their guests wholeheartedly. In other words, it’s anticipating people’s needs. It’s the extra mile that makes all the difference. It’s the detail-oriented actions that make customers say: “But how did they think of that?!” It’s the “wow-factor” everyone talks about.

Omote stands for “public face,” which refers to the image you want to present to others. Nashi means “nothing”. Omotenashi therefore means that every service genuinely comes from the bottom of the heart, in all honesty, without hiding or pretending. This philosophy is not a one-way street: it is applied mutually between the person providing the service and the person receiving it.

What does this concept mean to you and your business? 

We know that we are in a relationship business. Our strength, our distinction, lies in the emotion we bring to our client’s lives (e.g. security, peace of mind, confidence, etc.). The most successful entrepreneurs apply the omotenashi concept and provide their clients with an experience that leaves them feeling cared for. They feel that the professional and his / her team care about them far beyond their investment portfolios.

What can you do now?

Client experience is a client strategy. To create one and implement it, you need to have business strategies in place. As I often say, “It’s not magic, it’s a strategy.”

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Have you determined your client offering, approach and client roadmap for each segment of your business? Imagine ending your meetings by telling your client: “Ms. Jones, our next meeting will be in April and it will be time to review your insurance needs, because we haven’t done so in five years”.
  • Do you have a system in place for managing your client relationships (CRM)? Is the information centralized so you have easy access to it? Imagine welcoming a client to your office by offering them coffee and asking whether they want a double allongé as usual.
  • Do you have team meetings every week to discuss your clients, so that other team members can help enrich the client experience? Imagine that a client comes to your office and your assistant asks him: “So, Mr. Smith, how are the construction plans for your cottage coming along?”

Omotenashi is attention to detail, a practice that should be at the heart of your business culture.

Integrate these three Japanese words into your business to take it to another level.

…because so much more is possible…

Seeking for support to reach YOUR vision of success? Well, that’s exactly why I’m here!

Click here to schedule a discovery call with me.

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