Technology makes developing the strategic plan much easier. With a couple clicks of the keyboard, an executive team can quickly determine where the performance gaps exist and construct the strategies to overcome these deficiencies.
However, the executive team to the management team to the individual front line employees must remember that the human touch is what makes the plan exceptionally executable. Unfortunately, there seems to be a new conditioning that technology alone is the only action needed to make the plan executable. Please let me explain through three examples.
Example One With email allowing people to communicate globally, there is now a presumption that you never need to pick up the phone and make a personal phone call. For example in my strategic plan is a critical goal category of name awareness for myself, Leanne Hoagland-Smith. Writing from article marketing to publications in national journals is one of my goals. As I performance improvement writer for a local newspaper to business journals and educational journals in different states, communication is mostly electronic. Articles and columns are submitted via email. Revisions are resubmitted and then they are published. About once a month, I take time to call each of these individuals responsible for overseeing these writing efforts. By reaching out via the telephone lines, I am further building a relationship for success in today’s world is all about relationships. Through these verbal communications, I can ask questions about feedback to writing quality.
Example Two When working with new car dealerships to increase sales, I have learned that the dealership sends out electronically generated letters using their customer relationship management (CRM) software thanking people for buying a car to reminding them of their next oil change. When asking the new car and used car sales staff, how many hand written notes they send out, the response was few to none. People will generally open handwritten notes before the standard white business envelop. Relying on technology removes the personal touch. People buy from people they trust and not from mass produced form letters.
Example Three At local speaking engagements, I share my expertise as a business coach and receive numerous business cards in return. I could send them all a quick email because that would be the easy thing to do. Yet, I take the time to send out a personal handwritten note thanking them for taking the time from their busy schedules to listen to me. These personal acknowledgements have given me not only additional business, but a greater recognition within my target market.
These three examples demonstrate the benefits of the human touch. When we rely exclusively on technology and ignore the human touch, we lose our own humanity and what makes us special to our customers.
Leanne Hoagland-Smith, M.S. is a business coach and executive coach with offices in Indianapolis and near Chicago. She writes, speaks and coaches people in businesses to quickly double or triple results by uniting existing strengths to goals for exceptional execution.