Be sure to watch the new show "Undercover Boss" on US television. Wow! CEOs of major companies — most recently, Hooters and Waste Management — go undercover on the front lines of their own organizations as employees. It is amazing what they discover.
The Hooters CEO got fired his first day on the job in a restaurant. He also discovered some nasty practices in the business.
The Waste Management CEO was inspired by the trials and tribulations his front-line personnel went through to make ends meet — as well as by the way that one employee got other pumped up to clean out porta-potties. He realized the huge impact that his decisions have on people he doesn’t even know.
Encourage your clients to implement the same Undercover Boss program in their organization. Maybe their company is a bit too small for them to go completely undercover, but at least they can join the front lines and see how things really work in the company. I remember doing this myself when I was a manager at a consumer marketing company. We worked the customer service lines once a month, and it was helpful to hear what customers actually experienced and felt when dealing with us.
This is a great coaching exercise! I hope you encourage your clients to participate.