November 21, 2011
WOW! There was an article in The Globe today that I liked, by Roger Martin, who’s the Dean of the Rotman School of Business. For anyone who missed it, here’s a link: “Canada, like Steve Jobs, should zero in on innovation“.
I thought I’d blog about it, and went to their site so I could pick up the link. But once there I decided to check out some of the comments that had been posted — an exercise that blew my mind. Admittedly I didn’t check all of them — after a page I gave up. Talk about negative! My God! Seriously.
Angry. Defensive. Negative. Frightened when you come right down to it — and resistant — of change.
Nobody is suggesting that anyone had to love every word. Or even agree. But these folks just shut down. Period. Talk about closed minds. I sure hope they don’t speak for the vast majority of Canadians because God help us if they do.
Fact is, we live in a very different world than the one we are used to. And in my humble opinion the old ways of doing almost anything are going to have to change — and so are we. As consumers, because of the Internet, we have access to more information than ever before — and that empowers us. We no longer have to take anyone’s word for anything. And, as consumers, because of social media we now have a voice — a powerful voice. We can share information, learning and experiences — both good and bad. And we can watch that information spread like a virus when we touch the right nerve. Which makes us, like bloggers, important influencers (some bloggers have more than half a million followers).
And that means that the customer experience has never been more important. Our opinions are starting to count. Big time.
Consumers want choice. We want transparency. We want what we want — not what you want to force down our throats. We’re re-connecting with our collective conscience and we want the companies we do business with, and our governments to have one as well. We’ve been the victims of greed and we’re not buying it any more. The rules have changed; and they’re not changing back any time soon.
Why should we have to buy bundles of programming when all we want is one channel in the group? Why should insurance companies give us grief — and penalize us — when we have to make a claim — do we get a refund for all the years we paid and never claimed? Why is it that some airline rewards programs make it almost impossible to book trips while others have no black-out periods or restrictions?
When are we going to stop deluding ourselves about our health care system? Yes, everyone in Canada can get medical attention. But how good is it? How many lives are lost while some patients are forced to wait six months for an MRI? How many cases of colon cancer could be prevented if colonoscopies were as routine as mammograms? How can you justify that some tumours are too small for treatments that can prevent recurrence? In what instance is it acceptable to treat a 60 year old — but not an 80 year old — with the same illness — and then refuse to discuss euthanasia when there is no hope of recovery or treatment?
Jobs are scarce and getting scarcer. So instead of hauling people on UI down to look at job boards that lead to nothing, why aren’t we inspiring and helping them to start small businesses? We have micro loan programs in emerging nations? Why not right here — to get some of these folks’ businesses up and running?
I’m just saying.
So do yourself a favour and read Roger Martin’s column, with an open mind. And please, try to embrace change. Try to embrace innovation. We really do need to get with the program. A new program.