I recently had the extreme pleasure of being a speaker at the W.P. Carey School’s Compete Through Services Symposium. Some fantastic lessons came out of the sessions that were delivered by some phenomenal speakers. I count myself fortunate to have been part of such incredible company.
The W.P. Carey School at Arizona State University has distinctive offerings in the arena of business services and they’ve truly become thoughtLEADERS on the topic (according to my definition of someone who agitates for change in order to drive business impact).
The symposium, led by Dr. Stephen Brown, Dr. Mary Jo Bittner, and Alicia Holder drew phenomenal speakers from around the world. Those individuals covered some great topics and leave us with some pointed lessons on differentiating in the new service-based economy. The leaders of the symposium describe the program as follows:
“In business, there is one decisive moment when the choice to separate and set one’s self apart becomes evident. The “Compete Through Service” Symposium is the premier executive education event that helps you seize that opportunity by showing you how to:
– Design and deliver “out of the box” customer service
– Create and promote new, innovative services
– Construct value-added, revenue-producing services
– Establish a service culture that differentiates
– Instill an unrelenting focus on the customer”
They’re lofty goals but the event absolutely delivered on them. I’d like to share a few thoughts from some of the other speakers at the event (there’s no way I could ever cover all the great stuff that was presented there):
Dr. Barry Asmus (he’s so smart he almost made my head implode and then explode): he covered the six unstoppable trends that affect our businesses and the economy. These powerful trends are: a strong stock market, low unemployment, low inflation, high labor productivity, record economic growth, and consumer net worth at all-time highs. Click here for the podcast of his presentation and check him out at the link above. There’s also a written version of his six unstoppable trends at the same location as the podcast link. DO NOT MISS READING THIS! You will be smarter after you do.
Dr. Gary Bridge of Cisco got into 2.0 in a heavy way. He showed in real terms how technology is changing relationships and businesses in unprecedented ways. If you’re looking to work for or with a company that gets 2.0, Cisco is it.
Sean Skelley, SVP of Services for Best Buy talked about their transformation to a services company. Beginning with the acquisition of Geek Squad all the way to today’s emphasis on expanded service offerings like installing home theatre systems, he showed how distinctive service has set them apart from their competition. That’s probably why I blog so much about them in the Customer Service section of the blog.
If you’re in services or considering entering that space, I highly encourage you to check out the Center for Services Leadership at ASU. They have some great programs and their conference (usually held in Phoenix – bonus!) overdelivers on the promise of their marketing materials.
Thanks again for having me Mary Jo, Steve, and Alicia. I had a wonderful time. I hope some of my readers choose to attend your future events.
– Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC