Trading crutches for scaffolding

A crutch is something we use to prop up an internal inadequacy. Such that we can make ourselves more like, or as able as, others.

Scaffolding is a tool to build something greater than ourselves, beyond what we thought we could be.

Some common crutches in business:

  • Using marketing/advertising to patch up ill-differentiated products.
  • Chasing awards instead of truly delighting customers.
  • Going on a grand personal ego trip instead of looking after and enabling the best of your people.
  • Subscribing to the belief that you have to be ruthless to be successful in business.

Transforming these crutches into scaffolding could be thus:

  • Use marketing/advertising to engage customers in helping you differentiate/reinvent your products for real.
  • Create a way for customers to Like/Dislike you at every touchpoint; then display the tally on your website.
  • How could you stroke your people’s ego in alignment with their development and success?
  • Be ruthlessly truly nice (within reason of course) for a change! And watch your customer service satisfaction levels shoot through the roof!

(From a conversation with the magnificent Mia, 6 Feb 2012.)

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