What is your I/E Factor?

What did you do yesterday?  Who did you talk with?  Who did you meet with?  What did you work on?  Now, how many people outside of your organization did you speak with? 

If you are like most busy people (everyone I work with) in a challenging market (everyone I work with) with limited time and resources (everyone I work with) and lofty goals (everyone I work with), my guess is that over the last week you talked to a lot of folks on your team and on adjacent teams. You probably did some work on a company-wide initiative and perhaps spoke with a vendor or two about delivering on a project.  You filled out some templates.  You went to some meetings and scheduled some more.  And before you knew it, the end of the work week was upon you.  But hey, you got a lot done.   And you earned an “I” factor of 100%.  You spent 100% of your time internally.

Today’s product and marketing teams are under a lot of pressure, especially those in the learning materials market.  Revenues and competitors are shifting.  Enrollments are down.  Layoffs are always looming. In today’s uncertain climate, many product and marketing teams are being forced to spend the bulk of their time aligning decks, socializing ideas, and getting “buy-in” from internal teams--one silo at a time.  All “I” factor stuff.  Just think about the last time you heard, or said, one of these things.

  • “We need to socialize/soften the ground this with the x, y and z teams.”
  • “I’ll schedule a meeting with y to get her okay, but she is out until next week.”
  • “Make sure to keep it to one page so x will read it.” (I particularly love this one).
  •  “Right after the --sales meeting, managers meeting, team meeting, summer vacation, winter break, latest re-organization, new manager comes on board --we can turn to this.”
  •  “The deck needs to reflect the new branding guidelines and those will be ready at the end of the month.” (yup, this one is real, too).
  •  “Let’s see what the marketing/product/customer service team has to say.”
  • “Has legal seen this?” (hard stop)
  •  “We’ll need to present this to the powers that be.  I’ll try to get on their calendar next month.”
  •  “Let’s write the job description and then send it around for comment.”

Now, think about the last time you heard, or said, one of these things.

  •  “Yesterday I spoke with Dr. Jones at Trident State.  He was walking me through how he proposes a new course to his administration.  It sounded a lot like the faculty at …..”
  •  “On the bus to work this morning I noticed a woman doing some work on her phone.  I asked her what she was doing and it turns out she is a student at BCC and was completing some assigned reading and answering some questions.  We ended up talking until I got to my stop.”
  • “I called up the bookstore and asked them what changes they were seeing from last year.”
  • “We brought 6 students in from Menden High and talked about how they manage their courses when so many of their teachers use different platforms.”

While no one is expected to have a 100% “E” factor, high “I” factor organizations create products, services, and messaging in an echo-chamber.  They are guided by lore (and impressing their superiors).  They spend time examining internal structures, internal talent, and company processes to improve revenue. High “E” factor companies focus relentlessly on the customer.  They are guided by authenticity.  They persistently study the customer experience and apply that learning to change their internal structures, guide their talent search/growth, and improve their processes to improve the customer experience.  Which, in turn, drives revenue.   

At EyeLevel, we work hard to increase your “E” factor.   Because there is no “I” in CUSTOMER.