The purpose of this step is to establish a “Feedback Loop” between my organization and my customer (you). I know how important this loop of communication will be down the road for us so I install it first and foremost.
Products and services both require feedback loops that are designed into the foundation of the value proposition. Trying to bolt on a feedback loop as if it were a separate entity from the rest of your product is ill-advised.
This communication loop is typically overlooked and ignored.
I like working with you early on to come up with low-commitment ways for us to start working together in an effort to test the waters for potential collaboration. Establishing a feedback loop with you as the first type of value I provide seems to be one of the most effective methods for us to build trust and grow incrementally together.
Through your first-hand experience in this step of our process you are able to understand the value in establishing feedback loops with your own customers. This might become one of the first projects we’ll tackle together. If, of course, you haven’t already established those systems.
The intelligence you can extract from the customer is so pure that you just have to listen and then prioritize which customer needs to serve first. You’ll experience me doing this with you. During this time, I am collecting data and extracting insights from the intelligence so that I am prepared to give you a service that you need – you may not know how to articulate it if asked on the spot – one of my jobs is to use this time to create the first iteration of a narrative that you’ll adapt as needed – this narrative becomes the backbone of the project. It’s the romantic way we share your vision with your teams.
To clarify, the vision I refer to is not a vision for a specific product or software you want to build. This vision is one that outlasts any software. It is the vision that you will inspire your org with. It’s the purpose, the “why”, that makes you get up everyday excited to come in and get back at it. It’s your north star.
It is rare to find leaders who open their mind to the above.
Perhaps that is why we live in a nation of managers, and not leaders.