When I was looking to improve my golf game (I could hack my way around the course but it was ugly) my coach asked me what my end goal was. Did I want him to provide a Band-Aid for my game or did I really want to learn how to play golf? I asked him what he meant by that.
He told me that he could give me a few tips, (Band aids) that would make me feel better today but I would never really get better long term. I would return over and over for another Band-Aid.
He then said that if I wanted to learn how to play, it would take time and effort. There were no short cuts for success. I told him that since my current game stunk I saw no reason to put a Band-Aid on it so let’s learn to play.
Over the next few months we stayed in his little training shed where he taught me the positions of the swing. And we repeated them on camera, hitting a little feather ball over and over again making adjustments as needed.
One day I asked him if we were going to go to the range to hit balls and he said, “Why would we go there? You don’t know how to swing correctly. You won’t know why the ball is doing what it is doing.”
So this structure continued until he said I was ready. Then he took his video camera to the range and he recorded my swing and we looked at each swing on camera so we could anchor in what was working and adjust what was not. Over time I had more fun playing because I knew what I was doing and could get back on track easier if something went amiss.
Looking For Broken Processes Band-Aids
My point for this story was that when I recently attended an automotive marketing conference, the majority of the dealers in the room said they had a problem with broken processes and accountability. The odd thing was that most were looking for process Band-Aids.
They were focused on tracking all of the things they needed to create a process for or in some cases ignoring the problem all together. What they still were not grasping was that if you don’t know how to create a process or train a team correctly how are things going to change?
Admitting you are not good at something is not easy. Then again neither is underperforming each month. Berating yourself because you know you should change, but you don’t is a viscous circle of wasted energy.
I am always confused as to why businesses continue to spend on marketing each month which sends customers to interact with broken processes? Has this cycle trained our employees to only focus on what is in front of them because next month another batch of customers will be delivered?
I posed a question to a group of automotive salespeople and asked, “What if your owner stopped marketing and there were no more walk ins? How would you sell your cars this month?” It took a moment but they said they would have to focus on those people who already came in. They would have to make phone calls or send out follow up emails in order to set appointments.
Correct! But if there are broken processes for these salespeople to follow, or no training to make them better or no accountability to monitor their progress how can their success happen?
As I learned from my coach, skills take time to develop. There are no Band-Aids that can create a high performing team. Are you willing to devote the time, like my coach, to implement a solution to fix your broken processes? If you invest the time correctly I know results will improve.