So, you are committed to discovering your own Customer Focused Mission (CFM). The collection of words, crafted by your organization, that expresses your beliefs about your organization and the vanguard for development and progress that everyone is going to stand behind to deliver their actions to enhance the reputation of your organization.

At some point, I am sure we have all had something like the flu or the horrible symptoms of it. Cold, shivering, runny nose, coughing and spluttering, no energy and really hot, a fever.

It stopped us doing anything apart from feeling sorry for ourselves. Maybe it became an excuse for not getting things done or avoiding something we just did not feel we had the energy to commit to.

If you are going to discover your CFM then be prepared for similar symptoms if you are going to do it justice. It is not achievable without effort, commitment and engagement. You need to continually ask your team “ What are we trying to achieve here?”

Discovering your CFM can be thought of as a FEV(V)ER! I recommend you approach it on that basis for the best outcomes. It’s a bug that needs to affect everyone in your organization.

There are cures for this FEV(V)ER, and they are simple, but each one is equally important. In discovering your CFM (note: discovering, not developing) there’s only six simple things to consider:

FOCUS – on delivering your Customer experience, not sales.

EMPOWER – your people so that their actions are based on the CFM they have developed.

VISION – think through your vision of the organization

VALUES – the foundations you are putting in place

EVERYONE –  it’s a shared responsibility both internal and external

REAL – keep it clear, short and simple. Make it easy to understand and measurable.

We deal with these “cures” in our book in more detail and consider how the CFM is interwoven with the other key steps to building your reputation.

Just picking up on the “Everyone” statement. It takes effort to get everyone involved, explain it to them and gain their engagement. To do that, you must be genuine and honest in discovering your CFM with both internal and external customers. Discovering a CFM is not something that can be communicated by email or developed on a shared drive and thought about on the commute to work. It needs face to face engagement ( Facetime or Skype permitted ) in groups across your organization. So long as you can look into people’s eyes and know they are engaged!

Please! Please! Remember that a Customer Focused Mission is not to be confused with a corporate mission statement. Mission statements are mostly short term platitudes, developed by the few and misunderstood by the many. A great CFM will be timeless!

Russell Wood