4. Defining Your Vision and Values – Lead With Your Customer, 2nd Edition:Transform Culture and Brand into World-Class Excellence

CHAPTER 4

Defining Your Vision and Values

The most important aspect of any organization is the people it serves—both external and internal customers. The previous chapter outlined four approaches by which one can understand the “why” behind customer behavior, whether external or internal. Customers are like businesses; each one is unique, but they also have similarities that help us connect with them in meaningful ways. Compare any two organizations in the same field and you will often find two very different sets of customers. Although there are consumer patterns and trends, the best organizations are able to succeed by tailoring their products and services to their customers.

This chapter will focus on the remaining components of the World Class Excellence Model (Figure 4-1). We will navigate from the outer ring of the compass to the center, where we study the core values and vision. Then we’ll look at how we apply those core values and vision in delivering service excellence. Again, all of that is in the context of knowing the compass of your customer, whether that is internal or external. And it is all fully embedded in the customer experience.

We cannot emphasize enough the importance of defining the customer not just externally but internally: The organization will change for the better when you broaden your concept of “customer” to include your own employees. Everything that successful organizations accomplish is aligned with the foundational aspects of the customers leaders serve. That is why we distinguish both types of customers in the center of the model.

Figure 4-1. World Class Excellence Model

Understanding Your Core Values and Vision

There is consensus among the most renowned organizations in the world. They all agree that understanding your foundational values and vision is the first and by far the most important step of any organizational improvement initiative. Its importance cannot be overestimated. It affects every aspect of the operation. It is indeed the core.

Tragically, all organizations that fail to adequately consider this vital component struggle without relief, and until they deal with the core—their company’s backbone—they will continue to struggle. Understanding the core is not simply a mental exercise. World-class organizations use it as the foundational driver for their strategic growth and tactical day-to-day operations.

It is critical to invest significant time and effort in identifying the two components of the core: values and vision. Once established, they can be used as tools that guide goal setting, decision making, identifying appropriate behaviors, setting the criteria for effective hiring, developing guidelines for training and development, justifying buy-in and engagement, identifying guidelines for rewards and recognition, and on and on. The innermost circle of the World Class Excellence Model includes your values and your vision. Let’s look briefly at each, to explore what they are, how they are used as tools, and how to develop your own.

Values

Values are at the center of the model. They are a declaration of what you believe, whether personally or as an organization. Values are what you care most deeply about; they are the foundation of your corporate culture, ultimately driving behaviors and results for your company. Consider them the “why” of your organization. As David Cohen (2006) states in his bestselling book Inside the Box, “What an organization stands for on the inside is equally as important as the vision it tries to make real to the world outside.”

Most professionals make the mistake of taking values for granted—treating them as only a theoretical reality that they are obligated to identify for traditional internal corporate documentation. Those who adopt this naive position establish a gap that will keep them from achieving any kind of significant success.

In their book Corporate Culture and Performance, John Kotter and James Heskett (2011) report cumulative research on 200 companies—as wide-ranging as Hewlett-Packard, Xerox, Nissan, and Quaker Oats—showing that those companies that consistently valued and cared for their employees, customers, and stockholders had much faster growth in revenues and jobs than other firms over an 11-year period. The message here is that values are not simply nice to have. Organizations that shape their culture around their values will find themselves directly focused on attaining results.

There are two basic, distinct types of values: philosophical and operational. Philosophical values are the lists of conceptual words that many organizations put together today. Typically, these lists include words like integrity, honesty, respect, service, excellence, safety, quality, and teamwork. These are all very good concepts, but, for the most part, they lack usefulness until they are fully integrated into the day-to-day operation. Generally speaking, philosophical values are concepts that no one in the general population disagrees with (so why list them?), and they are disturbingly the same for most organizations, regardless of industry. Simply put, while it doesn’t harm a company to identify philosophical values, the real benefit is achieved by operationalizing these values.

Operational values are tactical standards of excellence that articulate the goals for service behaviors throughout the organization. Thus operational values, as opposed to regulatory standards, are guidelines for the operation’s service behaviors. The important thing that a world-class organization does differently from an average company is that it actively uses operational values to create consistency among all its functions.

For instance, Michael F. DeSantiago (2009), of Chicago’s Primera Engineers, shares a story of how his firm was attempting to gain a foothold in the very competitive Chicago engineering talent pool against other firms that were bigger and more established: “One day, as we were preparing to interview a young engineer, I recall thinking how important it was to convey to this young professional our company values, not only the ‘basics’ such as salary, benefits, and the like. It seems clear to me that our consistent reinforcement of our ‘QTIB’ values has helped establish a culture in which adherence to quality is uncompromised, teamwork is exhibited every day, acting with integrity is nonnegotiable, and work-life balance is expected and respected.” For this engineering firm, it is notable that these values, which could have simply been philosophical, have been actively integrated into day-to-day operations.

Like philosophical values, operational values provide a target with which everyone in the organization aligns. Consistency is a key component in creating both a strong internal corporate culture and a clear, established external brand. An organization’s operational values describe the nature of its desired day-to-day behaviors, so all employees have parameters for what behaviors are appropriate. Table 4-1 lists examples of operational values established by a number of organizations.

A problem with operational values is that a vast majority of the companies that do develop them commit a serious blunder by failing to use them as a decision-making tool. For everyone in an organization to act consistently without adhering to some kind of robotic policy, employees must have a tool that guides them when they are faced with a problem. If the operational values are all equally important, then it is highly unlikely that everyone in the organization will agree about what they should first respond to and why. World-class companies have discovered that involving employees in prioritizing their operational values creates a predetermined checklist that results in consistent behaviors across all operational functions—reinforcing a branded customer experience.

Table 4-1. Examples of Operational Values Established by Different Organizations

Organization and Values Considerations
Walt Disney Company:

• Safety

• Show

• Courtesy

• Efficiency

Although conceived at a time when theme parks were compared to carnivals and fairs, Walt Disney Company transformed the experience by introducing these values and aligning all behaviors in the operation to reflect them. More than 50 years later, this decision continues to create magic.
JetBlue:

• Safety

• Caring

• Integrity

• Fun

• Passion

These values were created from the inception of JetBlue. They are introduced in orientation—in fact, they are the first words employees see on the wall when they enter for orientation at JetBlue University in Orlando. These values have great application whether you are talking about the internal or external customer service experience. This makes alignment easier to attain.
Con-way:

• Safety

• Integrity

• Commitment

• Excellence

It’s hardly imaginable that a large trucking company like Con-way would really bother with promoting values. But it has gone to great lengths to establish a culture that fosters excellence. As such, the company rolled these values out as its constitution to more than 20,000 employees. Then it established management tools, local task forces, celebrations, and reward and recognition programs.
Primera Engineers:

• Quality

• Teamwork

• Integrity

• Balance

For almost 30 years, Primera has actively used its values as a selection tool to recruit top talent. In addition, it has awards and periodic president-employee discussions specifically about the values and reinforcing their implementation.
National Park Service—Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments:

• Safety

• Preservation

• Teamwork

• Agility

• Professionalism

The National Park Service in St. Augustine, Florida, cares for some of the oldest structures in the United States. Its duty is to focus on not just the visitor experience, but the national treasures it must preserve. These values embody both missions.

Operational values are more than mere words—they are concepts that reflect an emotional connection to that which has value. Think of values as fuel for action. When people don’t care about the reason for a required behavior, they aren’t motivated, and therefore it is typically very difficult to gain buy-in, ownership, and commitment. In this way, it becomes evident how using values as a tool can positively affect an organization’s day-to-day operations. There are several important criteria for developing your own values:

• People who care deeply about your “reason for being” care about these values.

• These values spark an emotional reaction from your employees.

• These values accurately reflect the behaviors that you expect throughout your organization.

• These values are limited to an easily manageable number—typically between three and seven.

Establishing the purpose and motivation for your company’s actions will generate the fuel for action, but a clear direction is required to ensure progress. This is where the second element of the core comes into play—the vision.

Vision

Essentially, a vision is where you want to be as a company. As a tool, your organization’s vision should be a compelling goal just out of reach of your current capabilities. The hope is that the vision is articulated in such a way that people are inspired because it is founded on what they passionately value. It should describe (not too concretely) a place where they desperately want to arrive and that, if everyone works together effectively, can be reached someday.

People sometimes mistakenly consider a vision to be interchangeable with a mission statement. However, a mission statement centers on the present and is strictly operational. It’s the “to-do” aspect of how you articulate your culture. It focuses on your organization’s fundamental purpose, identifying your customers and the critical processes for serving them. It may inform you of the desired level of performance.

An issue that becomes a real roadblock for most companies is the confusion between “vision” and “vision statement.” Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of business books over the years have explored the nature of corporate visions. Unfortunately, people typically read portions of a book, assemble a task force, and come up with some words they like. Then they print up this statement in a nice typeface, frame it, hang it on the wall, call it a vision, and think they have accomplished “the vision thing.” But they have been deceived into thinking their mere statement is sufficient, and their organization’s operations will therefore suffer.

Those who guide organizations need to recognize that a vision statement is just a collection of words, framed on a wall or on a laminated card. There’s nothing wrong with this—as long as it is clear that it is only a philosophical statement. The value of a real and relevant vision lives in the hearts and minds of your employees—it is what the people in your organization want to be. This true vision is a catalyst for behavior. A framed plaque collecting dust very rarely inspires action. Instead of this static image, a real vision should:

• Declare your organization’s higher purpose.

• Create an external image of the organization.

• Communicate a message and priority internally.

• Be aligned with your operational values and Customer Compass.

Legitimate world-class organizations have mastered the art of creating compelling visions for their customers—visions that are operationally useful and from which we can learn; for examples, see Table 4-2 and the case studies that follow.

Table 4-2. Examples of Organizations’ Great Visions

Organization and Vision Considerations
Ritz-Carlton:
Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen
Conceived by Horst Schulze, Ritz-Carlton’s former president, this is probably the best known of any visions, though Ritz-Carlton itself refers to it as a motto. It is a powerful, concise statement that lifts the esteem of employees, many of whom are immigrants who come from meager circumstances. For Ritz-Carlton, the challenge is keeping this statement timeless, when in many contemporary locations, ladies and gentlemen can seem like antiquated terms.
Darden’s Seasons 52:
Celebrating living well through seasonally inspired healthier dining
Seasons 52 focuses on a Baby Boomer market that wants to eat healthier without sacrificing great taste. There are four seasons and 52 weeks in a year, which emphasizes an ever-changing seasonal menu.
City of Sammamish:
Building community together
This vision is short, succinct, and tied to the business of running the city. Even more exciting is the fact that the entire city was involved in developing both this vision and operational values.
Woodland Park Zoo:
We inspire, naturally
Again, this vision is short and concise. Woodland Park Zoo wanted to be more than about the animals—it wanted to create passion for the entire conservation cause.
National Park Service—Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas National Monuments: We use the past to inspire the future The National Park Service knows that it’s not enough to preserve fortresses that go back nearly 350 years. It must utilize that monument to inspire new generations of Americans. This litmus test asks whether it is providing that kind of experience to visitors every day.

The Walt Disney Company: “We Create Happiness”

One of the best examples of an operationally useful vision is from the Walt Disney Company. Once hired, each “cast member” (as Disney calls its employees) learns that no matter what task they were hired to perform, every employee has the exact same real job: to create happiness, in keeping with Disney’s motto, which expresses its essential operational value: “We create happiness.”

A story told in the book The Wonderful World of Customer Service at Disney (Kober 2009) makes this point well. Consider an 18-year-old popcorn seller. His task is to pop, box, and sell popcorn. Pop, box, sell. All day long, the same task, every day. Then, in a moment when he has no customers, he notices two older women taking photos of each other in front of Cinderella Castle. At this moment, he has two options. Either he can continue focusing on his task and wait for customers to request popcorn, or he can exceed expectations and “create happiness” by offering to take a photo of the two women together. Imagine that they say yes, he takes their picture, they thank him, and he goes back to popping corn.

He’s provided great customer service, but has he taken it to the higher criteria and created happiness?

This true story continues. Three months later, one of the two ladies wrote a letter to the park’s management describing how, a few months earlier, she and her sister had gone to Disneyland together, and while there, a popcorn seller had stopped working to take a photo of both of them in front of the castle. She goes on to mention that she and her sister had not been on speaking terms for 20 years. They had decided to come to the theme park and spend time re-establishing their relationship. The photo the popcorn seller took is now the only one of them together in 20 years. She wanted to express how his gesture had ended up being so very important to her and her sister’s memories of each other.

Did the popcorn seller “create happiness” Yes! And why? Because he was hired to do more than his task. He was trained to fulfill the deeper mission of the organization.

But what if, afterward, the popcorn seller was confronted by his manager about stepping away from the popcorn cart to take the photo—even when there was no line at the cart—because it “wasn’t his job”? What do you think the popcorn seller is going to do next time there’s an opportunity to create happiness? When faced with connecting messages, most employees conclude that it’s safer to do average (by-the-book) work until a better job comes along. But world-class companies avoid this problem by engaging their employees to deliver a superior customer experience.

“We create happiness,” a concept originated by Dick Nunis and Van France when Disneyland was first created, has endured until today. By shaping a vision in your own organization, you can build a practical ideal, a statement, that epitomizes your products and services. In their landmark 1984 book In Search of Excellence, Tom Peters and Robert Waterman wrote, “Whether or not they are as fanatic in their service obsession as Frito, IBM, or Disney, the excellent companies all seem to have very powerful service themes that pervade the institutions. In fact, one of our most significant conclusions is that, whether their basic business is metal-bending, high technology, or hamburgers, they have all defined themselves as service businesses.”

The key here is to design guidance for strategic, desired behaviors. When an organization invests the time to identify an inspiring and unifying direction, defines the terms to ensure clarity, and involves the employees in committing to behaviors that bring those stated goals to life, it has the beginnings of a fully aligned, highly performing workforce, regardless of the industry.

The Office of Federal Student Aid: “We Help Put America Through School”

Imagine the possibilities when everyone is pointed in the same direction with the same higher purpose in mind. One successful example of this might be found in, of all places, the federal government. Federal Student Aid (FSA) is responsible for billions of dollars in grant and loan money. If you’ve taken out a college loan for yourself or for your child, you have undoubtedly been affected by the FSA. But the FSA had become so steeped in poor service that Congress created a mandate to enable it to become more customer focused. This mandate required the FSA to look at itself more carefully. It had been focused on compliance—making schools and financial institutions follow the rules—but focusing on the individuals who received grants or loans was another matter.

Under the direction of a new leader, the FSA devised a new service theme: “We help put America through school.” Here’s an example of what this looked like operationally. An FSA manager was on summer vacation reading the newspaper when she noticed a letter to the editor from a mother who had been swindled by a private company that had promised to get her daughter into the college of her dreams. The letter described how, after spending two years and thousands of dollars, the daughter had not been accepted by any colleges due to the company missing several deadlines.

Upon learning of this mother and daughter’s experience, the FSA manager became enraged and immediately started making calls to those she knew in the college community. After several weeks, the daughter was not only enrolled in the prestigious university she dreamed of attending but had also been awarded some available scholarship funds. Although it was not the FSA manager’s responsibility to handle individual student challenges, by helping this student, she was truly able to “help put America through school.”

Guidelines for Developing and Implementing Your Core Vision and Values

When developing your core vison and values, which do you do first? Well, on this “chicken and egg” question, the authors differ in their opinions. But one thing we agree on is that both are important and need to be addressed prior to execution. Moreover, we believe that you need to adhere to the following seven key steps:

1. Engage all your employees. One of the best ways to get people focused on your core is to involve them in brainstorming, developing, and implementing the core message. Even if it takes several months, it’s worth involving everyone. Avoid trying to create it in a vacuum.

2. Get concrete with your values. For instance, teamwork is a great organizational value for your employees, but it has little application to external customers. Though your customers may never see a list of operational values, they should be able to clearly identify your values by the great service they receive.

3. Make sure that each value is unique. Each word should stand alone as a distinct service term. For instance, empathy and concern could be considered too similar. Likewise, confidence and privacy are parallel terms. And even respect and dignity may be too close to each other to be meaningful as separate concepts.

4. Create a prioritized order of values. The problem with most organizations is that if their values are all considered equally important, different opinions about priorities typically arise when employees try to solve a problem. But if there is an established, commonly understood priority of values, then all employees can follow a consistent problem-solving path. For example, if an incident occurs and the most important value of the company is identified as safety, then everyone’s first step is to gauge whether the situation is safe. If it isn’t, they’ll agree to act to fix the safety consideration first. If the situation is already safe, they are guided to collectively consider the next-most-important value to solve the problem—continuing down the prioritized list.

5. Ensure that your values encompass the organization. The core should have meaning and relevance to everyone in the organization. To create integrity throughout the operation, there must be consistent values in every facet of the company. Some try to individualize these from area to area, but it’s nearly impossible for the “back of the house” to support the “front of the house” effectively if each is focusing on different criteria. For instance, if the front-of-the-house team’s primary workplace value is speed and the back-of-the-house team’s primary workplace value is accuracy, there are likely to be misunderstandings and strained interactions because what one team values is at odds with what the other values.

6. Make your values actionable. Each value should encourage action. Values should not be grounded in esoteric theory; they should be tools for tactical application—focused on the customer or the employee. For instance, the value of courtesy can easily be described in behavioral terms and measured. Grace, however, may be more difficult to articulate on a behavioral checklist.

7. Keep your list of values brief. Don’t create too many, resulting in a laundry list. To create values that can be a useful tool in day-to-day operations, benchmark companies limit the number of values to four or five at the most—keeping them manageable and memorable for everyone in the organization.

It isn’t enough to develop your core vision and values. You must also implement them; they must become part of your culture. Here are six key ways to do this:

1. Announce them. One of the best ways to get people to commit to your core vision and values is to involve them in developing and delivering the vision and values. Let your frontline employees deliver the messages, rather than the human resources department, or let them partner with capable facilitators. In many instances, they will be more credible than somebody from headquarters. Also, they will be the first to implement and support your core vision and values in their own working lives.

2. Hire in keeping with them. Use your vision and values as criteria for hiring employees with the right fit. As new employees come on board, share with them the nonnegotiable nature of the core of your organization. It should be the most important element of any new employee’s orientation.

3. Promote them. Post your vision and values everywhere—banners, posters, murals, wallet cards, newsletters, and so forth. Keep them in front of every employee. Don’t let them simply be a plaque in a boardroom. Make them part of the fabric of your organization’s daily give-and-take.

4. Discuss them. Successful, world-class organizations host regular team meetings. And at these meetings, rather than just speaking about the logistics of the day, they discuss how they can further their vision and values. They talk about how the situation looks in their own area, how it is lacking, and what they can do to improve it.

5. Connect behavior to them. Empower employees to work within the framework of your core vision and values. Teach them the principles that go with your core, and then let them govern themselves—with accountability. This will increase their engagement. Reinforce and support employees by recognizing and rewarding the behaviors that align with your core.

6. Deliver your products and services in accord with them. That’s what the rest of this book is about—we’re going to explore how your core vision and values can be brought to life when delivering your products and services. Your core values and vision essentially become a guide for your company’s behaviors. All decisions about what you provide and how you provide it to your customers should be aligned with your core.

You can’t just deliver any kind of service to be sustainably successful. You must align it with your core vision and values. That integrity is what will make you stand above your competition. Alignment and integrity are what ultimately give you a high-performing culture and a valued brand.

We’ve looked at the Customer Compass and the core vision and values. With all of this defined, we’re in a position to apply that context to engaging employees and defining a great customer experience. Let’s overview our approach for fully maximizing those opportunities.

The Six Ps

What distinguished these unusually successful companies from their competitors was a measurable advantage in customer and employee loyalty. Each time we found a performance record that was hard to square with the traditional economics taught in business schools, we also found a company with superior loyalty. Each time we found a company with outstanding loyalty, we also discovered a company that was delivering superior value to its customers and employees.

—Frederick F. Reichheld (2001), The Loyalty Effect

Moving to the pie-divided ring of the World Class Excellence Model, you’ll find the six basic systemic concepts that all world-class organizations use to deliver the values and vision of their brands. Together, these six concepts—promise, people, place, process, product, and price, which we call the six Ps—provide the basis for developing guidance and primary operational methods for not only serving external customers but also fulfilling internal operations (Table 4-3).

Table 4-3. The Six Ps

P Internal (Culture) External (Brand)
Promise The organizational culture The brand promise
People Those serving those on the front line Those serving on the front line
Place The “backstage” setting for your employees The “onstage” setting for your services and offerings
Process Employee guidelines, rules, and policies The policies, procedures, and rules that govern the delivery of your products and services
Product The employee offerings you provide The goods you offer to customers
Price Tangible and intangible costs to the employees Tangible and intangible costs to the customer

The ultimate goal is to have the people, product, place, and process live up to the promise, and be well worth the price. This can be illustrated with the Six Ps Customer Formula:

Promise < People + Place + Process + Product > Price

Unless all six of the Ps are considered according to this formula, the experience (the middle four Ps) will not exceed the expectations (promise) of the customer; it will not be worth it (price). The natural consequence will be no loyalty, and there will be no sustainable competitive edge. World-class organizations consistently balance these fundamental components of the customer experience—and consistently reap the benefits.

The cumulative components of the six Ps in the context of the rest of the whole model have a direct impact on the experience of both employees and customers. In parts II and III of this book, we explore in detail how they can help you exceed the expectations of both your internal and external customers.

The concepts by which all services are experienced are the middle four Ps—people, place, process, and product. As an initial overview, refer to the examples of the service delivery tools derived from these four Ps that have an impact on the external customer experience (Table 4-4).

Table 4-4. Examples of Service Delivery Tools That Affect the Internal Customer Experience

Because your employees are internal customers, you can see the same experiences from their viewpoint (Table 4-5). Note the similarity of the approach—the model unifies and aligns all aspects of your operation to a single point of reference. All these topics are detailed in the chapters to come.

Table 4-5. Examples of Service Delivery Tools That Affect the External Customer Experience

The Unity of External and Internal Experiences

Great organizations don’t focus on isolated “moments” of service. They focus on the entire customer experience of multiplied moments—and, as mentioned earlier, world-class businesses view the customer both externally and internally, as shown in the outermost concentric circle of the World Class Excellence Model. Every aspect of the customer’s experience either adds to or takes away from their perceived value—and dictates the likelihood that the customer will become a loyal advocate for the company and its brands.

Ultimately, the qualities of all the components of the World Class Excellence Model influence the value of the operation itself. In their book The Experience Economy, Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore (1999) explore the concept of “you are what you charge for”—in other words, if you compete solely on the basis of price, you become commoditized and offer little or no true differentiation. They offer an example about coffee. When coffee was seen as a commodity, you could purchase enough beans to make a cup for a penny or two. That changed when coffee was transformed into a “good” that could be ground, for a few additional pennies. In time, coffee also became a “service,” and thus coffee shops began making customers cups of coffee, which were also eventually sold at corner convenience stores for about a dollar. The most recent coffee transition came with the advent of Starbucks, which led in creating an experience so powerful that people were willing to pay more than five times the convenience store price for a cup.

Although competitors like Dunkin’ Donuts have gained market share by offering coffees for a lesser price, one thing has become obvious: Today’s loyal customer cares most about their overall experience—so being world class must focus on all facets of every customer’s experience. The essential question for every responsible leader becomes, “How do we create an experience that not only lives up to its promise but also sustainably positions us ahead of our competition and enables us to make a significant profit?”

The ultimate goal is to have the people, product, place, and process live up to the promise, and be well worth the price. To bring this concept to life, world-class companies intently focus on connecting proven tactics with each of the Ps.

As you build your brand and culture, you will see that employees yearn to be associated with an organization they can be proud of. Many are willing to make extra effort to help their company achieve its goals—if they share the goals and values of its organizational culture. Is investing in building your employee engagement worth your effort? Here is some information that may help you make that decision.

According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace report, on average, 17.2 percent of an organization’s workforce is actively disengaged. Gallup also found that an actively disengaged employee costs an organization $3,400 for every $10,000 of salary, or 34 percent. That means an actively disengaged employee who makes $60,000 a year costs their company $20,400 a year! Using those two metrics, you can estimate the amount of money actively disengaged employees cost your company. First, determine the percentage of your employees who are disengaged; for example, if it were 17.2 percent and your company had 5,000 employees, that would equal 860 people (5,000 × 0.172). Then if you took your workforce’s median salary, multiplied by 0.34 for the amount wasted per employee, and multiplied that by the number of disengaged employees, you have a total cost of $11.7 million to your company a year—860 × $13,600 (34 percent of an estimated $40,000 salary).

The models that world-class companies use to build their internal cultures of excellence are—not coincidentally—the same models used to create a strong brand. The secret is staying focused on the core vision and values and the six Ps discussed here. Every world-class organization has discovered that these aspects are inextricably linked—its internal dynamics create its external experience, which creates its reputation, which, when linked to the images representing its business, creates its brand—all aligned with its unique core vision and values. With the World Class Excellence Model, for the first time, a single conceptual, experiential framework reflects the real-life dynamics faced both inside and outside the organization.

Summing Up

In the context of the World Class Excellence Model, the next two sections of the book detail the delivery tools leaders can use to create an excellent experience for both external and internal customers. Part II focuses on the six Ps as they relate to an organization’s internal experience, its culture. Part III focuses on how they relate to its external experience, its brand.

Next Steps for Using the World Class Excellence Model to Build and Apply Your Core Foundation:

What values distinguish you from similar employers? What values can create passion for what you do?

What is your vision for what you ultimately provide your customers? Does this vision create passion? Does it differentiate you from your competition?

How will you make the vision and values come alive in your organization?

How do the six Ps show up in your organization?

What is the true cost of doing business with you? Do you provide a clear value for your customers’ investment?