If The Glove Doesn’t Fit

If The Glove Doesn’t Fit

I recently told you the story how my Fitbit helped me lose 20lb so far this year and many inches from my waistline. With that, came the added benefit that a lot of my clothes no longer fit as well as they did before.

I was in Toronto last week to meet with a new client–a luxury global fashion brand–and I came home feeling like it was time to seriously upgrade my wardrobe. Thanks to that pesky Fitbit, my favorite suites were about 20 lbs out of date. I bought some nice fitting clothes, but also visited a few tailors to talk about getting fitted for a bespoke suit.

As one website wrote, “Unlike an off-the-rack or made-to-measure suit, every material, cut and detail used to construct a bespoke suit is decided upon multiple consultations and fittings with a trusted tailor.” The whole idea behind bespoke-made clothing[ got me thinking about the work I do with my best clients.

Now consider this….

If I gave you a pair of gloves with only two fingers on each hand, you wouldn’t chop off your other fingers to fit the gloves, right? Of course not. You’d just get new gloves, and blame me for giving you a bad pair.

Why then, do so many companies try to change the way they do business to fit the processes /software/tools they’ve bought to “help” them?

Over the past couple of years we’ve continuously seen companies say, “I’d love to do what you’re saying, but our database doesn’t work that way”, or, “I’d love to be able to get that type of reporting, but our software doesn’t work that way”, or, “Our CRM doesn’t do things that way….But it sure would be helpful if it did!”

The answer in all of these examples isn’t to just shrug your shoulders and say, “Oh well…nothing we can do about it, here’s hoping we survive this year!”, but rather to find or build the tools that let you do what you need to do better.

For example, If you have the authority to spend money in your organization, then you can find the right tools or processes have them built specifically for your needs.

If you don’t have the budget, then put together a compelling business case to bring to your leaders and show them why you need them. If you have internal resources, you can create them yourself. And of course, you can utilize outside resources to help you define exactly what it is you do need, so you’re not just sold something expensive, shiny, and new.

Over the past year, we’ve been engaged in the development of some tools and systems for our clients to help them do just this.

The interesting thing to me is that they usually aren’t fancy. They aren’t nearly pretty as some of the stuff on the market, and they’re usually more expensive at the outset, but they’re almost always far more valuable (generating a greater ROI) because they’re built for a custom fit. They’re made-to-order, specifically customized to our client’s needs and can easily morph, and change with slight alterations.

We can all continue wearing poorly fitted suits because we might save a few bucks here and there. Sometimes, you might grab one off the rack and get lucky. It fits just right. But most of the time, it’s like trying to put five fingers into a two-fingered glove.

Your Challenge For This Week:

Think of an idea you’ve seen over the past three months where you’ve said ‘I wish we could do that!’, or, ‘We can’t do that with our current tools and systems,’ and candidly ask yourself–Why can’t you?