Which of these three topics is most important? Your needs? Your wants? Your dissatisfactions?
It’s the third of these topics that’s most important, according to the CEO of Procter & Gamble, A. G. Lafley, who has co-authored a book called “The Game Changer.”
The publisher and promoter, Random House, says the lessons in the book can help you learn how to:
Make consumers and customers the boss, not the CEO or the management team.
The way Lafley approaches that idea was displayed on TV when Lafley was being interviewed by Charlie Rose on Wednesday night.
It also reminded me of how one local resident, Don Falls, stood up during the public comment session at the Thursday night Tucumcari City Commission meeting.
Falls talked about saving the Sands Dorsey building, which nearly burned to the ground in June last year.
But he also talked about:
l Cleaning up the town, so it would be attractive to tourists and visitors, so that our town would make a good first impression. And residents also could take pride in their town.
l Deweeding the street gutters, so our streets would have a longer life, and, again make a good first impression.
A recent newcomer to town, Falls and his wife, Connie, who has deep ties to Tucumcari, have been renovating the old mission church at Aber and Jackson.
Falls said he didn’t want to sound like he was ranting, but that he was concerned for the town’s future.
A city commissioner assured Falls that he wasn’t ranting and that his comments were beneficial and that it was hoped that Falls would continue to participate and bring his comments, his complaints to the commission.
When you think hardabout complaints, they’re often frustrations. They’re often a sign of a hope for future, a vision that’s much more impressive than the present. They’re often like the homebuyer who buys a fixer-upper, who says, “This house has good bones.”
Lafley learned about the value of complains when he was in the military stationed in Japan.
Lafely said that he was in charge of all the retail stores serving the U.S. military. He often met with women who bought things in those stores.
He told Rose that he didn’t ask the women questions, he talked to about the products in those stores, he just listened.
“I wanted to know their needs, wants, dissatisfactions. You know, one of the great things about complaints ... one of the great things I learned in the retail business, is that you treasure complaints.
“Because complaints are these little clues that help you find ways you can improve your service, ways you can improve your operation, and, frankly, ways you can innovate to find new products.”...
Rose interrupted to say, “In other words, you encourage complaints.”
And Lafley responded, “Definitely, you should treasure them.”
Yes, the companies Lafley talks about in his book (co-authored by Ram Charan) are game-changing companies like Honeywell, Nokia, LEGO, GE, HP and DuPont that are looking for complaints.
And maybe the complaints those big companies want, would be helpful to others.
So don’t be afraid to complain. Your complaints may lead to dissatisfactions being turned into satisfactions.
Participate in your city and county government. You could be a game changer that creates a new city.
Oh, and you could also come out for the Great American Clean up on May 3.
Chelle Delaney is associate publisher of the Quay County Sun. She can be reached by calling 461-1952 or emailing