Are your standards for your business as high as for what you watch on TV?

This morning, Bob Garfield — editor-at-large for MediaPost — posted a column discussing the change in the quality of television as opposed to movies.  It’s a terrific read about a conversation where Garfield’s daughter exclaims, “Dad, you don’t understand. TV is now better than movies.”

Later, however, Garfield quotes Jeffrey Cole, director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.  In a streaming universe, Cole so eloquently observes:

“There is no longer any reason to watch crap.”

In other words, there is so much competition — and so many options available for customers (“viewers”) — there is just no reason for any of us to settle for less than extraordinary when we make our decisions about what we are going to invest our time in watching.

Imagine for a moment you are an executive at a television network — from a traditional one like NBC, to a cable network like A&E, or a streaming one like Netflix — and you have to decide what you will finance, create, market, and attempt to sell, both to advertisers and viewers.  In this hyper-competitive marketplace…could you afford to be anything less than committed to distinction?

Which leads us to the real problem in business:  We understand this phenomenon when it comes to television.  Yet, we keep doing it the way it’s always been done in our own organizations.  

We fail to realize these television viewers — who no longer have any reason to “watch crap” — are the SAME PEOPLE who no longer have any reason to buy a crap product or service — or be treated like crap when they do business with us!

So, it begs the question: Are the standards you are setting for your business — and yourself — as high as the standards you set for the programs you choose to watch on television?

And…if they aren’t…what are you going to do about it?  How are you going to create distinction in how you sell and serve your customer?

How to transform a perceived negative into a point of distinction…

Someone I respect sent me link to blog on how difficult life is for foreigners who are fashion models in China.

That might not seem like a topic that would be interesting to someone like me — who specializes in organizational and professional differentiation, sales, and customer service — however, the reason I loved the post is because Meredith Hattam, writing about her experiences working in Beijing and many other Chinese cities, describes her ordeal so brilliantly.

Because I’m now interested in this highly insightful individual, I checked out her website…and, I’d recommend that you do, too — there are amazing pictures and great posts.

Imagine, though, that you are Meredith…and you’ve taken a year away from working professionally in your chosen field of endeavor, while others your age are building their resume and corporate experience.  Someone in HR who is interviewing you for a position might perceive your time off as indicating you don’t have the competitive degree of experience…or dedication to your job…or some other negative that you certainly don’t intend.

How do you transform that perceived negative into something that can, instead, make you stand out from the pack and create distinction?

Her response is a textbook example of how to tackle the problem…it’s awesome.

Watch the video…and let me know what you think!

What I did in 2011 from Meredith Hattam on Vimeo.


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