Every superhero has their own personality and super talents, as well as a few flaws – after all, nobody’s perfect. The key in business is to know your staff’s strengths and weaknesses, creating a management team to rival The X Men in terms of ability and diversity.
So, if you are drawn to the menace of Wolverine, resist the urge to surround yourself with a set of rebellious go-getters. For the good of the team, the business and your customer, aim to achieve a balance of talents and personalities.
Put yourself in Spiderman’s shoes
The technique of using the superhero mind-set to stimulate a more creative approach to problem solving has been used by many businesses for some years. Thinking like a superhero can be an effective way of removing barriers and enabling people to be more adventurous in their thinking.
The initial result may be some weird and wonderful suggestions, but these can often be refined and modified into something that really works for your company. For example, if you have an ongoing issue with a particular customer, how would Spiderman put his spidey senses to use? In this case, he might decide that the best solution is gathering everyone together, ensnaring the key people within his sticky web. Once you have come up with the best solution, the next step is finding a way to make it happen.
Discussions with staff and many of your customers will enable you to identify the three main superheroes that exist in the company – Superman, Batman and Ironman. That’s a pretty powerful trio, who bring strengths and weaknesses that will impact upon your business.
Raised by humans, Superman is all about love and protection. He operates within the law and is driven by the desire to give back. Too many Supermen (or women) on your team will result in high levels of customer service, but it’s likely that this generosity will eventually be exploited. Furthermore, maintaining this level of customer service is rarely viable in the long term.
A much darker character, the Dark Knight has no superpowers but is driven by an indomitable will and a fierce determination. He’ll get the job done, but there may be collateral damage. If you have lots of Batman types, your company will be known for meeting deadlines, overcoming obstacles and delivering on products and services – while incurring some damage along the way.
Is all about sexy tech. A problem solver with a high level of intelligence verging on arrogance, he uses state of the art technology to solve problems. However, Ironman types are often guilty of the classic IT expert’s failing of assuming that everyone is as clued up as they are saying: “It’s easy, just press these 37 keys, that yellow button over there and this one third from the left and it’s all sorted – what’s the problem?” He/she will be oblivious to their colleagues’ looks of horror as they struggle to keep up.
Achieving a super balance
Working in the logistics industry, many of these attributes are highly desirable, but it’s all about balance. Aim to create a team with some Supermen/women to ensure your customers feel valued, a few Batman personalities to ensure that everyone complies with the processes, and a contingent of Ironmen to bring the innovation necessary to stay ahead of your competitors.
Steve Twydell is the CEO of the 3T Group and has over 25 years of experience in the logistics industry working for Ryder, DST Dixons and Harrods.
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