A few months ago, the Harvard Business Review ran a piece by Ryan Buell on what he calls “Operational Transparency.” Here is the summary:
Conventional wisdom holds that the more contact an operation has with its customers, the less efficiently it will run. But when customers are partitioned away from the operation, they are less likely to fully understand and appreciate the work going on behind the scenes, thereby placing a lower value on the product or service being offered…. Managers should experiment with operational transparency—the deliberate design of windows into and out of the organization’s operations to help customers understand and appreciate the value being added. Witnessing the hidden work performed on their behalf makes customers more satisfied, more willing to pay, and more loyal.
If this sounds familiar, it’s a fancier way of saying, “Show Your Work!”
Today I visited my friend Wendy MacNaughton’s studio in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco. Piled and pinned everywhere was the physical evidence of how hard she works on her stories. She showed me a bug she was painting for a new story and now I can’t wait to read it.
Earlier, we were having lunch at the bar in Piccino and the chefs were preparing a lemon meringue tart. Seeing their delicate work, we immediately ordered one to split.
What windows into your own operations can you open for the people you serve?