“It ain’t over ’til it’s over”
So when was it decided that Labor Day was the “end” of summer? There is still plenty of baseball yet – things are just getting interesting here in the New England area, with the Yankees and Red Sox going back and forth with classic pennant drive fervor. To me, the official end of summer happens when Tim McCarver and Joe Buck sign off from a champagne-soaked locker room.
September signals a few things. Back to school time for the kids – not mine, of course, as they are well past the age of school buses, lost homework, brown paper bag lunches and permission slips. But around the world other kids are looking ahead with a wide range of emotions and expectations. Hopefully they will make it to the first day of school with a full belly, a well equipped schoolbag (OK – backpack!), some decent clothes and a heart and mind ready to grow. I offer good thoughts and well wishes to every kid, every parent, every caregiver and every teacher who embraces September as a chance to make things better for all.
I was never much of a student. I hated getting up in the morning. Hated the rigor and rote of the classroom, the forced pace of group learning, the sameness of every day. Going to schools that required wearing a uniform added to the sense of restriction. I got a good education, but it was not done eagerly, and to this day I get terribly antsy sitting in any type of class. I am an observer, a listener, and a tinkerer. I learn by doing, and I grow by experience.
I recently found a Myers – Briggs report that was done as part of my leadership training years ago. I haven’t looked at it in a very long time, and I was pretty surprised at how accurate it was, even ten plus years after the analysis was done. Reading beyond my own personality type was also quite revealing, particularly in the way my “type” relates to other “types”. Summoning different scenarios from my career allowed me to test the different behaviors – remarkable how consistently my behavior under duress mirrored what the report defined as effective approaches. Those times where I fell short of success were also predicted. Does knowing my “type” change how I behave? Probably not. Does understanding other types help me interact more effectively with others? Probably.
The wheels on the bus go…
While I’m sure you’re as fascinated by this as I am, I hear you thinking “what does this have to do with anything in Customer Communications Management”? Well, a lot actually. We’re all different, even though most of us will fall into some general buckets. (Or, as my old boss Karl Schumacher used to tell me “you’re unique, just like everybody else!”). Our customers are all different, even though they may fall within certain industries or verticals. And further down the line, our customer’s customers are as different from each other. We all need to be smartly educated on a range of topics, and have the ability to tie it all together so we can correctly deliver value down the entire Communications line.
Class is in session
How do we get what we need from a trade show or a conference? Better yet, how do we offer the right information, the right message in the right medium to reach as many attendees as possible? Let’s take a look at Graph Expo, coming up in a few short days. What’s that going to look like, feel like, and sound like for Pitney Bowes and DMT? New Hardware, Software and Service products – check. Video presentations, speaking slots, printed material – check check check. Sales, Service, Business Leaders, Engineers and Innovators – of course. Our goal is to deliver the right information to you, in the way you’re most comfortable receiving it. Even in a crowd of thousands, we want to reach out to you, personally. It is a major production, and we’re bringing it all. So pack your smartphone, laptop or tablet, grab a peanutbutter and jelly sandwich, toss them in your grownup version of a school bag and jump on the bus to McCormick Place. Let’s put our heads together and see what we can learn from each other.