The Listening Organization

October 24th, 2012

Listening organizations are the most engaging organizations on the planet. Non-profit organizations, corporations, and universities that listen attract people because they get the people they’re trying to serve.

Listening organizations study us with Cousteau-like fascination. They engage us because we sense that they get us, know us, and understand what makes us tick.

Ace Hotel, Apple, and Starbucks study their clientele and create experiences for them that resonate at a personal, meaningful level. But they have to listen to do this well. So do you.

The DMV doesn’t get us or care to get us. They’re not listening.

What tools can you use to listen to the people you serve?

Surveys and focus groups alone won’t suffice as listening activities—not if you don’t dig deeper. Understanding the truth about people is an art. This is why one of the least effective ways to find out what people really want is to ask them. View content and data as windows through which we can better understand people. Look through the glass, not at it.

Listening organizations don’t merely collect feedback. They invest resources to decipher meaning—a commitment that reveals the depth and authenticity of their interest in us.

You strive to engage people each day. How do you listen to them, and, more importantly, how do you intuit meaning?

Tags: , , ,