Wednesday, November 26, 2008

10 Ideas for Corporate Counselling

"Maybe I hate my customers. Does that make me a bad business person?" I have heard these words - or their variance many times in conversations and the actions of companies. The solution: Corporate Therapy. I’m sure this is a service that falls under “Consultants”, but I really think there is opportunity for psychologists to branch out into this area of therapy. Some companies hide from their customers, some run from ideas, others just don't really enjoy being a company. The point - there are companies out their with huge self-esteem issues that seriously need help.

Before you respond too seriously, allow me to run with a short scenario to help connect the dots here...

The scenario: A marketing team has decided to take a step and present an idea that is truly authentic and exciting (For the purposes of this scenario, we'll say it was agreed that it is the best solution available). The idea is presented to the executive team. One executive, Jim, says "Great approach. But do you really think our product is that beneficial? I mean, I know it has its benefits, but don't you think this is a bit too positive?" Another executive, Mary, says " I agree with Jim. We are well priced and can sometimes connect with our consumers...but we're not THAT well priced to actually be so bold". Finally, a third executive - Rob - pipes in "You know, we really should look at scaling down this idea, or maybe merging it with that neat campaign we did in the Fall of '92."

Jim, Mary and Rob all need serious help. They suffer from Poor Corporate Self-Esteem, often found in monopolies, or single player markets that have seen increased competition. Their inability to go beyond what was, while trying to improve on what actually is, will lead this company into a deeper depression.

I’m sure we’ve all worked with a Jim, Mary, and Rob. With my experience working with companies and executives, it would seem many fall for the same problems that often ruin marriages or individuals.

Maybe some areas of counseling could be:

1. Why Talking To A Machine Is Not The Same As Talking To A Human

2. Egos – Not Just For Athletes And Monopolies

3. Battling Fiscal Year Vision

4. Customer Hatred And Why It Paralyzes Growth

5. How To Be Friends With The Kid Across The Street

6. How To Recover From A Wahoo Hangover
(thanks Ben McDonnel & Tom Fishburne - 10 Questions with Tom Fishburne )

7. Let’s Learn How To Share

8. Why Nobody Cares About the Fall Campaign of '92

9. Why it's good to leave the boardroom to find customer opinions

10. Build culture through communications - you are not as intimidating as you think. (Presidents edition)

I could go on...but I thought it may be interesting to see what topics you would add?