Week 24 of 52. Welcome to Drucker Mondays, a 52-week journey through the new book, A Year with Peter Drucker: 52 Weeks of Coaching for Leadership Effectiveness, by Joseph A. Maciariello. Each Monday, we'll feature a Drucker fan and his or her favorite snippet from the week's topic. (Subscribe on this page.) David Schmidt is our guest writer today.
THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: Effective leaders don’t decide unilaterally for non-customers what they need. Instead they base their strategy on very extensive, in-depth market research of the people who should be customers—but aren’t.
DAVID SCHMIDT'S FAVORITE DRUCKER INSIGHTS from Week 24, pages 184-191:
• “What the people in the business think they know about customer and market is more likely wrong than right. There is only one person who really knows: the customer.”
• “It is a mistake to assume that a prospective customer is irrational if he or she is not enthusiastic about a producer’s logic. Rather, it is the producer’s duty to determine what the customer will find valuable.”
DAVID SCHMIDT'S COLOR COMMENTARY:
One of the sad, even painful, behaviors I see in too many nonprofit leaders is an almost willful disregard for their audience—demonstrated by a lack of non-customer research Peter Drucker advocates here.
Our agency had the privilege and responsibility of executing nearly all of the early congregational research that Bill Hybels used at Willow Creek Community Church to make more informed ministry decisions. Compassion was the driver—not numbers. He was motivated to lower the artificial barriers people encountered in making an authentic connection to Jesus Christ.
It’s my experience that the Christian non-profit leaders who love their constituents the most, demonstrate that in their research budgets. They care enough to get to know their non-customers and other key stakeholder groups and then act on the insights they get.
THIS WEEK'S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY DAVID SCHMIDT:
David Schmidt is the president of J. David Schmidt & Associates, Wheaton, Ill. He notes, “We are all about helping our clients explore ‘off the map’ they follow—so they can better achieve greater impact and results. Email him at David@wiseplanning.net or visit his website.
Ask yourself: Who are the next 1,000 attenders, students, ministry recipients, campers, listeners, viewers or buyers we seek to impact with our mission? Now go look at your research budget that is designated to get to know your non-customers. Then listen to what your heart says about what you see in that line item. That dollar amount speaks volumes.
On June 22, 2015, Shannon Barnes, managing principal of The EDGE Group, will share his color commentary on Week 25’s topic, “Phase Changes as Organizations Grow and Change,” the final chapter of five weeks on “Maintaining Your Organization Through Change.”