Do customers still call you?
Their needs still not met
Just like yesterday
Your records are empty
You smile, offer hope
Though none is real
I've always like poetry, but not enough to read it often much less attempt it.
But, my brain grew tired as I wrote business posts in a business form, even if I allow for my more direct, energetic writing style. And as it grew tired, as those muscles fatigued, others rose up to say Hey, try me. I want to do something. One of those was ...poetry.
And at the same time, I wondered about, wandered around the idea, of creativity in the workplace and communication skills or their lack in the workplace, and the means to share ideas, to explore a little creativity in a workplace. Poetry workshops over lunch was not the solution.
Still, what would happen if...employees were allowed to write poetry about their day, their work, their challenges and victories? My experience in just a few attempts was...invigorating. Those dormant parts of the brain enjoyed being scratched a little, having their backs rub and massaged, brought to life with the chance to see the sun.
Awhile back, back when I was CEO of a small company, I started a project or initiative. That initiative was to invite/allow one person from the company to share a personal story of their choice at a company meeting. 10-15 minutes, use whatever media you wanted. Share a story, a personal story.
We all did. Every day. Informally. I wanted to bridge that gap, to further open our culture and communication to better marry up the spontaneous, open moments of sharing, with a more formal wholistic presentation which incorporated synthetic, spatial/creative skills as well as those very necessary verbal-analytic skills.
The point was...well, there were many. But they centered around communication, connection, coordination, collaboration. We were a communication company. So...it makes sense then that we had good communication skills. And everyone did. That's a key part of why we were successful.
But, in order for us to continue to thrive we needed to be more comfortable and adept at communicating more abstract ideas, embracing our passions and yeah some failures, and be willing to step forward in areas not defined by policies or habits or best practices.
Everyone liked the idea. We tried it once. We had a good time, both the presenter and the audience. Then things changed and we didn't get to purse that idea.
Back to this poem. Yeah, it's a little dark. But then so many companies' customer service is pretty dark. They offer customer service in a manner not much different than opening a dark hole for its customers. This isn't to bash the unfortunate ones who work in customer service, nor those behind them in operations, who see what a dismal experience they have and offer each day. So...a moment of honesty. It's a first step.
I wrote this poem several months ago. Then, let it sit for awhile. Out on walks or during a run, I'd revisit it. Shake it up a bit in my head. Stir it, taste it...not quite right.
Then I had this idea...maybe I could start a series of Customer Service haikus. Just for the exercise, for the fun. We'll see.
The poem is inspired by Winter Trees by William Carlos Williams.