In the first of a series of six blogs on Service Management, we look at leadership in Service.
The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “A leader is best when people barely know they exist, when their work is done, their aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” This approach is integral to how we operate the Service Management function at Mastek. The company has over 2,200 employees in offices spread across the UK, US and India. This global operation in a multicultural scenario inevitably presents challenges.
A symbiotic relationship
Interestingly, the way that we have set ourselves to work as an organisation serves us well in delivering Service Management. Equally, how we deliver Service Management can help us operate as an organisation. The relationship is symbiotic.
Organisationally, Mastek espouses servant leadership under an internal operating model known as Mastek 4.0. Within Service Management, ITIL puts the customer at the heart of its principles and equally and reciprocally Mastek 4.0 states ‘the customer is the reason for our existence.’
IT and Service Management teams predominantly consist of people with technical backgrounds who don’t always have the customer service experience. While technical skills are invaluable, Service Management professionals must have a view of how their work impacts the customer, in order to better service them.
Transformational leadership allows for a change of needs and redirects the thinking of service management professionals - offering inspiration and giving them a sense of purpose to work in new and different ways. It creates a vision for people to aspire to and communicates it by setting the expectations.
As George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place” – and that’s the key in Service Management. Over-communication is better, as people would get the message twice than not get it at all. Yet, it’s very easy to under communicate or not communicate at all.
Service Management teams should be encouraged to imagine how a customer would feel if they had raised a ticket or were waiting for a reply. What standards of service would they expect if they were kept waiting on the other side of the counter? The response leads to proactivity, a simple yet effective method. Encouraging proactive communication until it becomes the norm helps service management professionals anticipate and effectively respond to customer needs.
When teams are self-motivated and start setting their own bars, the business generates ‘service leads’ from within. Doing simple things like this consistently, helps build the leaders of tomorrow.
We all know that a driver can drive a car but often can’t see further than their own bonnet. However, a good driver sees and anticipates the road ahead. Which is what good Service Management is all about - anticipating customer needs and keeping one-step ahead.
In the next blog we’ll take a look at AgITILity – how a blended approach of Agile and ITIL can empower Service provision.