For example, Ted Watson hosts a brief meeting with the executive committee, the CEO, and the coalition. In the short meeting, Ted lets the customer explain that competitors have integrated systems to standardize methods. The competitor then uses this efficiency to create a competitive advantage. The competitor is approaching the customer with the value it can produce for the customer and asks the customer if their existing vendor can duplicate this. The customer then explains that the competitor is close to winning its business, with the direct result that Ted’s company loses a customer. Ted asks the customer if they will stay if this firm can change. The customer, wanting to maintain the relationship indicates they will stay. Finish by asking the customer if their story is unique or if this is a pattern developing. The customer indicates that other customers in the industry are leaning the same way in favor of the competitor.
After excusing the customer, meet again with the coalition. With the results of the customer meeting, logic dictates that the status quo will lead to churn of customers to competitors and ultimately extinction of the company. Insist on at least one business unit change effort, one unit that has direct ties to the customer that is going to leave. Bring the entire coalition to focus on the one business unit. Show the customer meeting story to the whole group. Win this business unit for change and then show all the other business units how one customer affected a change in the company that ensures a sustainable, successful company for the future. Reward the business unit that successfully adopted the change and make sure that the whole company sees the rewards aligned with the logical change effort.