Can you Handle the Truth?

by Karen on January 28, 2011

Effective and efficient businesses and organizations know who their ideal customer or client is, what problems they are trying to solve and why.  The ideal client values what you do, they are willing to pay you appropriately for your service and/or product and view their relationship with you (your organization) as a wise  investment that enhances their organization.  These clients have expectations that fit within your existing operating framework, and when their request is outside your framework, know it will cost extra.  The IDEAL client – – – oh, we all love them.

But what if there aren’t enough “ideal customers?”  Then it is time to ask some tough questions and look at your definition of the ideal client or at what you are offering.

For PROVOKE, the ideal client wants to hear the truth and is prepared to act on it, in fact is eager to look forward to design and implement an approach, process, service or product to better align with their ideal audience.

Quite often, the audience truths reveal that you are over-serving, and in the process increasing costs and stressing systems and people unnecessarily.  In fact, in the last four projects we were involved in, our client was over-reaching what their audience wanted and in the process, losing organization value.  In one instance, it meant adjusting organization goals.  In a second instance, it meant paring down the offering.  And in two instances it meant  amping up existing services for widespread consumption.

The truth may sting a little, it may even hurt a lot.  But the truth ALWAYs provides clarity and reveals opportunity.

Think you can handle the truth?  If you answered YES, then you are ready to take an important step forward.


President Clinton shared his perspective on the challenges and the blessings of today’s world. Within his presentation, two thoughts  that really made me pause were:

  • In 1992 when Bill Clinton was first elected, there were three news channels and only 50 websites. With three channels competing for news leadership, there was an ongoing check and balance for timeliness/urgency AND accuracy. Today, with the extraordinary expansion of communication channels and “news” reporting mediums, a person can choose to listen to the source that they agree with. “It dumbs us down.”
  • President Clinton talked about the challenges facing poor countries vs wealthy countries, and how they are different. The challenge for poor countries is the lack of capacity or infrastructure to improve their living conditions. In wealthy countries, there is capacity and success has been realized. The negative consequence of this success, however, is rigidity. People are more interested in preserving their position, losing sight of their purpose.

To sum up the day, Mike Lipkin made me feel stronger, President Clinton caused me to think more globally and Hayley Wickenheiser made me feel proud to be Canadian – again!

A great day!