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Industry Insights

Paduda: Complacency and Arrogance

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Reading your own press clippings. Belittling competitors. Overweening self-confidence.

Joe Paduda

Joe Paduda

All are all too common when companies are succeeding, growing and taking market share. Everything is going well and senior leadership is blissfully confident that it always will. Any hint of a shadow on the horizon is rapidly dismissed as insignificant, unimportant and nothing to be concerned about. After all, everything we do is well thought-out, smart and insightful, if not outright brilliant.

Internal dissent, contrasting opinions and concerns about troubling indicators are quickly dismissed. After all, things are going so well, those can’t be right. Nah, that negativity is just the product of jealousy, feeble efforts by detractors unable to compete in the marketplace, or staff unable to grasp how smart the C-suite is.

You gotta see the new product/service we developed! It’s a game-changer, a big leap forward, way better than our erstwhile competitors! How do we know? Well, because we built it — and everything we touch turns to gold.

But wait, what about continuing to improve our core product, enhance our service, incrementally get better? That’s where most of our revenue comes from, what made us successful and built our stellar reputation.

Sure, of course, yeah let’s do that — but look at this shiny object! This webinar! This industry award! This way-better-than-anyone-else-has product! This brochure that features a big picture of me! This interview in (insert media outlet)!

This is all too common in the world of work comp services. As in sports, business, entertainment and politics, leaders who focus on themselves, their successes, their brilliance — and fail to focus on continuing to do what made them successful in the first place — will inevitably fail.

Success is not about you, your social media followers, your past successes, resumé or brilliant ideas. It certainly isn’t about how much better you are than your competitors — or, rather, how much better YOU think you are.

Success is about nurturing customers, listening hard to them, seeking to understand what they want, why they want it and how they want it. It’s about making damn sure the people who pay your bills — your customers — know you are 100% focused on them.

What does this mean for you?

If you are darn sure you’re really good and all is well, it isn’t.

It’s not about you; it’s about your customers.

Joseph Paduda is co-owner of CompPharma, a consulting firm focused on improving pharmacy programs in workers’ compensation. This column is republished with his permission from his Managed Care Matters blog.

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