We're big fans of Dan and Chip Heath's work. You'll see it referenced in our materials frequently as they undertake very solid research and present their findings in readable and interesting ways.
We were especially pleased when they highlighted one of the behaviours we have identified as organizational Noise which waste people's time, resources and potential:
Good leaders excel at converting something ambiguous into something behavioral. Take Terry Leahy, one of the leaders responsible for reversing the fortunes of Tesco, now the U.K.'s No. 1 grocer. One of Tesco's ambiguous goals was to do a better job "listening to customers." Leahy broke down that goal into a set of specific actions. For instance, cashiers were trained to call for help anytime more than one person was waiting in the checkout line. In addition, Tesco received 100,000 queries per week from customers. Leahy's team made sure that all Tesco managers had access to customer concerns. (If you want to listen to customers, you had better make sure your managers can hear what they're saying.) As a result, they learned counterintuitive lessons, such as that customers dislike stainless-steel refrigerators, which remind people of a hospital -- not an ideal association for a grocer.
Ambiguity simply isn't good for individuals, teams or entire enterprises. Read the full article at Fast Company here: