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Posted: June 11, 2013

The all-important internal customer: Part 2

Forget about working alone

Timothy LaMacchio

(This is the second of three parts. Read Part 1.)

Teams and employees may have “the right stuff” --- they are knowledgeable, skilled and hardworking.   But this is insufficient to meeting key business goals.

If these skilled and committed employees work in isolation, or separate, from their internal customers --- those dependent on their work --- they fail to impact business results.  It is that simple.

Working alone, no one can impact business results.

However, when teams and individuals work collaboratively with their internal customers toward a common goal, they can impact business results.
 
Work in any business is accomplished only when different teams (functions or departments) combine and unite their different expertise to achieve shared business goals.

Said differently.  Business goals are accomplished only when individuals and teams with unique expertise (called “functions” or “departments”) work together as a single united team toward common goals. 

To combine and unite diverse expertise on common goals every team and individual must do something exceptionally well. 

The must build an effective two-way working partnership with their internal customers.  A relationship that leverages and focuses both teams unique expertise.

If a business is to be successful teams MUST work effectively with their internal customers. 

Key Learning:

The relationship with your internal customer exists for one purpose --- achieving business results.

Understand the unique expertise of your team --- and the reason the company needs that expertise.

Being an expert in your function is not enough.  You must collaborate with individuals and teams that have different expertise and objectives (your internal customers) toward a common goal.

Think about these questions:
What obstacles prevent you from creating effective working relationships with your internal customers?

What business goals unite you and your internal customer?

What have you done to keeps this working relationship with your internal customer effective?


 

Timothy LaMacchio is the owner of www.GoToManagers.com. A Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, he works with organizations to connect everyday “desk-level” work to strategic business goals. Tim solves a problems root cause --- not just the symptoms.  His practical solutions develop people and the environment people need to perform. Tim's work is about providing new knowledge and skills and achieving business results. Contact Timothy at tel@GoToManagers.com or 303.917.5775

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Readers Respond

Hi, Timothy, I was interested by the title of your article and reading through it, it sounds so familiar. My lean experience in the business has created insight for me : internally, I am not using the word "customer" anymore. We are partners and we have to work together with the same goal : deliver the adding value for our (external) customers. I learn that coming with the internal customer notion has made organisation inner focus and they just forget to align, collaborate & partner. helping inside departents to engage with each other, seeking in the same outside direction and sharing same ambition and goals, agreed ways of working to be in a inside win-win situation to deliver greater outside outcomes is much powerful. All rules & principles you hightlight are exactly the one we need, except, in my eyes, to call ourself internal suppliers & customers... By Valérie on 2013 06 20
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