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Systems tell stories

On a sunny afternoon right after I arrived from university, my grandma called me and told me that my great-grandfather, who was 102, had fallen and hurt his wrist. She asked me if I could take him to A&E.

When we arrived at the hospital the room was packed with people. It was hot. When we approached the desk, the lady at reception started asking the routine questions: name, address, date of birth.

When she inquired about his age and my great-grandfather proudly said “102”, the lady responded: “Oh, that’s incredible. I’m sorry, but the computer only has two digits for the age, so I’ll put in that you’re 99.”

There will be a moment in your business when your customers’ needs have grown, when they no longer fit into your standard services. You can do two things: you can grow with them and start offering something that really addresses their new situation, or you can ignore their situation and keep on selling the same product or service, even if it’s not a 100-per-cent fit.

In both cases you’re telling a story: the story of who you dream your customers will become after working with you or experiencing your products or services.

Do you believe that people can live happily and healthily beyond 100? What else do you believe? What story are your products or services telling?



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