The Power of Custom

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I spent over thirty years in the Systems Integration business, helping companies design and build media facilities like studios, control rooms, large scale AV systems and media-Centric IT plants. Much of that time and many of the systems I was involved in were groundbreaking technology and workflows.

Any good technical company can build a functional media facility. The companies I began and worked in specialized in custom-design/build work. There was a great deal of consulting, planning, pre-engineering done before the build ever happened.

Most clients came to us thinking that custom work was more expensive, but studies by industry groups actually proved otherwise. Roughly speaking, by doing a custom design-build, clients saved about three dollars for every dollar spent on customizing.

Going custom saved money by avoiding costly mistakes and rework. Custom saved money because the planning and pre-design made the install go quicker and smoother. And going custom’s savings kept on after the system was built and running.

Why? Because a custom facility did not just “work”, it was designed to take into account every aspect of an organization’s needs – financial, business models, workflows designed to be efficient. Industry studies showed that spending the money on a custom process saved roughly three dollars for every one dollar spent. Pretty good ROI.

Plus, people were happier with custom design because it worked the way they did. Custom didn’t just work, it was a delight because it fit the strengths and minimized the weaknesses of our clients.

Since 2011, I have worked in coaching and leadership development. And here’s what I have learned, custom trumps generic every time, with ROI even greater than in the Systems Integration industry.

Here’s what studies tell us.

People and organizations who use books to learn and develop leaders have limited effectiveness. Studies say roughly 12% reach their goals with books alone. Low risk, low reward.

Training, online or on-site does better, but not as much as you think. The numbers there are in the low twenties to low thirties percentage wise, barely breaking even ROI wise.

What works?

Training combined with coaching. Training to get the core information out, and coaching to individualize it and provide accountability. This method, while it seems to cost more, has a far better ROI.

How much better? How about hundreds of times better? Studies have shown an ROI on this method ranging from over 300% to just over 700% ROI. (If you want the details of the studies, go here.).

And why? It’s the power of custom. Every person who wants to change their life; every person who has the potential to lead is different. To maximize their growth, you have to customize good information and methodology to each person’s strength and weaknesses, maximizing their strengths and teaching them how to minimize and improve their weaknesses.

Custom involves the learners in the process of their own growth. That creates buy-in, extra effort, and involvement. It creates accountability in a safe, positive matter.

It’s what works.

IF you are serious about building your most important asset – your people, it is more effective than any other approach. Whether you use a firm like Quarry House, or develop your own process, go custom. It has the power to make goals real, with an ROI nothing else can match.

The studies don’t lie.

Be well. Travel wisely.

Tom

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What can I do for you? 

If you want to move from where you are to where you want to be, consider taking advantage of my “three for free” coaching sessions. Three free sessions, no strings attached, to see if coaching is for you. Want to know more about coaching’s effectiveness before you contact me? Try reading this. 

If you are a company or organization that needs to simplify, market more effectively, change corporate culture or has a nagging issue you want to fix for once and for all, consider a free one-hour consultation. Want to know more about our consulting services before you contact me? Try reading this. 

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