Friday, April 13, 2012

Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions

Image courtesy of LearningLark
"Feedback is the breakfast of champions" is a quote often attributed to Ken Blanchard, who is an author, speaker, management expert, and business consultant. I thought this would be a great quote to build on in today's blog post.

As we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! (You do know that, right?!) Without a good breakfast, you won't have the energy to get through the day! Likewise, without feedback, the organization starves. It operates in a vacuum, and cannot improve, adapt, or evolve.

I don't have to preach about the need to gather feedback. As I mentioned in my last post, 98% of organizations collect feedback. And there is no lack of listening posts or sources of feedback: there are solicited (e.g., surveys) and unsolicited (e.g., social media) channels, with structured and unstructured feedback.

Where I do need to continue to preach is on how that feedback is used. Think about this: If you don't fuel your body in the morning, you'll pass out by mid-day. (Well, I know I will... probably long before mid-day!) If you don't take that feedback you've collected -- or that has been sent to you, unsolicited -- and socialize, analyze, strategize, and operationalize it, (a) you're missing out on some great opportunities and (b) you will eventually fail.

Keep in mind that, unlike champions in the sports world, focusing on the score is not the approach you want to use in the business world. VOC is not about the score. But even in sports, feedback is critical, so that you can adjust your game to adapt to the opponents' moves and strategies.

Image courtesy of Belle-Vous Photography
I always tell my clients that getting used to reviewing and acting on your feedback is like having your morning cup of coffee. If you think of it that way, you'll review it and respond to it every morning, just like your email. Make it part of your routine, and get addicted!

Close the Loop

So, eat your breakfast... drink your coffee... and do great things! Be a customer experience champion!


  1. Great quote and great article. Here at Kampyle we get some nice quotes from our own clients on the value of feedback as well.

    For example, Lex Pedersen, Managing Partner @SurfStitch, a wildly successful Australian online retailer had this to say about online customer feedback:

    "It's like having a 5 minute meeting with 100 customers every morning!"

  2. Thanks for reading and for commenting! I love it... that's a great quote! So true, isn't it?

  3. It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.
    -Ursula K. LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness, 1969

  4. You know you’ve heard me talk a number of times about “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.” This is a saying that Rick Tate, who used to be a consulting partner with our company, often said.