My favorite movie-watching companion, RC and I recently watched the movie "The Hustler". Paul Newman's role is Fast Eddie the pool-playing conman - great pool-playing with the Minnesota Fats character (reminded me of my mis-spent youth. Just for fun a digression: My first job was as an assembler programmer for Shell Australia. I worked in the DataCenter in Doncaster and next to our cafeteria, we had a pool room. We played pool everyday after lunch. Ahhh those were the days.)
The Hustler is really a classic. A few weeks later we watched The Color of Money - in that movie, the new kid pool-player is Tom Cruise, with Paul Newman playing Fast Eddie 20 years later, who takes the kid pool player up to the big time. Afterwards, RC said "What about a double bill starting with The Color of Money with Collateral?" That got me thinking. Tom Cruise is called Vince/Vincent in both movies. That can't be a coincidence (or can it? :')
So then, I thought, how about a Trilogy with The Hustler. The Color of Money. Collateral?
Then after I watched Star Wars Episode III, the parallels jumped out and begged to be blogged.
Fast Eddie and Minnesota Fats - what else? Obiwan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn.
Tom Cruise as Vince in the Color of Money - Anakin Skywalker
Tom Cruise as Vincent in Collateral - Darth Vader
Looks like the same tension plays out between the Force and the Dark Side in many stories.
So what's the connection with Customer Connect?
Well first, this blog was named Customer Connect before I realized that Diamler Chrysler uses this name for their customer program. So for the record, I have no connection with Diamler Chrysler or their customer program whatsoever.
After seeing Star Wars Episode III I went to see the documentary Enron - The Smartest Guys in the Room.
Now that is a really scary movie! The people in Enron really seemed to believe that the whole point of business was making money and nothing else mattered. They seemed to have been seduced by the Dark Side. The Force was not with them. Sidebar: There's an interesting article The Biggest Contract on the changing identity of business in the Economist last week by McKinsey & Company's Managing Director, Ian Davis. (Yoda?) http://www.economist.com/business/displayStory.cfm?story_id=4008642
They certainly did not care about customers. Especially the customers of electricity over here in California. The Enron documentary brought back into vivid recollection those days in California of power shortages and blackouts. I lived through several of those blackouts and there's nothing like a blackout to remind one of how powerless as a customer you are. Pun intended!
When you are seduced by the Dark Side, you think it is just what you want that matters, everything else is out there to be "used" to get your goal.
In unenlightened Customer Relationship Management, many of the tools and techniques are geared to what our business wants and what our business needs. What is the return on investment to us, the business who is doing the selling? Me Me Me ! What about Me?
See the problem with this picture? In enlightened CRM, we use and seek tools that are geared to matching what customers need with what our best skills and capabilities can deliver.
See Kim and Mauborgne's "Blue Ocean Strategy" - a whole book on new approaches. http://www.valuebasedmanagement.net/methods_kim_blue_ocean_strategy.html
Steer clear of the tempting but dangerous Territory on the Dark Side. Remember Enron.
The Force is with the Customer.
May the Force be with you.
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We continue the sometimes joyful and sometimes painful path to try to be better human beings - this is only possible because we can rise above logic, that we find the wonder and hope, the language and words to inspire us and keep us going. Thanks for visiting.