EMEA Regional Conference (Conference theme – Now for Tomorrow – Location is Riga, Latvia.
Baker Tilly International is one of the world’s leading networks of independently owned and managed accountancy and business advisory firms and is represented by 33,600 people in 147 territories worldwide. Its members provide high-quality accounting, assurance, tax and specialist business advice to mid-market corporates, privately held businesses, governments, NGOs and not-for-profits.
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The TEoC Blog is focused on customer experience from several perspectives, strategy, innovation, behavior or anything along the way that seems to be interesting to share.
The joys of youth. Limitless imaginations, spontaneous jubilation one moment and excited by fear for the unknown the next. Speaking for myself, I was a small child, extremely thin, I could eat 4-5 times a day and not gain any weight whatsoever. Full of energy, and as I grew into my teens I would often times stay up around the clock and keep on rolling. Towards the end of my teens I finally grew, but only vertically. I remember my mother telling me “If you ever grow into your knees and feet you’ll be a big guy”.
I was ready for everything.
I joined the Air Force at 20 and they pushed me to eat double meals twice a day due to how thin I was. I remember it well, specifically for my height I could gain exactly 70 pounds before I would hit the weight limit. That was nearly half my weight at that time, it made me laugh out loud when they told me. I couldn’t fathom ever gaining weight. I smoked. I ate and drank whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
Fast forward to the summer of 2013, the phone rang. My dad was sick, very sick. His breathing short, and his words shorter still. Let’s just leave it at “he smoked”. That very day, I remember it well, I made a decision. I quit smoking. To this day I’ve never picked up another cigarette.
What I didn’t mention above was that like most people, I had gained weight throughout the years. Over a period of 20 years I had finally grown into my knees and feet. Sure I had read things about how our bodies, minds and energy levels change as we grow older, but that was always written for somebody else. I was too busy in the moment, no time to deal with that, or so I said. The effects of quitting smoking accelerated my weight gain. All of a sudden I wasn’t ready anymore…
Over the past year I’ve been confronted with comments regarding my weight that I won’t mention here, but suffice it to say that my pride or shall I say view of myself took a punch in the stomach. I would chalk the comments up to “sometimes people are jerks”. At a certain point I looked myself in the mirror and said “gaining weight because of quitting smoking is no longer an excuse”. I had reached the weight that I once couldn’t imagine ever being. Accepting the weight gain meant that I accept still being bound to the cigarettes. That was a moment towards the end of 2017, just as I was gearing up for the official launch of my new company (The Experience of Customers – TEoC).
During the fall of 2017 I had an interesting day in the Castle of Essenburgh here in The Netherlands with Vision Forward. I came into contact with John Bakker of a new start-up, innOmnia was the name of the company. We remained in contact afterwards and I would soon learn more about what innOmnia was all about. “Inn omnia paratus”, in Latin it means “prepared for everything”. That thought inspired me, so we set up an appointment and talked further. John would tell me that he was inspired by my understanding of what being prepared for everything really means, and what I believe the value could be to the business world.
innOmnia is a company that’s focused on reigniting the mental and physical vitality within us, through what we eat, physical fitness and understanding ourselves better. What intrigued me even more is that they are positioning themselves for the B2B market, enabling companies and the people that work for them become healthier. John and the others I met with innOmnia are passionate about helping others reach their objectives, but how does this translate to business and what does it feel like to go through their program?
As they say, “the proof is in the pudding”! John invited me to take part in their introduction program. Two days pretty much cut off from the rest of the world, connecting with who I am as a person and setting realistic objectives for being the person I want to become.
Long story short…everybody has a story. Whether it’s similar to my story above or not, our health isn’t anything to take for granted.
I’m three weeks down the road and I’m eating healthier and being much more active physically. The weight scale isn’t screaming at me quite as loud to step back off as I’ve also lost a couple of kilos already. I’ve had some marathon work days in the meantime, the 14-15 hour work day type of thing, yet I wake up the next morning fit and ready to go. Sure part of that is because I truly love what I’m doing with my new company, but I’m not having after lunch “dips” like I used to have because I’m eating much healthier. I’m able to focus and sleep better.
It really got me to thinking… it’s one thing to change on a personal level and have more energy, but what does it mean for a company? Making your customers matter starts with your employees. How do you make them feel more involved? How interested are you in their well-being? How would healthier and more energetic employees translate to the satisfaction of your customers?
These questions and more are spinning in my head and as a result innOmnia has contracted TEoC to find out the answers. I so invite you, let’s talk about what being prepared for everything means to you as a person, to your company and to your customers.