It’s a wrap for the 2023 i-SIGMA Conference and annual meeting. The Guardian #isigmaconf23 team was all ears for marketplace trends, industry takeaways and customer connections to grow our business in data destruction.
We ended up going (Savannah) bananas
At first, it seemed to be an unusual choice for a keynote on data destruction. But Jesse Cole, onstage in his bright yellow tuxedo (he’s got seven of them), got our immediate attention.
If you’re not familiar with Mr. Cole’s Savannah Bananas baseball team, you’re missing out.
The seven-year-old, collegiate league team has turned the baseball world upside down by focusing on fans first: combining great baseball and total family entertainment. What started with an empty, neglected stadium and little community support has grown into a sold-out phenomenon that has every sports sales and marketing expert paying close attention.
But what do the Savannah Bananas have to do with secure e-Data Destruction?
As it turns out, plenty.
Savannah Bananas’s Jesse Cole has five “E” rules to grow his business
Jesse Cole Rule 1: Eliminate friction to create a better experience.
The grow-your-business takeaway: What are we really selling? What can we do to create a faster, more pleasurable work experience for our customers?
At Guardian, our services (Data Destruction, Data Center and Enterprise and IT Packing and Logistics) are what we’re selling. But is it? What we’re really providing-as-a-service is the comfort, reassurance and consistency of a critical job done right. Secure. Compliant. Absolute.
The grow-your-business goal: What can we do, on any level, at every touch point – from our responsiveness to our invoicing and communication – to create a constantly improving experience? How can we work with our ITADs and VARs to so that their experience as our partner, as well as their customers experience with our team’, is elevated and friction-free?
Jesse Cole Rule 2: Entertain always. “Every business is in the entertainment business. If you are not entertaining your customers, you won’t have customers to entertain.”
The grow-your-business takeaway: Shredding hard drives would be much more entertaining if Guardian drivers and techs showed up wearing big, red noses and driving clown cars. Obviously, that wouldn’t work for multiple reasons. Secure media data destruction is a deadly serious business. But intentionally developing an “unexpectedly wonderful experience” instead of business as usual is where the creative thinking begins – no juggling act needed.
The grow-your-business goal: What can we do to make working with our company a WOW… ”you wouldn’t believe my incredible experience…” As a service provider, what can we do to create a consistently WOW reaction from our ITAD and VAR channel partners and the end user?
Jesse Cole Rule 3: Experiment constantly (because repetition creates boredom)
The grow-your-business takeaway: Tight management control creates a robotic workforce. Bored workers doing repetitive tasks are not in the business of wow or solving problems, they’re in the business of getting through the day.
Workers engaged in creative thinking and solutions are bound to create memorable experiences on behalf of their company because they are invested in outcomes.
Guardian’s onsite Leads are trained in risk assessment and written processes. When situations arise that are unprescribed, they can develop solutions that align with objectives and minimize slowdowns or stoppages.
The grow-your-business goal: Dig deep to see where our team is performing robotically to see where innovation can spark our employees to impress themselves and our customers. Don’t be afraid of ideas that come from our field staff, our ITADs, VARs, MSPs and resellers to push for a pleased WOW – in a whole new way.
Jesse Cole Rule 4: Engage deeply
The grow-your-business takeaway: Listen carefully and notice more. Create customer relationships based on the simple idea of “I’m going to do for you what I’d want you to do for me.” And, let’s face it, there’s no business that doesn’t run into problems. How can you not create a
fan customer, by reacting in an amazing, incredible way to a problem?
The grow-your-business goal: Remove obstacles and friction (looking at you Rule #1) to create a deeper customer relationship that withstands everyday business challenges. Respond openly and creatively to create a great experience.
Jesse Cole Rule 5: Empower action
The grow-your-business takeaway: Decision-making takes up a huge amount of any organization’s time. According to McKinsey, as much as 70% for some C-suite executives. At Guardian, our teams are specialists within their business group and empowered to make accountable decisions based on experience and context. As part of our growth initiative, we’re going whole hog on decision-making. Guardian’s company-wide intent-based training based on David Marquet’s Leadership methodology is designed to create an empowered workforce that is trained at every level to make high-quality and speedy decisions
See our recent 2023 Leader-Leader Company Meeting >
The grow-your-business goal: Be prepared for the worst. Talk about it. Walk through it. Practice it. And provide employees with the guidance and tools they need to make high-quality decisions that empower a better and more memorable customer experience.
To be Data Destruction’s Top Banana
It was a total surprise to learn something incredibly impactful from a keynote speaker dressed in a yellow tuxedo and top hat. Packed with a-peel-ing stories, hard-earned lessons and statistical proof, Jesse Cole preached lessons that any business, not just secure information governance, needs to know:
- stand out in your marketplace
- use your entire team to drive creativity and change
- inspire fan-based loyalty with your team and your customers.
If this all sounds bananas, that’s the point. With a new “bunch” of rules to lean into, the Guardian team is already incorporating Jesse Cole’s Five E Rules into our E-data destruction practice. Deepening relationships with our ITAD and VAR channel partners is the perfect opportunity to create innovation and responsiveness that make a difference to every onsite data destruction, data center and IT packing and logistics job.
Added 2023 i-SIGMA Highlights
Kicked off by the inspiring, yellow keynote, the i-SIGMA conference was even more fruitful:
- It was great to meet Nate! i-SIGMA’s new CEO Nathan Campbell is a former colleague of Guardian’s National Sales Director, Marc Bioarsky. They were delighted to reunite and catch up at the i-SIGMAture Truck Party.
- To meet expanding onsite hard drive shredding and erasure demands, we purchased two additional shred trucks at the show!
- As the 2023 Conference AV sponsor, Guardian’s new, 2-minute promo reel was shown before every session for both conference days.
- Our show attendees reconnected face-to-face (finally for some!) with customers, suppliers and ITADs including our international partners from Italy, Australia and Mexico. Scroll down for photos.
- We escaped the Las Vegas casinos and conference center for a bit and had some fun ATVing in the desert just outside Nellis Air Force Base.
As the 2023 i-SIGMA Conference wrapped up, the Guardian team felt that we had won big – sitting at the Vegas tables, driving through the desert sands and connecting with customers, partners and vendors in the Expo’s Guardian lounge.
Understand the value that i-SIGMA provides for information security and their NAID AAA Certification for data destruction providers >
Get inspired! Watch the Savannah Bananas’ amazing story >