A Sloan Fellow of London Business School, with additional degrees in Spanish and software engineering, Kirsten Gibbs has spent more than 30 years helping businesses large and small to systematically improve the way they do things.
She is most enthusiastic about working with small businesses of up to 20 people, to enable everyone in them (including founders and owners) to enjoy a better life while keeping ever more customers happy and coming back for more.
“For me, business, like many other human endeavours, is a collaborative venture. Such ventures work best when every participant is empowered to take responsibility and free to bring their whole self to bear on the problem at hand.
We know how to do this in creative fields like architecture, film and theatre, or music. We specify the experience we want our customers to have, and document what has to happen when in order to deliver it. We don’t tell builders, actors, stage managers or violinists how to their job – we trust them to use their skill, know-how and personality to deliver the customer experience we’ve described. We’re happy even for them to suggest improvements.
But somehow we expect business to work differently. We expect our people to work blind, and simply ‘do what they are told’. Sometimes we even expect them to be able to read minds.”
Kirsten’s mission is to help small business owners operate more like composers, and give their people a score to follow, that makes clear the desired customer experience without turning the individual into a robot.
“There’s a fine balance between process and individual freedom; between automation and the human touch, between algorithm and empathy. That’s the balance I try and help small business owners achieve with their business. Because it works.”