Government agencies are some of the most notorious change resistors. In 1999, the Mint started to change that reputation – receiving a customer satisfaction rating second only to Mercedes Benz.
“In the old days, we shipped fewer than 50% of our orders within eight weeks. Today, if it takes two weeks for customers to receive an order, they complain. When you change expectations, it’s very hard for an organization to relax and slip back into old patterns of behavior.”– Philip N. Diehl, Director of the United States Mint
If the Mint couldn’t survey its customers officially, Diehl himself would do so unofficially. A few weeks after joining the Mint, he embarked on his own personal fact-finding mission. He went to coin conventions, talked with the hobby press, found situations in which he could interact with collectors. He shunned the ceremonial role that the director of the Mint usually played at these functions (collectors would line up to ask for Diehl’s autograph), and did what any smart politician (and change agent) would do: He worked the room.
Continued in Mint Condition from Fast Company
Thanks to Frank Patrick for the tip.