Monday, February 13, 2017

Kaleidoscope: A Review

Do you remember the wonder of looking through a kaleidoscope as a child?  Two paper tubes, mirrors, and bits of colorful glass provided an ever-changing display that surprised and delighted.  As Chip Bell points out in his book Kaleidoscope, the ingredients that provide the image remain the same, but they are always presented in unique ways.

In his new book, Bell explains that there are several ingredients that go into innovative customer service.  They do not change, but the way that we put them together can provide sparkling, innovative service to others.

Although this book is not written for a Christian market, some of the values that Bell identifies should be familiar to a Christian audience—grace, trust, generosity, truth, and mercy—and come with some theological implications.  The others—enchantment, alliance, ease, and passion—are based on our larger human experience and can be readily embraced.

This is a motivational book and provides challenging stories and quotes for the reader, but Bell also provides animators— “fifty action items to turn philosophy into practice and resolve into results.”  These encourage the reader to apply the insights into innovative service in his or her context.

If you are in a church, denominational, or not-for-profit context, why should you be concerned about innovative customer service?  First, treating people humanely is the right thing to do.  Each person deserves acknowledgement, respect, and attention.  Second, providing such service reminds each of us that what we do is important and should be done well.  Third, surprising people by “going the second mile” gives delight to the other and reminds us that it is never just about us.

Kaleidoscope is worth the read and would be a good gift to others in your organization.

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