Delivering dissatisfaction (the constructive type)

Jeanne Ward

Jeanne Ward (IL '13), marketing communications manager, The Oliver Group

by Jeanne Ward, Ignite Louisville Class of 2013

“Are you constructively dissatisfied? “ This was the question posed by UPS Airline Director of Safety, Houston Mills, to the group of Ignite Louisville participants at the February program day.  He explained the UPS company mantra further.  Constructive dissatisfaction isn’t about complaining, feeling insufficient or being ungrateful for what you have, but rather it’s about looking for better, more innovative ways to do things, even the tiniest detail, and implementing new solutions to make things better.

UPS definitely delivers with its constructive dissatisfaction!  This organization manages much more than the ubiquitous brown trucks that drop off packages to your house. Their Global Operations Center controls hundreds of UPS flights daily, including approximately 300 that originate or end right here in Louisville.  The facility processes 1.23 million packages per day, enabling UPS to deliver on its next day air shipping promise.

Everything—big and small—matters to UPS—from the smallest storm cell the airplanes must navigate to having a long back-up list of flight crew.  One excellent example of UPS innovation is the My Choice service, which resolves the problems of wasted delivery trips and deliveries that sit in the rain all day, for instance. It allows customers to control delivery dates and times, which is better for them, UPS and the environment. We only scratched the surface of all the logistics that UPS is responsible for, but we started to get the idea of how huge and important UPS is not just to Louisville’s economy, but the global economy.  They can thank constructive dissatisfaction for their tremendous growth and evolution over the last few years.

How can the rest of us become more constructively dissatisfied?

  • Go the extra distance in your job, even if sometimes it seems outside of scope
  • Refine and improve business processes
  • Analyze trends to find future opportunities for innovation
  • Seek and share new and different perspectives
  • Communicate goals with the team
  • Don’t discount the details—those are vital to your customers

Thanks, UPS, for delivering these concepts to the ears of Ignite Louisville participants!