Digging for Gold

Creating Shared Value (CSV) is not about your corporate responsibility, it is about the opportunity to create profits with purpose that simultaneously drive sustainability, economic growth and social progress.  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies typically come at a cost, using corporate economic profits to aid with social progress, but what we are talking about here is integrating social progress into your business strategies as a means of creating long term, sustainable profitability that benefits all stakeholders; employees, customers, stockholders, partners and the communities in which your company operates. To many business leaders and philanthropists, this all sounds too good to be true but the fact is this is a proven methodology.

In my article series with Motivated Online we are exploring a structured framework that serves as a guide for you to embark upon your journey to start Creating Shared Value.

In my latest article we start to ‘DIG’ for opportunities to begin making profits with purpose.  Without question, this is the toughest part but it is also the most fun.

In my next article we will prod a little deeper into the creative ‘IDEAS’ resulting from your ‘DIG’ which will enable us to decide on which ideas we want to ‘EXECUTE’.

I would love to hear from you!

How Many of Your Customers Feel Stuck With You?

How many of your customers feel stuck with you, wishing they could leave, painfully disappointed by your products and services, telling everyone they know about their horrible experiences with you and exhausted from their efforts to rid themselves of you?

Such is the case for many telecom customers trapped in contracts that do not protect them from horrific customer experiences.  And yes, I am one of those many customers.  Choosing a telecom provider reminds me of voting in our recent Canadian election… “hmmm, who do I dislike the least”.  The reality is that it really sucks to be a telecom customer… the good news is that there is an enormous opportunity for one of our telecom providers to get it right.  There is zero customer loyalty in telecom and for good reason, so imagine the raid of customers that would flock to a provider that put their customers first and I would be at the front of that line.  Like many others exhausted from being beaten down by their telecom provider I would even be willing to pay more if I could trust that my provider would live up to the services and experience they promise.  When an industry becomes as commoditized as telecom has their is a solution, one that is highly transformative and profitable; make customer experience your #1 priority.

There is a massive believability crisis in telecom, there must be a provider out there somewhere smart enough to seize this great opportunity, no?

So I ask the CEO of Telus, Darren Entwistle, is it ethical that I am locked into a 3 year contract for a internet key that has never worked?  After a year of trying to get your team to resolve this, I surrender, I have accepted that I am stuck donating $50 a month to Telus for nothing, zip, zero.  My suggestion for you… how about you engage me to revolutionize the Telus customer experience and simultaneously magnify your profitability and sustainability?

Happy 1 Year Anniversary!

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my blog! And my 100th post! My how time flies!  Writing is one of my most fulfilling passions and sharing my thoughts with my readers has been such a rewarding privilege for me.  Thank you!

In honour of this milestone I wanted to share my top 10 most popular posts… this was a fun trip down memory lane for me…

#1 – The 6 Most Brilliant Leadership Strategies

#2 – The Beauty of Audaciousness

#3 – The 5 Most Dim-Witted Leadership Strategies

#4 – The Power of Mass Collaboration

#5 – My Best Customer Experience Ever Via Porter Airlines

#6 – The 7 Habits of Highly Successful Customer Experience Leaders

#7 – Customer Experience Awareness is Gaining Momentum

#8 – The Health Care Gaming Connection

#9 – Embrace Your Skeptics

#10 – Creating Shared Value is Sexy

Looking forward to writing my next 100 posts!

Creating Shared Value Article Series

Creating Shared Value (CSV) is not about your corporate responsibility, it is about the opportunity to create profits with purpose that simultaneously drive sustainability, economic growth and social progress.  Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies typically come at a cost, using corporate economic profits to aid with social progress, but what we are talking about here is integrating social progress into your business strategies as a means of creating long term, sustainable profitability that benefits all stakeholders; employees, customers, stockholders, partners and the communities in which your company operates. To many business leaders and philanthropists, this all sounds too good to be true but the fact is this is a proven methodology.

In my article series with Motivated Online we are exploring a structured framework that serves as a guide for you to embark upon your journey to start Creating Shared Value.

In my 1st article, we distill the concepts of Creating Shared Value.

In my 2nd article, we examine the key preliminary questions essential to shaping your Shared Value strategy.

In my 3rd article, we introduce a dialog that educates and motivates others to support this movement.

And most recently, we delve into how to attain sponsorship to seed your Shared Value journey.

In my next article we will begin to rethink your products and services through the lens of Creating Shared Value.  Stay tuned!

I would love to hear from you, what are your thoughts on this transformative strategy?

The Power of Random Acts of Kindness

Is there anything more powerful, more authentic than random acts of kindness?  Sure it feels fabulous to receive acts of kindness when you have done something special, but the level of fabulous is so much deeper when it is purely random and unexpected.  Such was the case today when Dan Rockwell (AKA @Leadershipfreak) send me a direct message on twitter that reads…

“I wish you well… thx for being a generous person”

To which I replied…

“I wish you well too Dan! What did I do to deserve a message like this? Which made my day btw”

To which Dan replied…

“I was just thinking of what a nice person you are… and thought I should say so.”

Wow, coming from someone I admire greatly, this made me feel spectacular!  However upon reflection I was not one bit surprised as I have yet to encounter someone that gets people better than Dan, that is what makes him such a formative leader and mentor.  Dan has never let his fame and following waver his humility, my point here is no matter who you are or how busy you are, take 2 minutes for random acts of kindness as daily practice and expect great returns.

Thank you Dan!  Curious to know more about Dan?  I featured Dan in one of my Passion Profile’s last September.

My Best Customer Experience Ever Via Porter

I received a package last week from Porter Airlines.  I suspected my favourite airline was sending some kind of nice gesture to show appreciation for my being a regular customer… Why? Because that’s just the way they operate.  Well, I had to read the letter inside more than once as I was in such disbelief of their generosity!  It came as a letter from the CEO, Robert Deluce and it read…

“Dear Dawna,

As one of our most regular customers on the Toronto-Montreal route, I’d like to thank you for flying with Porter.  We’re grateful for every one of the many miles you’ve flown with us.

As well as a free roundtrip and discount code for 40% off anywhere Porter flies, inside this box you will find a beauiful, handcrafted passport holder made by Want Les Essentials de la Vie; a small, Canadian business with admirable attention to detail, much like Porter.  It’s my sincere hope that you’ll enjoy using it on your travels for many years to come.

Sincerely,

Robert Deluce”

Wow, one free trip and another at 40% off, that is amazing.  The letter was written like a piece of “Customer Experience” art!  This letter and gift even further strengthened my admiration and loyalty to Porter.  Kudos to Deluce and his team, this is smart business.  Companies often spend large amounts on big broad marketing campaigns with varying results, if more companies focused on maintaining valuable customers in powerful ways like this they would be surprised by the magnitude of the impact that would have with their customers.  In essence they are crowd sourcing their marketing and it works, this blog post case in point.

Porter rocks!

What CEM, CSV and EPM Can Learn From the NFL

If this HBR IdeaCast with author of Fixing the Game, Roger Martin does not drive home the need for us to change our measures than what will?  Martin, shares a powerful metaphor to illustrate how misguided our corporate performance measures have become.  He brilliantly drives home just how normalized we have become to ignore such radically irrational behaviours.  His NFL analogy is both clever and simple,  I loved it!

This awareness presents us with a great opportunity to rethink our corporate key performance indicators.  We need to start measuring what matters.  What matters is the Shared Value we create and the consequences of the Customer Experience we create.  We also need to change our emphasis of measure, while setting goals is essential, what matters most is not whether or not we fully meet our goals but rather our improvement factor.  The example Martin provides with Google is tragic, how can we not celebrate and reward a growth of 27% for a $30 billion company with a 21% return on equity and 17% increase in earnings?

Bottom line, we need to rethink what we measure and how we measure it in context of what matters today, in terms of impact and sustainability.

Visualizing CXPA’s Full Potential

Many of us supported ClienteerHub’s mission to create a social learning community for Customer Experience and like many start ups with a great idea, unfortunately it was unable to sustain it’s initial vision.  Yet we, the community, all knew the value of a community focused on creating greater awareness and improvement in the Customer Experience discipline.  So I am thrilled to welcome and be a member of the recently launched CXPA (Customer Experience Professionals Association).  CXPA is founded by Customer Experience pioneers Bruce Temkin and Jeanne Bliss with a shared mission:

“The Customer Experience Professionals Association is a global, non-profit organization that supports the professional development of its members by enhancing networking, providing research and education, establishing standards, promoting the industry, and creating a better understanding of the discipline of customer experience.”

CXPA has corporate sponsorship (and membership) from the likes of Adobe, RightNow, and SapientNitro just to name a few.  It is not a free membership model, but it is a not for profit organization.  When I checked earlier today, there were 86 individual members and 21 founding corporate members since their launch last Wednesday.  So far the content is all authored by Temkin and Bliss and while I hold their insights in very high regard I am hoping they will add the wealth of other rich insights from our community. <nudge nudge wink wink>

I am excited to see that they have created committees inviting members within the community to help shape the education, marketing, membership, networking and professional development strategies.  There is no question CXPA has the potential to boost the momentum and maturity for the Customer Experience movement and I have great confidence in the founders and our collaborative community to make this a success.

Key to the success of this association is motivating meaningful discussions and a rich customer experience, essentially drinking our own champagne.  As of yet the conversation has not started, but it is still early, and it is up to us to make it happen… that said I wanted to share my vision of an CXPA that would inspire our community and maximize our potential to co-create value for the Customer Experience movement.  Just imagine…

Have any other ideas?  Bruce, Jeanne, I am happy to help!

What Makes a Wise Leader?

I loved HBR’s Big Idea feature this month, The Wise Leader by professors Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi.   Nonaka and Takeuchi have brilliantly identified six abilities of wise leaders:

#1 Wise leaders make decisions only after they figure out what is good for the organization and society.

#2 They can quickly grasp the essence of any situation or problem and intuitively fathom the nature and meaning of people, things, and events.

#3 They constantly create informal as well as formal shared contexts for senior executives and employees to construct new meaning through their interactions.

#4 They know how to use metaphors and stories to convert the essence of their actual experiences into tacit knowledge for individuals and groups.

#5 They exercise political power to bring together people with conflicting goals and spur them to action.

#6 They encourage the development of practical wisdom in others, especially employees on the front lines, through apprenticeship and mentoring.

The authors explore the abundance of drivers that have led us to rethink the essential capabilities of today’s leaders.  In essence we have been “Hit by fraud, deceit, and greed, people are angry about the visible lack of values and ethics in business.”  Arguably we have already begun to mend this hardship and I am over the moon by the growing momentum.  In order to truly harness the Shared Value movement and begin to make profits with purpose we need to cultivate wise leaders and foster wise employees.

I would like to add a 7th essential aptitude for today’s wise leaders:

#7 They are cognizant of irrational behaviours and biases, particularly of employees and customers, and mindful of the predictable patterns that are at the source of them.  They know how to shape employee and customer responses through motivational constructs.  In other words, they do not design incentives that presume logical responses; what may seem logical in theory is frequently highly illogical in practice.

I believe this is at the core of what defies our ease in creating the employee and customers experiences we intend.

What other talents are vital for today’s wise leaders?