As a follow up to my debut article on Motivated Online, Pairing Passion with Purpose by Creating Shared Value, we start to explore Enabling Shared Value. First we zoom out to the birds-eye view, illustrating our roadmap at a very high level. Within each step are numerous powerful methods and frameworks to support your journey and effectively enable your Shared Value strategies. Then we zoom in and take a worms-eye view to ‘ASK’ the key preliminary questions essential to shaping a Shared Value strategy.
The goal is to put your Shared Value journey into the context of your corporate environment. In my next article we will focus on the essential “DIALOG” needed to get your Shared Value journey in motion.
Big thanks to the audacious and highly creative folks at Motivated!
Not only is cross-fertilizing brilliant ideas a clever innovative approach to solving complex problems, it can also steer you towards strategic growth opportunities. It was not surprising to me to read about “The Pharma-Gaming Connection” in Locating Your Next Strategic Opportunity via this month’s issue of HBR. The Health Care industry was well represented at the Gamification Summit in San Fransisco earlier this year and gaming was a hot topic at the recent HiMSS in Orlando. The article shares examples of ventures seizing this opportunity such as Foldit; an online social game for science geeks based on the challenge of finding the most efficient way to fold proteins in hopes that they can help solve real protein-folding challenges for biopharma companies. What struck me about the examples the article provided was that none of them were focused on solving the pervasive barriers that stunt growth and innovation in Health Care broadly; issues such as patient adherence, patient privacy, access, and patient experience. My point is not to diminish the significance of the examples given, in fact these companies are helping pioneer the pathway for us to tackle the more systemic issues. In essence I want to stress the need for us to target these issues.
I get super excited thinking about leveraging mass collaboration to bring Health Care into the 21st century by cross pollinating principles of Motivational Design, data visualization, and shared value. As Hans Rosling has said “I am not an optimist, I am a possiblist”. This is all very doable, in fact it is being done as we speak, smart biopharma companies and Health Care broadly can either chose to help shape this movement or scramble later to catch up.
Do you know of any examples of ventures connecting Health Care and gaming? Please share if you do…
An article in this month’s HBR Experts Are More Persuasive When They’re Less Certain inspired me to think about what is really at the core of this counter intuitive finding. I suspect that the manner of the delivery of confidence is a significant factor. There is a big difference between assertive confidence and humble confidence. The pervasive lack of trust in our business community broadly right now has heightened our sensitivity to confidence with an assertive or arrogant flavour. We are much more skeptical and appreciative of confident humility, this requires the courage to discuss risks and uncertainty openly.
Moreover, I believe that we do have a deeper appreciation for exploring beyond certainty. This is essential to meet our full potentiality and arguable to sustain growth. There is no question, our cognitive behaviours are at play here. We commonly overlook the insights that our irrational but highly predictive motives provide us. We value the potential to achieve more than a guaranteed win; this needs to be considered explicitly in our approach to selling our ideas, products, or services.
How do you respond to uncertainty, does it inspire you?
One of my post popular posts to date is The Beauty of Audaciousness, marking my discovery of the brilliant Motivated Magazine. I am thrilled to share that I was invited to be their first re-occurring bi-weekly feature article focused on pairing passion with purpose. My first article was posted today! Pairing Passion with Purpose by Creating Shared Value.
Big thanks to the audacious and highly creative folks at Motivated!
While I celebrate that Customer Experience is Gaining Momentum, I believe that the intention and perception of the majority of those participating in this movement remains outdated and needs to be addressed in order to sustain and harness the untapped potential value of Customer Experience strategies.
On the left end of the spectrum we have those that approach Customer Experience strategies as a necessary expense resulting from external pressures. On the right end, we have those that view it as an opportunity to expand profits and create shared value. I suspect that for the most part we lean heavily to the left, yet we need to head due west.
If you read the examples in Michael Porter and Mark Kramer’s article on Creating Shared Value through a lens of customer experience, you will inevitably be struck by the potential value you can harness with a renewed intent and perspective. They share powerful and highly repeatable examples from companies such as Google, IBM, Intel, J&J, Nestle, Unilever, and Walmart who have all begun to demonstrate the potential of shared value. We need to move beyond our short sighted strategies and recognize that businesses and customer experiences are defined far beyond our conventional perceptions.
If you dig a little deeper into the Nestle example you will find that they have injected shared value into the core of their business; into the core of their customer experience, into the core of their employee experience. Chairman and CEO, Peter Brabeck-Letmathe says:
“It is our firm belief that, for a company to be successful over time and create value for its shareholders, it must also create value for society.”
Nestle is not just claiming to do business this way, they are proving it. More importantly they are measuring their performance and reporting the results. Not just the results of the social value, the results of the economic value. Does all this impact customer experience? It sure does! This has the potential to create authentic and sustainable customer loyalty in a way we have not seen before. As a consumer, I now get very excited about buying Nestle products, let’s face it, there are a lot of brands delivering good quality food, but a brand that has holistic purpose is a massive differentiator. This matrix diagram was developed as a conceptual framework to measure a company’s overall net impact on its stakeholder groups.
Earlier this week I had the privilege of participating in a FOCUS panel discussion with Mark Kramer to discuss shared value and measuring what matters. It was a very engaging and insightful discussion. I am looking forward to many more discussions like this as I am on a passionate quest to create awareness and help today’s leaders embrace and prosper from this meaningful change.
To get started identify all of the societal needs, benefits and harms that are embedded in your customer experience. This extends beyond your products or services, it encompasses your entire value chain and the communities of your company and customers. Then explore and discover how you can address them through your customer experiences. This will unleash a new form of innovation and deep, sustainable value that will drive customer loyalty on a whole new level. I will be exploring the “how” in much more depth in a follow up post. Stay tuned!
Want more? In this BBC interview, Porter does a brilliant job of summarizing key elements of shared value with further examples, drivers and the challenges ahead to get the financial markets converted.
I suspect the momentum of the shared value movement is going to accelerate quickly, it’s a win win proposition!
This is a powerful illustration of the Decisive Advancement in Customer Experience Methodology via Motivational Design. Chris Mahoney, Cynergy’s Director of Health Care, helps us visualize the future of physician and patient experience. Motivational Design is a methodology for changing behavior that is based on people’s intrinsic motivations, it brings together research from neuroscience, behavioral economics, game design and sociology to create solutions that bridge the gap between people’s intentions and their actions.
Huge kudos to Cynergy for pioneering technology that has the potential to radically transform the quality and experiences within Health Care broadly. We need to apply these principles to all Health Care issues. What gets me so excited is that this methodology extends beyond technology, it provides a framework that can be applied to operational strategies, communication strategies, financial strategies, truly everything.
Last month Geoffrey James provided me with the rare honour of guest posting my 5 Most Dimwitted Leadership Strategies on BNET’s Sales Machine. Geoffrey is a prolific writer with a highly provocative and cynical nature reflected in his outspoken readers. Today’s post is inspired by a number of his readers who challenged me to write about leadership strategies that DO work, strategies that foster sustainable results in today’s highly complex business environment.
Each one of these practices yields significant results on its own, but in union they become extraordinary. For the sake of consistency, my intent was to provide 5 clever leadership strategies, however I simply could not narrow my list down to less than these 6.
1. Zoom-In, Zoom-Out. Leaders need to maintain multiple vantage points, navigating with ease between a worm’s-eye and bird’s-eye perspective. Typically they favour one or the other which can hinder their ability to make good strategic decisions. Effective leaders instinctively know when to zoom in and zoom out, this strategy is critical in times of crisis or tackling complex problems. Read Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s illustration of the significance of a zoom-in, zoom-out framework to learn more.
2. Getting Naked. Vulnerability is arguably the most important leadership trait, yet it is widely shunned upon. Nothing inspires trust like confident humility, there is no more powerful attribute than honesty and from trust breeds loyalty. Patrick Lencioni, author of the very clever “Getting Naked” shares how to embrace this transformational strategy.
3. Shared Value. If you are not familiar with the Shared Valued Movement then dive in! We are finally moving beyond our outdated approach to creating value and harnessing value with purpose. Our business community is developing a global conscience and discovering it pays to act responsibly.
4. G7. The Group of 7 provides a bird’s-eye view of your corporate environment with strategies and pathways to address pervasive issues right down to the worm’s-eye view. The health of your corporate environment is an imperative determinant in your ability to embrace change and complexity.
5. Customer Experience Driven. Business starts and ends with the customer experience; a closed-loop strategy is essential. Start with these 7 Habits of Highly Successful Customer Experience Leaders and then move from effectiveness to greatness with the 8th habit.
6. Cross Fertilization. I have blogged extensively about the genius born by cross-fertilizing brilliant ideas. Creating the practice of exploring different disciplines fosters innovation and creative problem solving.
“All decisive advances in the history of scientific thought can be described in terms of mental cross-fertilization between different disciplines.” Arthur Koestler
What other brilliant strategies do you have to add?
After reading Creating Shared Value by Michael Porter and Mark Kramer I was certain that at minimum they had accomplished making smart sexy again. I must temper my enthusiasm for their brilliant illustration of this massively powerful movement to reflect on what this really means. I call it a “movement” because this is not the first of its kind, nor will it be the last, it is however the best I have seen to date and it marks an acceleration in this evolution. I also call it a “movement” because it is fueled by a purpose much higher than our literal economic interpretations, it is not a fad, nor is it a pipe dream, in my humble opinion, it is the work of destiny.
Porter and Kramar position their article as “capitalism under siege”… they then go on to say “… the purpose of the corporation must be redefined around creating shared value”. I want to emphasize “the purpose” because this marks a period where our spiritual evolution is partnering with our economic evolution. If I used words like “authentic” or “awareness” 10 years ago, anything I said there after would have been dismissed. A mindfulness of this union will enable you to harness the power of it. I recognize that this was not the intended meaning of the word “purpose” by authors but I am proposing we reflect on it with more meaning. After all, they are proposing a greater purpose, one that is essentially putting us all on the same team for the greater good locally and globally.
Are you a believer, a skeptic or somewhere in between?
I’m becoming obsessed with cross-fertilizing brilliant ideas. There are so many clever ideas, concepts, solutions and people in our magnificent world but on their own they seem to yield very little impact. In order to solve the complex, persistent problems of today we need to cross-fertilize and mass collaborate.
After watching Hans Rosling’s keynote from the 8th annual Passport to Global Health Celebration I was struck by how pervasive some of our false beliefs are. This may be the most powerful proof that the world is now one, this is not theoretical, it is fact, it is not “we” and “them”, it is all “we” now. The concept of having two types of countries; the “west” and the “developing world” is past, such was the case 50 years ago, but not today. This is what is fundamentally driving our Shared Value movement. We are all on the same team now and if we act like it, we can solve the seemingly unsolvable.
There is no industry more in need of a shared value approach then Health Care. The Health Care business community has been trying to address the same problems for decades with minimal results and colossal costs. However, if we merge, blend and join together the enormous amounts of brilliant discoveries, ideas, and solutions we can finally make some meaningful changes. Key to our success is accurate context of our current environment; Hans Rosling’s discovery is a powerful illustration of how false beliefs can distort global strategies. We need to further explore the Joy of Stats to modernize our perspectives. Without this, our Shared Value movement is at great risk of misfiring.
As I reflect on problems large and small with a cross-fertilized approach, leveraging the genius of the principles of the Shared Value movement and Motivational Design in context of a fact based world view that everyone understands, the clarity is extraordinary.
I have spent a lot of time over the past few months pondering and incubating the concepts of Motivational Design (MD). What I love most about MD is that it is a metaphor for its own principles and patterns. Initially the potential impact of MD was most obvious to me in context of improving employee and customer experience, but soon after I realized that was just scratching the surface.
A quote MD uses to help illustrate one of its patterns is:
“All decisive advances in the history of scientific thought can be described in terms of mental cross-fertilization between different disciplines.” Arthur Koestler
Motivational Design is a pattern library and process framework developed by Kes Sampanthar of Cynergy. In essence this library of patterns can also be described in terms of mental cross-fertilization between different disciplines. They leverage the rich intelligence formed within the gaming discipline to extract patterns for increasing the wanting. Cross-fertilizing that with insights from behavioral economics and more explicitly the cognitive patterns that shape our motivations. Further adding the advances made with regards to reach and awareness that social media has provided. This is a powerful combination and a decisive advancement bridging the gap between our intent and our results in the experiences we create.
Much of Kes’s work with Motivational Design thus far has been in context of developing engaging user experiences for technology solutions. However, I strongly believe these patterns are equally as applicable to every aspect of business and life broadly. In fact they are arguably easier to apply elsewhere.
I will share examples from 2 of the MD patterns to illustrate some of the concepts but I believe it is the sum of the parts, using multiple patterns, that breeds it’s potency. Each pattern on it’s own is useful but not unique, nor ground breaking, it is the union of them along with it’s process framework that makes MD so brilliant.
Some car manufacturers have started to add eco gauges that visually display if you are driving efficiently using leaves; the more green leaves you have the more efficient you are driving.
This example immediately had me thinking about medical therapy adherence which is a costly both in terms of fiscal costs and quality of life. I have previously seen solutions much like household alarms used to try to achieve these results but I would imagine a “gamified” approach would better address the intent to increase the wanting to adhere.
If a runaway trolley is about to run over five people walking on the tracks. You are standing next to a switch that can turn the trolley onto a side track, killing one person, but allowing the five to survive, what do you do? Chances are you would kill one over five.
Yet if five people have just been rushed into a hospital in critical care, each requiring an organ to survive. There is not enough time to request organs from outside the hospital. There is, however, a healthy person in the hospital’s waiting room. If the surgeon takes this person’s organs, he will die but the five in critical care will survive. Should he kill the one person to save the five? Pretty sure we would all say no.
Same results different moral circumstances. Yet we seldom consider the cognitive patterns of decision making, we tend to shape our strategies based on logical decision behaviour.
We see examples of this time and again with incentive programs intended to make customers or employees happy but in the end generating disappointment resulting from cognitive responses. Incorporating MD would mitigate unintended outcomes and dramatically improve our intended experiences.
Smart brands like eBay and Callaway Golf and many more have leveraged Cynergy’s Motivational Design to maximize their user experiences. This is much more than theory, it works!
If Kes and Motivational Design sound familiar, you may be recalling my interview with him last September.
Today’s post was inspired by The 8 Stupidest Management Fads of All Time and The 5 Dumbest Management Concepts of All Time by Geoffrey James. I would respectfully disagree with some on his lists but I did enjoy his provocative perspectives. Geoffrey’s articles got me thinking about the most dim-witted leadership strategies that continue to linger in today’s business community. The good news is that there is growing momentum in our appreciation for transparency and we are finally starting to embrace the power of mass collaboration. Let’s agree to abolish these 5 useless and more often dooming leadership strategies.
#1 Command and Control
Command and control leaders might as well put a blindfold on along with some earplugs. Typically these leaders rationalize their methods emphasizing the negative outcomes of consensus based strategies. Consensus based strategies, while polar in nature, are as dysfunctional. Both strategies are negligent and like most things in life the sweet spot is somewhere in the middle. Decision makers are crucial, as are collective buy-in and the voice of the team broadly. We need more leaders that have the confidence to act and the humility to listen.
#2 Bottom Line Be All End All
Leaders that put the bottom line above all else will eventually find themselves at the bottom without the line. And assuming they defy the odds and sustain this risky strategy, they will not be maximizing their potential. They are simply gaining more than they are losing. I’m not suggesting the bottom line is not important, it is without question a key performance indicator, but it is no more significant than customer experience or employee experience and arguably less important. A healthy bottom line can be a goal, but it is not a strategy. Once again, it’s about balance, we need more leaders with the courage to focus beyond the all mighty dollar.
#3 Tradition and Prescription
While tradition might provide comfort, familiarity, and even bind groups of people, it can also inhibit and even sabotage meaningful change. I’m not suggesting all traditions be tossed, but they do need to be examined mindfully and they should never be maintained blindly. Similarly prescriptive leadership may provide consistency and reduce complexity but the reality is we do not live in a one size fits all world. It stifles creativity and fosters inflexibility. The effort required to develop a universal solution is enormous and commonly fraught with compromise on behalf of the customer. That said, highly regulated industries often require a more prescriptive approach, such as Health Care. The key is to examine all practices through the lens of your customer; it is possible to both meet regulatory demands and remain creative. Bottom line, we need more creative leaders that embrace and celebrate change.
#4 The Black Hole
Every company has a black hole, that is where all the wasted money, energy and talents fall when the are misused, misunderstood or worse unnoticed. I would bet that we could feed an entire continent, if not the world, if we could monetize this waste collectively. Every company needs a ‘waste master’, chances are they would be your most profitable investment. Leaders are often aware of some waste and blind to even more, we need leaders that have the courage and foresight to eliminate waste and in so doing maximize their potentiality.
#5 The Lone Ranger
This is the “I need to do it myself if it is going to get done right” leader. News flash, you are NOT a leader if you are doing everything and deciding everything. Being a leader is about empowering others, motivating them to act like an owner. A lone ranger may feel like a rock star but nothing could be farther from the truth. This leadership approach will chase away the talent on your team, it clearly does not scale, it is not sustainable, and it puts your business at massive risk. We need leaders that cultivate positive results from others; a smart leader surrounds themselves with those smarter then they are.
What does your top 5 dim-witted leadership strategies list look like? And what does your top 5 smartest leadership strategies list look like?
Did you catch my Customer Experience of the Month for December featuring Best Buy? Over the holidays I lost track of how many Best Buy blunders stories I heard. It all started when my friend Craig Gibbs, posted this message to his facebook status…
“The customer experience at Best Buy: The salesperson treats you like a thief, the cashier treat you like an idiot. How delightful.” He later added a comment “Best Buy competes only on price and absolutely, positively do not care about individual customers.”
So I gave Best Buy the benefit of doubt and assumed this is not their intended customer experience, according to their website “Best Buy offers consumers a unique shopping experience with the latest technology and entertainment products, at the right price, with a no-pressure (non-commissioned) sales environment.” It’s hard to deduct what their intended customer experience is from this statement, I get that it is intended to be “unique”, although what about it is unique? They do carry the latest technology and entertainment products at a good price, but perhaps they have missed the mark on their intentions of with a no-pressure sales environment. This explains why I have such a hard time finding a sales person to help me when I go to Best Buy. Like most things in life, having a balance is key, while we don’t want a high-pressure sales environment, we do want effective sales support that are inspired by their leadership to reflect their intended brand experience.
Then I reflected that companies who rely solely on pricing may have notable fiscal success, as is the case with Best Buy, but good prices are easy to replicate, good customer experiences is more of an art, one that would expand their fiscal potentiality and minimize competitive risks. While Best Buy is #45 on the 2010 Fortune 100 List their stock price was recently hammered by more than 15% due to erosion of market share making the competitive risks very real for Best Buy. At a time when technology gadgets are at an all time high, Best Buy should be thriving! I then urged Best Buy Chief Executive Brian Dunn to give me a call, with the right customer and employee experience strategy they can reclaim their market share and harness the full their potentiality.
More recently, another friend of mine, Laura Daub, posted this on facebook…
“I don’t care how busy you are Best Buy… Not answering your phone for 2 days in a row is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE!!!”
To which her facebook friend, Larry White, commented…
“Welcome to the world of ‘you are easily replaced by other lemmings who will fill the void’.”
Then a few days later Laura added this update…
“My Best Buy update: they didn’t answer their phone for 3 days, the Canon Rebel we bought for our daughter was faulty, so my husband just took it back and got the one Henry’s put on hold for us (for 2 days) and they even threw in a flash card for free! So, ptttcht Best Buy big box store that only cares about their sales… I suppose you don’t really care, but you should.”
Fact of the matter is there are countless stories like this. If you go on YouTube and search for “Best Buy sucks” you end up with an unbelievable amount of frustrated customer rants. This was my favourite…
Bottom line, Best Buy’s erosion in market is the beginning of a very bad ending, they have a narrow window of opportunity to shift this momentum but it will take a radical change in their Customer Experience Management strategy. In 2008, Best Buy was applauded for their creative pricing strategies, however the most brilliant pricing strategy will not sustain without a mindful Customer and Employee experience strategy.
How do you we get through to Brian Dunn and his team before it’s too late?
Naked, naked, naked… if you follow my blog or if you are reading HBR, Huffington Post and the like, you are taking notice of our nude new world. “Don’t confuse transparency with a lack of privacy” embrace it as “a new form of power”, words to live by from Macrowikinomics authors Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams.
In a recent article Thriving in an Age of Hyper-Transparency, Don and Anthony say “Transparency should refer to the release or exposure of pertinent information — information that can help stakeholders if they have it or harm them if they do not. Employees should not violate confidentially agreements or the law…” In other words, your intent with transparency matters. Transparency with the intent of harm is powerless, in fact it is risky business both morally and legally. What we are advocating is transparency that empowers.
“Rather than something to be feared, transparency is becoming central to business success. Every company needs a transparency strategy. It has to rethink what new information should be made available to employees, customers, business partners and shareholders. Corporations that are open perform better. Transparency is a new form of power, which pays off when harnessed.” I urge corporations to take this sound advice literally. To survive and thrive in our nude new world it is not enough to be more open, you will need a transparency strategy that reinvents accessibility to information. This is guaranteed to expose you to new complexities but trust that the rewards far exceed the efforts.
For my readers that share my passion for customer experience, bring out the champagne, this nude new world breeds trust and trust breeds loyalty. Transparency is a key component to the 8th habit of Highly Effective Customer Experience Leaders.
Much of the published discussions I have encountered thus far have focused on corporations and government, this is a result of numerous scandals exposed in recent years. Yet the need for transparency in social responsibility is just as crucial. It is an essential missing component that is enabling our giving to exponentially exceed what is being received by those in need. In my recent post Mass Responsibility, I explain that “we need to rebuild philanthropy on a trusted and transparent foundation that is fiscally responsible and value driven.”
Bottom line is that transparency fosters end to end responsibility and empowers your economic destiny.
I am more and more profoundly struck by the enormity of the opportunity to radically re-discover, re-shape, re-invent, re-new, re-act, re-approach, and re-create our corporate environments, supply chains, industries, really our business community broadly. Companies and leaders with the courage to actively embrace this revolution will discover and expand their potentiality. However, those that merely observe, resist or ignore it are playing a high risk gamble with their ability to sustain let alone survive the unavoidable changes that have already been set into motion. I have illustrated all of the elements, factors, stakeholders, and drivers at play in How to Prosper From Radical Meaningful Change.
Earlier today I listened to a brilliant HBR IdeaCast featuring Don Tapscott, a provocative thought leader and coauthor of Macrowikinomics, a book I am now inspired to read. In this interview Don provides compelling examples of companies that are embracing this revolution. I agreed with most of Don’s insights, and without question we are at a punctuation point in history. For the purposes of this discussion, I found two topics quite powerful and extremely relevant to further our discussions on the radical change we want ensure we shape in a highly meaningful way.
The first is the need to replace the traditional command and control organizational structures with new ones designed to empower mass collaboration. He shared the example of how Lynx Operating System has been successful by taking a non conventional approach to structural design. This approach mirrors the principles and approach of Agile. The business community broadly has much to learn and leverage from Agile principles and methodologies. While they have been written in context of software development, they apply universally as best practices. In short, it is the customer-centric practice of a highly incremental and adaptive approach with a supporting universal language, notation and processes. Notably, management takes more of a curator approach and gives the developers the autonomy and empowerment to develop solutions that are relevant. This would require a massive shift in leadership, where trust, respect, vulnerability, transparency, and awareness become essential.
The second topic was Don’s suggestion for the news industry to be re-built as a new macro collaborative, eco-system in the form of a “network newspaper”. Capitalizing on the massive opportunity to join forces and play on the same team. I believe that his example is even more powerful when applied to the health care industry. Health care globally, is starving for a new eco-system that both capitalizes and solves the enormous gaps in patient experience and an incredibly bloated cost structure. We need a macro health network and to do this, the abundant number of diverse stakeholders within health care will need to recognize and embrace that we are all on the same side now, the side of the patient.
Our biggest challenge is not the complexity of the solutions required to solve the underlying problems, it is the attachment to traditional solutions and fear of change that are so tightly guarded in some of the highly command and control industries like heath care. Industries like technology, by it’s very nature, have been forced to explore and develop more open, collaborative and adaptive structures and solutions and will be much faster, closer and creative in their strategies to embrace this change.
A great starting place for health care is to re-invent how we approach intellectual property. Patient privacy in particular is not just a barrier for heath care, it has become a convenient excuse not to communicate openly with patients. A great topic for a follow up post.
What are some other issues, not necessarily heath care focused that you think need immediate attention?