6 Ways to Transform Process and the Customer Experience (at the Same Time)

Steve Towers Keynotes

Where do I start?

I was keynoting a conference in Europe recently, and senior executives in the room were getting the rationale behind moving Outside-In. However, there seemed to be two perplexed groups in the place.

One was what a refer to as the ‘traditional process guys’, and the other ‘the customer is first people’, and interestingly they both asked the same question “Where do we start?”

My honest and most direct answer is “You do not have a choice. You have got to start where you are and go from there!” OK, I get what you’re thinking, how could they take that away and begin to transform their organizations?

So, I walked them through TWO distinctly different ways to navigate to Outside-In working and practice, depending on your mindset, enterprise history and maturity. For the two categories of customer in the room, the NEEDS are the same, just the way they navigate to achieving them is different.

What are the Results?

From a results perspective, both approaches focus on winning the triple crown, that is Improving Service, Growing Revenues and Reducing Complexity (and hence lowering costs).

ApproachProcess EngineeringCustomer First
FocusProcess is the starting pointStarts with Customer Needs
ScopeReengineering the ProcessesAligning everything to Customer Needs
IntentionBuild out from Process to Department to Division to EnterpriseArticulate Successful Customer Outcomes and Remove the complexity of things that do not contribute to it
BenefitsLocal wins building to business-wide transformationImmediate delivery against Triple Crown benefits
Executive Buy-inSlow burn, however when they see the benefits and ‘get it’ the support is significantStarts at the strategic level so influences everything the organization does
RecommendationIf your remit is just ‘improving processes’ this approach will get you their steadily, however, the challenges facing traditional business are seismic so is there time? So, make immediate gains but push hard for more quickly.By demonstrating the value of ‘customer first’ in terms of the triple crown the enterprise can align quickly and effectively. Importantly avoid the ‘soft and fluffy’ sentiments expressed by many in the customer experience world.

How can I Implement?

Back in 2006 the BPG launched the CEMMethod™ and built out an approach, using the 50+ techniques based on global next practice from companies like Virgin, Zara, BMW, Zappos, Apple and Emirates. Since then more than 3,000 companies in 116 countries have become accredited and certified to transform their processes and organizations.

Now in version 11, the choice you make in deployment is based on your ambition and remit within the enterprise.
If you are a leader needing to embrace the digital customer ‘Customer First’ leaps out as the main option. Alternatively, if you are in a traditional process-based business (lean, six sigma, BPM etc.) the more conservative ‘process engineering’ approach may be preferred.

You can access the following resources that will help you make an informed choice:

CEMMethod™ – review its potency and pedigree:

Outside-In The Secret of 21st century companies (free access): http://bit.ly/StevesOIBook

The Accredited Customer Experience Program 2018-19: https://www.bpgroup.org/acxp1819.html

The Certified Process Professional Program: https://www.bpgroup.org/certifiedprocessprofessional.html

I look forward to guiding you to transformation when you are ready!

How much do you need to know to know you know you know enough?

Knowing what you don’t know is a great starting point

>> We start out not knowing what we don’t know

>> We then get a bit better and we know what we don’t know

>> It gets better, we then know what we know

>> And ultimately, we then don’t know what we know

Think about when you were learning to drive…

As kids traveling with Mum and Dad, they drive the car and we get there (eventually)

We then get to teenage and start to drive that same car – OMG – the gas pedal, the watching, friggin hell the other road users, the SPEED, the signals!

And then we settle into it, it starts to become second nature, until

We do the Route 66 road trip, enjoy the bars, the people, however we don’t remember much but arrived safe and well because there was no blood on the hood!

So what? The CEMMethod feels the same!!

And yes it is a helluva ride, but you will get there. It’s proven.

Join us soon in Denver, Washington DC, London, Dubai, Johannesburg or Melbourne.

Seriously, you gotta know this stuff to know you don’t (spooky eh?)

BP GROUP SOAPBOX 2: Six Sigma caused the global recession.

In a slight digression we have unearthed some very emotive discussions. Has the agenda really shifted this much?

The Soapbox series is designed to be provactive and let people air their views in a mutually respectful place. You may not agree, and all the better for it, so explain your perspective and share your commitment to transforming the planet!

BP Group 20th Birthday – Evergreen Articles

In a few weeks time the BP Group will be twenty years old. As part of the celebration we are publishing an article a day – all are evergreen and provide an insight as valuable today as when they were originally published. 
As we move towards September 19th we will bring the story up to date with a preview of the upcoming book – The High Performance Organisation (Samir Asaf & Steve Towers). Also there are draws from iPad3’s – the first for these on Friday for the recently completed Certified Process Professional Masters® hosted by Jennifer van Wyk in Johannesburg. (see below)
The first article is one we wrote in 2006 – as relevant today (if not more so) – Enjoy!
Developing the BPM skillset for long term success
Tomorrow we’ll cover BPM and the Balanced Scorecard, and Wednesday Business Process Excellence – How to Succeed with BPM in the Age of the Customer

Who is going to win the iPad3 from South Africa?

Outside In from Forrester Research

OUTSIDE IN is the new book from by Forrester Research analysts Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine.
If you can get passed the normal consultancy hyperbole and Americanisms this book promises to provide some interesting information in furthering the cause of Outside In.
Naturally take with a pinch of salt the offers for speeches and presentations from Research Analysts (great stuff but I would rather have the people who have really done this stuff rather than just researched it!) you can review the 80 case studies.

Take away nuggets like “Aim to make it effortless for your customers” Phil Beinart, AT&T and “82% of customers stop doing business with an organisation as a result of negative experience”. The latter leaves me to believe those customers who don’t leave are either very lazy or penalised punitively for trying.

Now as I say don’t let my irony fool you… you review the preview and then order the book from this link. Enjoy! http://bit.ly/OutsideInForrester

Blurb for Forrester:
Based on 14 years of research by the customer experience leaders at Forrester Research, OUTSIDE IN offers a complete road map to attaining the experience advantage. You’ll see how the roots of customer experience success or failure lie deep within your company, not just with customer-facing employees. And you’ll learn about the six disciplines that customer experience leaders must master: Strategy, Customer Understanding, Design, Measurement, Governance, and Culture. With dozens of diverse case studies from around the world, OUTSIDE IN is the one resource you need to turn a focus on customer experience into growth and profit.

For qualification using the CEMMethod® (2006) http://www.bpgroup.org/certification-by-city.html

Looking Outside-In

The BP Group is 20 years old in September. Over the last two decades people who have participated in our training and consultancy and have captured some of my comments. There are over 200, many clearly inspired by my heroes ‘giants’ in business and life. The list here are the ones most often referred back to me 🙂

How much do you need to know, to know you know, you know enough?

The Customer Experience is the process (Steve Jobs)

If things are changing faster outside than in, you will fail.

You don’t have a choice about where to start. You can only start where you are now!

Are you aligned to Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s)? Or are you just moving the chairs on the deck of the Titanic?

If you do not know who your customer is you do not know what you are doing.

Stop managing and measuring outputs. Start managing Customer Expectations and measuring the SCO.

Can your people clearly articulate their contribution to the SCO?

This is a once in a 600 year thing. The invention of the printing press (1436) and now Outside-In (1997).

Does your technology help with the SCO? If it doesn’t scrap it!

Technology is the emans to the end, not the end in itself. It is just the same with pen and paper.

To link process with performance we need to rethink what we mean by performance.

We shouldn’t keep looking back at the past to define the possibilities for the future.

Does your process start and end with the customer? If it doesn’t you are fixing the wrong thing.

Someone said the Chinese are coming. They are wrong. The Chinese have been and gone. This is what you are left with as a consequence!

Moving Outside-In isn’t a choice. It is a pre-requisite for success in the 21st century.

Are you measuring Activities and Tasks (Inside-Out), or Outputs and SCO’s (Outside-In)?

The only reason a process exists to is to help achieve a Successful Customer Outcome.

Can you connect every single task with the Successful Customer Outcome?

Who pays your salary? Yes it is the Customer.

Check your companys reports. How often is the customer mentioned? If they are not it shouldn’t surprise you that the business is failing.

If you aren’t managing Customer Outcomes you aren’t managing the most aspect of your business.

Look beyond the Output. How does it contribute to the Customer Outcome? If it doesn’t stop producing it.

The customer is not my job? Get Real. The customer is everyones job!

Evolving Outside-In is not a destination. It is a journey.

The process map is not real. It is a collective hallucination.

This week a large part of the BP Group team and leaders are in Florida for the annual PEX conference.

There is still time to register: www.pexweek.com and also sign-up for the
Certifed Process Professional Levels 1 and 2 program!
This is the place to network, learn and explore all that is process from the leading organizations, practitioners and Guru’s.
As the week unfolds we’ll be bringing you highlights and snippets. 
Hopefully see you there, all the Best


A New Order of Things – Outside-In – Six steps to Success

There is no easy way to introduce a new order of things however there are some principles that can be followed based on this type of mind shift.

1, Objective and immediate.
The results we achieve with Outside-In are significant and substantive e.g. Triple Crown*. Accordingly any effort should first of all identify the clear tangible benefits.

2. Talk is cheap.
Fine words and phrases will not win hearts and minds without substance. Delivery is key, hence the ‘start where you are’ sentiment. In current projects (where support may be lacking) introduce the techniques within the CEMMethod(tm) by stealth.
Lift the heads of those around you to think of Moments of Truth, Break Points and Business Rules for instance. “Nothing new mate, just some stuff other guys have used within… Six Sigma../..Lean../..EA../..complaince etc. (delete as appropriate)”

3. Build support.
With (2) underway you will build support. That is the point to shift focus and begin the more practical discussion of where and how.

4. Go for broke.
If you are extremely lucky/persuasive and have the top team already onboard go for broke. Discover the worst most problematic issues and set to righting ’em. By fixing the Cause you will remove the Effect.

5. Move on.
It is a 4-500 year shift in mindset (Dee Hock, VISA founder).
It will ultimately transform the planet. The jury is in fact back and the results speak for themselves. So when all looks desolate and casting your pearls before swine is depressing, remind them that they are part of the problem and move on.

6. Make it so.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE it just feels that way when surrounded by flat-landers (doh).
Learn, exchange and do.

Join the worlds first and largest Outside-In community at: http://www.oibpm.com

Once on-board review the subgroups and join the specialist communities – you will
find friends and support as we transform the planet one person,one process, one organisation at a time!

PS. The Outside-In book published in 2010 reviews in detail this emerging trend.
Here is the hardback – http://amzn.to/Outside-In
Here is the eBook version – http://bit.ly/OutsideInApple Link with Steve Towers – http://bit.ly/LinkWithSteve
Follow Steve Towers on Twitter – http://twitter.com/#!/stowers

*Triple Crown: Jim Sinur (Gartner) coined this phrase. Through the delivery of advanced BPM you will simultaneously reduce costs, enhance service and grow revenues. In public sector/not for profits replace revenue growth with delievry of strategic objectives.

If Outside-In aka Customer Centricity is so Obvious…

Outside-In is clearly the way for the worlds top companies
(see David Mottersheads blog at http://www.outsideinconsulting.com.au/outside-in-blog.html) and reflecting on the commentary by Hank Barnes in “Customer Experience Challenges: Why Maintaining an Outside-in Approach is Tougher than it Seems”

the answer as to why the masses don’t get it is probably very simply the herd instinct.

For instance in 1969 astronomer J. Donal Fernie made an observation many of us will understand. In writing about the decades it took his fellow professionals to spot a fundamental error.. “the definitive study of the herd instincts of astronomers has yet to be written, but there are times when we resemble nothing so much as a herd of antelope, heads down in tight formation, thundering with firm determination in a particular direction across the plain. At a given signal from the leader we whirl about, and, with equally firm determination, thunder off in quite a different direction, still in tight parallel formation”

We of course have our own immediate examples. What about the world leading Insurance Company waiting eight days for ink to dry on parchment paper before sending out a new policy? Or the removal business that stuck with a 35 mile rule limit just in case the horse died? What about suggesting people visiting the UK from ‘abroad’ should practice driving on the left before they came if they weren’t used to it (to reduce the accidents on UK roads).

Yup there are lots of antelopes out there.
Will you meet any tomorrow? And will you be running with the herd?

Ciao, Steve

Apple v.Amazon – Two Outside-In behemoths slug it out

Both organisations are VERY successful and represent the embodiment of Outside-In:
Steve Jobs “the Customer Experience is the process”, and
Jeff Bezos “..rather than ask what are we good at and what else we can do with that skill, you ask who are our customers? What do they really need? And then you say we’re going to give them that..”

In the light of recent product launches from Apple e.g. iPad2. So how do their business models compare?

Here is an excellent review of the difference and an indicator of who is going to win the race…