The North Star Metric and Why You Need It Now

Have you got a North Star metric? It’s one of the essential things for any company looking to innovate and drive growth. If you haven’t created one yet, it is time to seriously figure it out. And today, I will be explaining what a North Star metric is, why it’s essential, and how to come up with one.

The North Star metric is the most critical. It is that Metric that would consistently deliver Successful Customer Outcomes (SCO’s) and drive sustainable growth if you focus on above all else.

For Facebook is ‘daily active users,’ Airbnb is ‘nights booked,’ and for the BP Group, ours is ‘monthly organization upskilling.’

Why is having one important?


Because delivering SCO’s and driving change is a lot of work, and it’s easy to dilute effort and resources on things that don’t move the needle. Additionally, getting distracted with the latest and shiniest new ideas is a common problem. Having a North Star metric keeps everyone in your company focused on the most critical Measure for your company’s success. Chosen wisely, it will connect the dots from the front line to the top team

Creating Your North Star metric

You may already have created it in your Successful Customer Outcome Canvas®[1] (SCOC®). Even if you haven’t yet the steps are straightforward by examining your current key performance indicators and assessing what could be a lead Metric. Examine the metrics in the context of what creates the best outcome, for the business and the customer. It is especially effective when you aggregate the SCOC’s against all your customer categories and bringing out the most significant ones and deciding decide which is the most essential Metric.

Defining that North Star metric can have a considerable impact not only on your immediate customers but on how your company operates overall.

Your North Star metric will be different from other organizations, as is how it’s rolled out and communicated.

Connect the dots, Draw the Lines

Anyone involved in delivering Successful Customer Outcomes and driving growth for your company, from the ‘C’ suite to the marketing team to the operations team and all of your external agencies, should be clear on your North Star metric and their role in driving it forward. If you don’t have one and your success maybe isn’t where it needs to be, perhaps you should consider defining one for your organization.

  • Set up a time with key stakeholders,
  • Identify your customer categories,
  • Agree on the SMART needs,
  • Choose the most important one, then
  • Brainstorm what it should be across the entire organization.

It starts with understanding who are your best customers are and why. You will need to cut through all distractions and noise to identify the one metric that will have the most significant and most sustainable impact on your business performance.

It’s a significant process, and sometimes it can be challenging to see the forest for the trees.

It will take a concerted effort, but it is one of the most worthwhile things an organization can do to connect the strategy to execution. Realistically isn’t that desirable for every organization seeking to make winning systematic?

The Guiding Light

The North Star metric becomes the guiding light. It is tangible, objective, and touches everyone and everything. It is a simple concept and as a result everyone can understand it.

You can explore the North Star Alignment approach within the Certified Outside-In Masters® program. Review the short video introduction here:
https://cemnext.com/oi2020


[1] The Successful Customer Outcome Canvas® is a technique within the CEMMethod®. This technique and its companion approach can be reviewed here. https://cemnext.com/customergame


Other Useful Resources

I have just done a 3 minute explainer video for Outside-In – see it here:
https://experienceprofessional.com/oivideo

How to become Outside-In
Step #1 – Get The Book: Outside-In The Secret *FREE* https://bit.ly/OI2021now  

Step #2 – Get The Training:

Certified Outside-In Master® | https://cemnext.com/oi2020
Certified Process Professional Master®  | https://bit.ly/CPPM21  
Accredited Customer Experience Master®  | https://bit.ly/ACXM2021  

Step #3 – Get the Software:

The Experience Manager | https://bit.ly/TEM2021  

Step #4 – Connect With The Community:

LinkedIn | https://bit.ly/Steve2021

Blog | https://bit.ly/CXO2021

BPG Website | https://bit.ly/BPG2021

Steve Towers Web  |  https://bit.ly/SBT2021

Twitter | https://bit.ly/SteveTowersTwitter

YouTube | https://bit.ly/ST_Youtube

Podcast with Roland Naidoo | Live stream – rockstar.cx | Business Awards…

Live broadcast with James Dodkins  Rockstar.cx


This was an interview across the continents
(I am currently in Colorado, James is in England)
https://www.facebook.com/JDODKINS/videos/1425739797553815/

Do get along to the link – James will be hosting CX Rockstars from all over the globe 🙂

Business Leader in South Africa provides his views on Customer Centricity

Roland Naidoo, Senior Executive, Multichoice
Roland Naidoo, Senior Executive, Multichoice

 

Roland Naidoo (ACX Master) is a highly respected senior executive in the global entertainments business. As part of a podcast hosted by Futurology…

https://itunes.apple.com/za/podcast/futurology/id1078860959?mt=2&i=1000397468049

You can reach Roland here to progress the discussion:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/roland-naidoo-b403a029/

Award won by yours truly!

I was deeply honoured by the PEX community at the annual conference in Florida last month and received the Global Community 2018 Award. Needless to say (but I will) this is as much down to you guys and your great transformational work, so I graciously excepted the Award on your behalf. Thank you so much :

See the snapshot here: https://buff.ly/2EEE9Im

Next time we will be reviewing highlights of the upcoming 2018 conferences…

Part 1 of 4: There are four distinctly Outside-In ways that you can rethink process and in doing so achieve Triple Crown benefits.

I explore these more thoroughly in the book Outside In however for now let’s take them in bite sized chunks.
•     Understand and applying Process diagnostics
•    Identify and aligning to Successful Customer Outcomes
•    Reframe where the process starts and ends
•    Rethink the business you are in

 
Let’s start with…
1. Understand and applying Process diagnostics:
(These will be familiar to CPP people however a refresher is always nice)
Earlier we have mentioned Moments of Truth, those all important interactions with customers. Let’s take that discussion further and include other closely related techniques for uncovering the real nature of process – breakpoints and business rules.

Firstly Moments of Truth (MOT) were first identified by Swedish management guru Richard Normann (1946-2003) in his doctoral thesis “Management and Statesmanship” (1975).
In 1989 Jan Carlson, the CEO of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) immortalized the phrase with his book ‘Moments of Truth’. He clearly linked all customer interaction as the Causes of Work for the airline and set about eradicating non value added MOT’s and then improving those he couldn’t remove. 
a)    Moments of Truth are a Process Diagnostic
b)    They occur ANYWHERE a customer “touches” a process
c)    They can be people-to-people, people-to-system, systems-to-people, system-to-system, and people-to-product
d)    ANY interaction with a customer is a Moment of Truth
e)    Moments of Truth are both process Points of Failure and Causes of Work

Carlson transformed the fortunes of SAS with this straightforward insight – all work in our organisations is ultimately caused by the Moment of Truth. Fix them and you fix everything else.
All Moments of Truth should be eradicated and those remaining improved. In doing so the customer experience is improved, costs are reduced and productivity maximised.

Next let’s review Breakpoints. Breakpoints (BP’s) are the direct consequence of MOT’s and are all the internal interactions that take place as we manage the processes caused by the customer interactions. 
a) Any place that a hand-off occurs in the process is a Break Point
b) Break Points can be person to person, person to system, system to person or system to system
c) Break Points are both process Points of Failure and Causes of Work

By identifying BP’s we can set about uncovering actions that would in turn remove them, or if not improve them. BP’s are especially evident were internal customer supplier relationships have been established say between Information Systems departments and Operations. Empirical research suggests that for every Moment of Truth there are an average of 3 to 4 Breakpoints. In other words a process with ten MOT’s will typically yield 30-40 Breakpoints.
All Breakpoints should be eradicated and if not at the very least improved. In doing so we get more done with less, red tape is reduced, control improves and the cost of work comes down.

The third in our triad of useful Outside-In techniques is Business Rules.
Business Rules are points within a process where decisions are made.
a)    Some Business Rules are obvious while others must be “found”
b)    Business Rules can be operational, strategic or regulatory and they can be system-based or manual
c)    Business Rules control the “behavior” of the process and shape the “experience” of those who touch it
d)    Business Rules are highly prone to obsolescence
e)    We must find and make explicit the Business Rules in the process

Business Rules (BR’s) are especially pernicious in that they are created for specific reasons however over time their origin is forgotten but their effect remains. For instance one Life insurance company had a delay of eight days before issuing a policy once all the initial underwriting work was complete. This has a serious impact on competitiveness as newcomers were able to issue policies in days rather than weeks. After some investigation it was discovered that the ‘8 day storage’ rule was related to the length of time it takes ink to dry on parchment paper. This rule hadn’t surfaced until the customer expectations changed. There are many examples of previously useful rules evading 21st century logic and blocking the achievement of successful customer outcomes. All Business Rules should be made explicit and challenged in todays context.

LinkedIn: http://bit.ly/joinbpgroup Twitter: http://twitter.com/stowers

Next time we’ll take a look at the second way to radically redefine process:

  • Identify and aligning to Successful Customer Outcomes