Innovators Innovating Innovation

Limiting mindsets. A scourge of modern times and a limit on human performance keeping us in thought straight jackets.

Dare! Amazon Number 1 Best Seller (2020)

If you want something new you have to stop doing something old

Peter Drucker

So what are modern day thinkers and Innovators doing to break out of preconditioned constraining beliefs? Well if you google ‘innovation’ you get 1,650,000,000 (one billion, six hundred and fifty million) responses which would be a bit of light reading for the weekend 😉

So I tried another tack and thought about the best online videos and books featuring innovation, and yes there is a fast track way to watch and hear the thoughts of today’s greats, in action doing their innovative things.

Who are the best and what are their secrets?

I revisited my lists of sources, contacts and influencers, brought them up to date (the last two years or so) and collated the best across the domains I operate in. I included the recent Award winners acknowledged for their contributions to business. The result you can access below which contains the people, their LinkedIn connections, their best videos and in some cases additional resources.

So the next time someone asks me a question about TipTop Innovators and influencers I am going to point them here!

All the Best, Keep safe and well,
Steve

Innovation Experts 2020

Click the image to access videos, books and other resources!


https://tiptopinfluencers.com/tiptopinnovators

Uncovering the Secrets of the Top Influencers

Who are the best and what are their secrets?

I revisited my lists of sources, contacts and influencers, brought them up to date (the last two years or so) and collated the best across the domains I operate in. I included the recent Award winners acknowledged for their contributions to business. The result you can access below which contains the people, their LinkedIn connections, their best videos and in some cases additional resources.

My work takes me all over the planet and I get to meet some awesome people who are generous with their time and ideas. I then test, optimise and codify these great ideas into techniques and approaches we can all access.

Dare! Amazon Number 1 Best Seller (2020)

I was relating this approach at a keynote in a conference in Romania recently following the publication of our new Amazon best selling book Dare!

The keynote went well (see the extract version below) and everyone adjourned to the bar to relax and network.

At that drinks reception several people wanted to know my sources of inspiration, so naturally, we started trading names, some well known and some not yet so. As I was doing this it struck me this was one of the most commonly asked questions whether I am talking or working with some of the leading companies on the planet. So an idea was born…

Steve’s keynote in Bucharest in February 2020

Who are the best and what are their secrets?

I revisited my lists of sources, contacts and influencers, brought them up to date (the last two years or so) and collated the best across the domains I operate in. I included the recent Award winners acknowledged for their contributions to business. The result you can access below which contains the people, their LinkedIn connections, their best videos and in some cases additional resources.

So the next time someone asks me a question about influencers I am going to point them here!

All the Best, Keep safe and well,
Steve

Customer Experience, Customer Service, Leadership and Operational Excellence

Click the image to access videos, books and other resources!

What is the key that picks any lock?

Patterns. They are Fascinating. If you can understand them, and model them then you can deliver amazing results.

When I was a young kid I loved the weather forecast on TV. All those swirly lines (isobars as I was later to discover) and fronts.

Then I discovered astronomy, got a telescope, and stared in awe at the planets, stars and galaxies. It was mind blowing how they all worked together through invisible forces.

Then a good childhood friend of mine introduced me to chess. Amazing, wow! I studied openings and endings and everything in between. The great world champions, Tal, Botvinnik, Fisher and Magnus Carlsen.

Then came meditation and brainwaves. I dabbled with gamma, alpha, beta, theta and Delta and watched them represent our brain processes. I love neuro-science. Then I discovered love, the crazy emotional ups and downs, the exhilaration, heartache and the deep deep introspection.

So what do all these things have in common? Yes, patterns! If you can ‘see’ the pattern, figure them out then you too can become good with them.

Something occurred to me – were our lives governed by patterns? That ‘aha’ moment took me on a career path initially in Industrial Engineering, then Process Reengineering, then Systems Engineering, Enterprise Architecture, and even into Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Medical Hypnotherapy and Reiki.

My life can be summed as one of trying to understand patterns of energy, how they relate and how they work.

Patterns have worked for me, whether in my business life, personal (can anyone truly understand our partners and children?!), hobbies, music and so much more. By studying the greats, people, organisations, mentors and leaders you can model their patterns, codify them and share with others.

That is what, with some great friends and colleagues, we have done in and around Experience Management, whether that is writing bestselling books, developing business transformation methods, launching new software tools or simply living better lives. Working with the worlds best companies we picked apart the complexity and saw the simple beauty of approaches that work outstandingly every time without exception.

And now we have brought them online. We have unpacked the wisdom, applied pragmatic techniques and repackaged the patterns into workable replicable behaviours that we can all learn and make our own.

Please join us on this incredible journey in the next few weeks.

As a primer this course is running now – Outside-In Vision.

6 weeks at 3 hours per week to learn and practice the patterns that win the game for the worlds leading companies.

Join us live or watch the recorded interactive hands-on sessions at a time to suit you. You may just have discovered the key that picks any lock.

https://oi2020vision.eventbrite.com

What are Moments of Truth?

Since the days of Richard Normann, the guy who invented the business term ‘Moments of Truth’ and Jan Carlzon’s book in 1989, the business world has interpreted Moments of Truth in several ways.

Jan Carlzon’s 1989 book ‘Moments of Truth’ socialised Richard Normann’s concept.

I have also published many articles and conference keynotes (see the MOT primer below) reviewing the continued evolution of this interesting concept.

Definitions

My interpretation and application of Moments of Truth revolve around three themes:

a. What is a Moment of Truth?

A Moment of Truth is any interaction with the customer within the Customer Experience – first discussed in my 1994 book ‘Business Process Reengineering – A Senior Executives Guide’

b. Moments of Truth are the cause of all work.

First discussed back in 2009 the idea that all work an organization undertakes is, at a fundamental level, caused by Moments of Truth. In principle, everything a company does can and should be linked to a Moment of Truth.

We harness and make real this design principle using the Customer Performance Landscape. Connecting the dots from everything to the Cause of all work – The Moment of Truth.

c. The Moment of Truth for any organization is…

At a practical level organizations need to chunk down their approach to fixing and innovating Moments of Truth. CEO of Denver based ‘The Experience Manager’

Doug Bell, CEO The Experience Manager

Doug Bell says “A Moment of Truth is an interaction that contributes to the production of a successful customer outcome. It either does or it doesn’t. To ensure outside in, you need to look through the Successful Customer Outcome lens.”

Managing Moments of Truth

Enlightened ‘Outside-In’ organizations actively embrace Moment of Truth Management as an essential strategic and operational necessity to deliver engineered Customer Experiences. How so?

a. Designing for Moments of Truth – The Design-Implementation Gap

Early efforts were geared around designing optimal Moments of Truth, however, simply mapping customer journeys has never been enough. It is one thing agreeing on what a future state customer journey should be, it is entirely another implementing it. This Design-Implementation gap is precisely what kills the majority of Customer Experience initiatives.

b. Implementing optimized Moments of Truth

Successful deployment of innovated Moments of Truth is key to delivering optimal Customer Experiences. The most practical immediate results are focused on rapid roll out across a key experience and using the success of that to validate rolling out smoothly across the organization. Establishing ownership, accountability, metrics, controls and improvement paths are part of this discipline.

c. Operationalizing Moments of Truth

Once Moments of Truth have been designed, innovated and implemented into recrafted customer experiences they need to be actively managed ‘in the moment’ and shared. Every Moment of Truth should feed to a corporate dashboard, with real-time data showing the performance of that MOT and its associated experiences. If things go wrong the owner should be able to ‘course correct’ and real-time monitor the customer experience delivery.

Imagine a world without customer satisfaction surveys, no need for Net Promoter Scores, no focus groups, and no mystery shopping because you will know how 100% of interactions are performing 100% of the time.

Control and Action combined

The C suite and leaders will now have a clear line of sight into every corner of the organization and across the enterprise landscape REAL TIME. One version of the data truth (and not all those departmental/divisional versions of reality).

The need for retrospective action evaporates. Immediate and laser-focused control can be maintained delivering simultaneously enhanced service, lower costs, higher revenues, improved compliance and uber motivated employees.

What’s next?

In my next piece I will demonstrate how this can be done immediately. If you can’t wait for that ping me and let’s talk the how, now



MOT primer…

Steve Towers
https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/

Richard Normann – creator of the Moments of Truth concept:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Normann

Jan Carlzon – author ‘Moments of Truth’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Carlzon

Doug Bell – CEO of The Experience Manager
‘The Moments of Truth Management System’
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dhbell/

Moments of Truth 2009
https://www.slideshare.net/stowers/moments-of-truth-perth2009

That Kodak Moment of Truth
https://www.processexcellencenetwork.com/innovation/columns/4-lessons-from-the-kodak-moment-of-truth

** Just published **
Mitch Belsley 2019 – Get Scientific about Managing Moments of Truth
http://customerthink.com/get-scientific-about-managing-moments-of-truth/

Your definition of CX is wrong…

And the controversy continues… is this the one that will really upset some people?

To learn how others shape their Total Experience on behalf of customers, employees, stakeholders and shareholders join us at one of these venues soon…

Denver: https://denversummermasters.eventbrite.com

London: https://londonacxm2019.eventbrite.com

Johannesburg: https://joburg_44th_cppm.eventbrite.com

Dubai: https://dubaiacxm_2019.eventbrite.com

Holiday Reading – Customer Experience & Process Transformation

Just updated the Articles page which connects to my LinkedIn profile.

It has been a busy 2018 so far – you can access all the new articles (15 in 6 months) covering all the latest themes in and around Customer Experience Process Transformation.

Click on the image to access the individual pieces, however, to whet your appetite three of the most popular articles:

The Customer Experience Management Office – The What and the Why

Three fundamental Building Blocks for CX

The Employee Experience

Everyone Loves Great CX

Additionally, the new book is in draft, “Everyone Loves CX”, and will be published early next year. If you want to join the list and get access to the preview, samples and associated materials register here.

With a dozen new case studies and terrific insights from global leaders, I examine some of the next practices and how you can deploy them with immediate effect in your own world.

 

Rockstar CX

If videos are your thing then do hook up with James Dodkins and the Rockstar CX initiative.

He interviews live on Facebook the leading CX Professionals from across the globe at:
https://www.facebook.com/pg/JDODKINS/videos/

OK, I am off to the beach now. Get that G&T ready, please!

How popular is Customer Experience #CX thinking and practice?

An important question if you are tasked with making Customer Experience  #CX work for your organization.

Let’s contrast and compare current trends!

Twitter – Trends emerge when you monitor hashtags, and the shorthand for Customer Experience #cx is a good starting point. When you contrast #CX with other popular management approaches such as #lean #lss and #bpm is interesting:

hashtags data by hashtagify.me

That puts #CX in the ascendency.

What about #CX with other associated interests?

hashtags data by hashtagify.me

 

Top of the Tweeters for Customer Experience is Colin Shaw @ColinShaw_CX with over 43,400 #CX tweets.
If you follow him you will never be short of material related to Customer Experience as he vacuums the web for interesting articles, in addition to his own contributions.

Jump to the latest on Twitter with https://twitter.com/hashtag/cx

What about LinkedIn?

A recent introduction of hashtags to this platform provides a good insight…
Searching LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator platform with #CX reveals 83.4K members using Customer Experience as part of their profiles (that is 10 times greater than those using #lean).

The demographics
of the 83.4K show a predominance of folks in the US.

  1. United States (25,513)
  2. United Kingdom (5,733)
  3. Australia (5,200)
  4. India (4,622)
  5. Brazil (3,527)
  6. Sydney, Australia (2,639)

If you slice the data into companies expressing their interest in #CX we can see Oracle way ahead.

  1. Oracle (3,783)
  2. Amazon (534)
  3. IBM (437)
  4. Microsoft (433)

Does this reflect a reframing of their products to emphasize Customer Experience as a top table strategic interest?

And What about Google?

Searching #CX reveals 317,000,000 results in 0.8 seconds. That is one helluva a lot of reading. Drilling down with Google Trends, and using the same comparisons with Lean, LSS, BPM and CX produces an interesting contrast with Twitters results. Here we do see a decline in interest with Lean however the interest is still significantly ahead of CX.

We will revist this analysis periodically. Now go away and start researching all those interesting sources!

The Successful Technique You Can Use to Transform Your Customer Experiences and Lower Costs, Improve Service & Grow Revenues simultaneously

Dr W. Edwards Deming’s famous quote “If you can’t describe what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing” is truer today than ever in an increasingly customer-centric Outside-In world.

Perhaps we should upgrade the quote to encompass the focus on the customer?

“If you can’t describe what you are doing as relevant to a Successful Customer Outcome, you shouldn’t ought to be doing it”

Progressive Outside-In businesses understand this truth (think Amazon, Starbucks, BMW and Emirates) who are connecting everything they do to delivering these Successful Customer Outcomes. If activities and systems do not explicitly contribute to customer success they scrap them, and in doing so costs fall away, service improves and naturally, revenues grow.

Think about that for a moment from the customers perspective. It is certainly more pleasurable if interactions are simple and smoother. And if these experiences involve buying stuff, customers come back again and again for more. Even in public service, it stands to reason that reducing complexity will release more resources to do more meaningful work that delivers greater value to citizens.

So how would you approach your existing Customer Experiences and associated processes to move in this direction? Is there a formula that can be applied that is easy to use and produces immediate results?

Indeed, there is! We refer to this formula within the CEMMethod™, an approach developed originally in association with companies like Virgin and Southwest Airlines. The method, originally released in 2006, is now in version 11 and includes 50+ techniques that significantly improve business performance and customer success.

One of these techniques within the CEMMethod™ is referred to as the ‘Disruption Factor’ and quite simply allows you to calculate the potential for improvement in any Customer Experience. Additionally, it helps you pinpoint the areas that would benefit from immediate attention, and in doing so win the triple crown (lower costs, improved service, higher revenues).

If you want to know more about applying the Disruption Factor in your organization join us at the upcoming webinar register your interest here.

I will see you on the inside!

Additional Resources:

>> Disruption Factor Webinar –https://events.genndi.com/channel/BPGDisruptionFactor

>> Certified & Accredited CX Training
www.bpgroup.org/training

> More about me and the companies doing this stuff
www.stevetowers.com

> Rockstar CX with James Dodkins
http://www.rockstar.cx/podcast.html

> CEMMethod™
www.cemmethod.com

One Day CX Transformation in Denver

The 10th Accredited Customer Experience Professional returns to Denver on Monday, September 24th.


With the latest and most effective CX techniques and toolkits wrapped in the CEMMethod, this is sure to be a terrific one-dayer.

https://www.bpgroup.org/denveracxp.html 

Customer experience has never been more important.

89% of companies now expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience.

87% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.

ACXP attendees will learn the world famous CEMMethod. The CEMMethod was created in 2001 when BPG was working with the Virgin Group. They realised together that to progress in an ever-changing world, you have to have an explicit, outside-in focus on the customer in everything you do..

Since then, the CEMMethod has evolved, consolidating tools, techniques and mindsets from some of the best performing and most innovative companies in the world. People like Apple, BMW, Bentley, IBM, Amazon, Emirates Airlines, Zara, Zappos, State Farm, Disney, Google, Facebook, Uber and many more.

https://www.bpgroup.org/denveracxp.html

Professionals using the CEM Method are simultaneously lowering costs, growing revenues and delivering outstanding customer experience in more than 4,000 companies around the world. These individuals are the driving force behind some of the world’s best performing organizations.

The secret to the CEM Method’s success lies in its ability to link external customer experience to internal back-office operations. This is a claim that no other method can make. Learn the methodology that the best-performing companies in the world are using as their customer experience backbone.

Please join us in Denver!

https://www.bpgroup.org/denveracxp.html

 

Bridging the Gap (Industrial Age > Customer Age)

During my encounters with global business leaders, I am frequently asked the question of what is the difference between Lean Six Sigma (LSS) and Outside-In thinking and practice?

Often the question is prompted as a consequence of the huge investment many large corporations have made into up-skilling their people and processes to LSS. Many times those same executives are querying the return on those investments and hence now looking at more progressive alternative approaches to evolve their business performance.
For those familiar with Outside-In thinking and practice the difference is fundamental however if you haven’t been exposed to such training or working in one of the worlds leading Outside-In companies it would be good to have a short comparison of the key thematic differences.
In the interests of full disclosure, I was an Industrial Engineer qualified as a Lean Master and Six Sigma Master black belt and I see and witness the significant differences every day. Does the implication of the difference mean we should abandon LSS? No, far from it. In fact, integrating the Outside-In perspectives into existing programs is a proven tried and tested way of advancing LSS to the centre stage of winning performance.
Case in point is a North American plastics extrusion company. They had previously been a powerhouse of Six Sigma, grown into and become a Lean ‘Toyota way’ dynamo only to run into the problem of diminishing returns.

Plastic extrusion starts with pallets

Investing just as much in getting better the decreasing returns and eroding margins made it an issue at the top table. In true pragmatic Texan style (their CEO is from Dallas) they embraced Outside-In big time. Over 6-9 months people were upskilled for the Customer Age and then let loose to transform the organization. Not only did they save their bacon they are now a world-leading company. And what do they call their program? OIL – Outside-In Lean. Nice eh?
 So be pragmatic. Look for the bridges from here to there and you can have the best of both worlds.

Table 1: Comparison of some differences between Lean Six Sigma and the CEMMethod™.

Element
Lean Six Sigma
Customer Experience Management/Outside-In
Mindset
Industrial Age
Customer Digital Age
Focus
Improve current work
Align to achieve SCO’s
Intent
Process will exist at the end of a review
Processes may be removed
Results
Focused on improving outputs
Focused on delivering Outcomes
Cost reduction
Triple Crown achievement (Cost/Service/Revenue)
Structure
Accepts the functional hierarchy
Proposes the appropriate structure to deliver SCO’s
Techniques
Effect based activity (value/ non-value added – waste identification – SPC etc.)
Causal based activity (what creates the work in the org. then let’s fix the causes)
Intelligent Processes
No mechanism exists to ensure processes are intelligent
Specifically designed to implement and mature intelligent processes
Customer
End to End working e.g. SIPOC
Centric working – the customer is at the heart of everything that happens
Are at the end and the beginning of processes
Are enlightened, Promiscuous, Rebellious, Prosumer, Multi-channel, high expectations
Enterprise objectives
Operational and tactical. Aims to fix process.
Strategic and Operational. Aims to implement a sustainable architecture.
Scope
Process based improvements
Enterprise-wide transformation
Other Customer Age resources to explore:
Outside-In The Secret: www.outsideinthesecret.com
CEMMethod™: www.cemmethod.com
Certified Process Professional: www.certifiedprocessprofessional.com
Training: www.bpgroup.org/training.html
 Connect with me on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stevetowers/