From the monthly archives: March 2017

Some companies want to be more agile, faster in responding to challenges and more effective in action.

These companies seek to provide great customer experiences and for this they can combine lean management with the advantages of innovative technologies to reduce costs, improve quality, build trust and create value.

To do this companies needed to find a new way to run the organization! They needed to combine digital technologies (available and incorporated) with the ability to operationalize, but in an integrated way and not as a sum of individual achievements.

To reach this state of operation, change must be driven throughout the organization (a holistic perspective) and must find a transformation path that suits its situation.

In this sense, it is necessary to end up with departmental silos and focus on client work, that is, it is necessary to offer a unique experience that is focused on the client’s journey and in the internal processes that support it and which are transversal to the organization.

It is necessary to leave behind the design of teams conditioned by decision-makers and to create autonomous and multifunctional teams dedicated to the customer’s journey. The team type, of desirable excellence, will result from the developed iterations that allow us to test the various possible configurations, thus responding flexibly to changing customer needs.

You need to introduce flexible technologies and business process management (BPM) tools and share them across customer journeys.

Decision-making should be more supported by real-time information, which implies a performance evaluation (efficiency and effectiveness) in shorter periods of time and properly leveraged with incentives for employees.

It is necessary to speed up the companies, valuing the speed in the capacity of answer to the clients and the learning with its journeys. Companies should seek to holistically reinvent these journeys instead of looking for small, incremental improvements. With this reinvention, it is possible to praise simplicity and streamline processes.

How can we then create distinct experiences for clients?

If, on the one hand, companies need to combine digital technologies in an integrated way with an optimized operationalization capability of the client’s journeys, which translates into a true organizational revolution, on the other hand, companies need to be aware of the experiences of its employees to ensure excellent performance.

Let’s look at some levers to implement a new way to create unique experiences for a company’s customers and suggested by Digital MacKinsey:

-Digitization – Digitize customer experience and day-to-day operations.

-Intelligent process automation – Introduce intelligent automation to reduce human tasks.

-Advanced analytics – Provides intelligence to facilitate decisions.

-Business processes outsourcing – Uses resources outside of the core business to complete specific tasks or functions.

-Lean process redesign – Streamline processes and minimize waste.

To implement these levers: “Organizations need to ensure that each lever is used to maximum effect”.  They should also ensure that “each lever in the right sequence” and finally, “the levers should interact with each other to provide a multiplier effect.”

But not enough! Creating distinct customer experiences is also dependent on good employee experience.

Now the HR function will have to play a very important role in finding innovative ways of engaging in the increasingly diverse set of employees and break organizational silos.

The HR function itself must now reinvent itself and give HR professionals the opportunity to expand their competencies to become more capable of listening, to identify the most hidden needs and unarticulated needs, to become proficient with analytical technology to base their decisions and to initiate co-creation processes, as a way of solving the employees’ problems.

Designing employee experiences can be a healthy alternative to the usual administrative processing of many HR departments.

Like the customer experience, service design is about the design and implementation of interactions that occur along the client’s journey.

Without good service design the customer experience suffers!

Summing up:

Human relations with products, services or experiences are constantly evolving and yet it is still possible to make some predictions for the future!

“Eric Flowers, co-founder of Practical Service Design, says that service design is effective in driving change and offering value for both customers and organizations, regardless of industry.

His top six predictions for the future of design are:

“… The medium of your brand will become irrelevante. The only thing customers will attach to your name will be the service you provide them. If the future of service design is to come to fruition, what a company makes will not be as important or relevant as what a company does to serve…they will be known more for that type of need they serve.

-Touchpoint design will not be enough to differentiate. Differentiation will come through the relationship you have with your customers and how you serve over time.

-Holistic experiences require holistic organizations. What you produce mirrors how you are organized. Cross-silo coordination will be the key to delivering outcomes.

-Customers adopt more fluid expectations They will expect quality services to feel the same across categories and contexts.

-Employee experience will become a design priority. Design thinking will be applied to how experiences are produced and services delivered internally.

-Building service design capacity will be essential. Service design is a much-needed tool for companies to better design and deliver exceptional customer experiences.”

What is your opinion?

 

 

We have all experienced feelings of discomfort that result from two contradictory beliefs.

The existence of a dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, tends to motivate people to seek consonance, that is, to seek a zone of comfort.

In small and medium-sized companies executives do not deny the need to innovate to be competitive, but the risks that this may entail lead to a zone of discomfort.

To reduce this dissonance, people can look for new information that challenges the connection between innovation and competitiveness. This new information can serve to reduce the discomfort caused by the dissonance that some people experiences.

Phil Rosenzweig said: “It’s possible to believe honestly that you have a market-beating strategy when, in fact, you don’t. Sometimes, that’s because forces beyond your control change. But in other cases, the cause is unintentional fuzzy thinking.

Behavioral economists have identified many characteristics of the brain that are often strengths in our broader, personal environment but that can work against us in the world of business decision making. The worst offenders include overoptimism (our tendency to hope for the best and believe too much in our own forecasts and abilities), anchoring (tying our valuation of something to an arbitrary reference point), loss aversion (putting too much emphasis on avoiding downsides and so eschewing risks worth taking), the confirmation bias (overweighting information that validates our opinions), herding (taking comfort in following the crowd), and the champion bias (assigning to an idea merit that’s based on the person proposing it). “

It is relatively easy to admit that our business approach is made up of illusions, logic errors, and failed judgments that distort our understanding of the real reasons that determine an organization’s performance.

When, for example, a company’s sales and profits are high, people conclude that this organization has an overwhelming strategy, a leader with extraordinary visions, talented employees, and an excellent culture that even drives innovation.

But when the results are not so good, then the leader was not so good after all, the collaborators did not collaborate and the culture was fictitious.

What often happens is that little has changed, but the previously established image creates an aura effect, which is nothing more than an illusion.

In fact, there is a concern with the quality of decision-making, confirmed with research that indicate that cognitive tendencies affect the most important strategic decisions made by the managers of the best companies.

As an example, let us consider two cognitive propensities that are common and relevant in an economic context where innovation is the word of the day:

– Excessive confidence and cognitive dissonance. Both can bring discomfort!

Or maybe not!

If on the one hand, we know that an individual who has overconfidence overestimates the accuracy of their private information.

On the other hand, cognitive dissonance happens when we perceive an incompatibility of information elements that cause us tension, and to get rid of that tension we create the propensity to acquire or perceive information in accordance with a set of desired things.

If a consultant or an analyst issues a privately favorable forecast of high profits his tendency to interpret the subsequent information to support the information previously provided.

There is, however, another side of the coin in the cognitive dissonance that Javier Santiso, a ESADE professor, brings with great grace and pertinence.

“Yet perhaps the key to this successful repositioning lies precisely in the IMF’s ability to regenerate and subvert itself, i.e. to exhibit cognitive dissonance and innovation, not only by tolerating this internal dissonance, but rather by promoting it (Blanchard’s hire alone evidences this audacity).

This is a feat of great merit, since whether public or private, national or international, none of our institutions tend to favor dissonance. Very much on the contrary, they tend to limit disruptive, innovative potential.

Consider, for example, the remuneration of bankers via the (now infamous) bonus system, invented to reward those who have (supposedly) made money. Where are the reward systems for those who have avoided losing money?

Cognitive dissonance is as rare and precious as a white pearl. It is key to promoting innovation and to reinventing oneself.”

Probably we can see the parallel between the processes of Cognitive Dissonance, that is, experiencing incompatible cognitions and the need to reduce unpleasant feelings (act to resolve conflict) and the Creative Tension, that is, experiencing the difference between reality at a given moment and Desired result (acting to create something reduces stress).

We do not like to hear the cognitive dissonance say:

What I want is this…, But I do not have it!

To alleviate this discomfort, we must release energy and resources and put creativity to fill the gaps created by this dissonance.

 

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This text was inspired by an article of mine already published in this blog  to remember past learning.