Don’t Say “Change Is Hard” When You’re Asking People to Change

change

Leadership Tip of the Week

Adapted from HBR

When a change initiative hits a roadblock, leaders often remind people that “change is hard.”  But that old saw can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Momentary setbacks or delays can be viewed as the dead canary in the coal mine, and suddenly, employees disengage en mass.

Instead, try flipping the script. In a University of Chicago study, researchers were able to change participants’ mindsets by reminding them that most people improve with a little bit of effort.

The results?

Study participants were quicker to identify the upsides of change than the downsides.

Instead of accepting that initiatives rarely succeed, remind yourself and your team that you’ve all been learning new skills and adapting to new environments for your entire lives.

And every time you feel the impulse to say “Change is hard,” make a different claim, one that is every bit as accurate: Adaptation is the rule of human existence, not the exception.

Adapted from “Stop Using the Excuse ‘Organizational Change Is Hard,’” by Nick Tasler

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H2 ensure Analytics drives commercial success?

digital masters

There are three simple steps to ensure Customer Analytics drive commercial success in an organisation

  1. Strive for excellence in customer analytics matters (vs merely good average).
  2. Establish a culture that values fact-based decision making and analytics
  3. Secure senior management involvement in customer analytics.

Strive for excellence in customer analytics matters (as opposed to a merely good average).

More than 85 percent of companies that report extensive use of customer analytics (in terms of IT, analytics, and its execution) claim their company achieves a significant value contribution from customer analytics. This compares with around 20 percent for low users of the function, and some 30 percent of moderate users—suggesting that companies start to reap substantial benefit from customer analytics only when they achieve excellence, i.e., when their function can be considered state of the art. Just moving from a low to a medium level of maturity will merely generate limited success

This has particularly important implications for managers and their decisions on what needs to be invested in their organisation’s customer analytics to be competitive in the future. They need to determine the performance gap between their current customer analytics and state-of-the-art customer analytics in their industry, and to ensure that their additional spending on customer analytics stands a fair chance of bridging this gap. Otherwise the additional spending will—despite the best of intentions—turn out to have been a sunk investment right from the outset (because it will not pay off eventually).

Establish a culture that values fact-based decision making and analytics.

It’s vital that the culture that is not focused purely on IT and analytics topics, but approaches customer analytics holistically. Although investments in IT and skilled employees are important, these investments alone will not deliver value. Leadership that expects fact-based decisions and an organization that can quickly translate those decisions into action are qualities more likely to lead to success than companies focused exclusively on IT.

a) the execution and organizational aspects of customer analytics (such as a culture of fact-based decision making, analytics valued by the front line, management attitude and expectations) correlate most with the value contribution of customer analytics . This suggests that it is the culture and organizational setup that moves the needle even though IT and analytics expertise are obviously necessary to create value from customer analytics.

b) Having pragmatic and actionable foundations with the right cultural mind-set in place within the organization is more important than the perfect solution. Within execution and organization, for instance, fact-based decision making and management expectations are more important than the speed at which these insights are put into action. Within analytics, the focus is on delivering the right actionable insights, and less on the fast development of new models. Looking at IT, a similar pattern emerges: a pragmatic 360° data mart that builds the foundation for customer analytics is more important than the complete (automated) linkage of all IT systems.

A key success factor is therefore to examine customer analytics holistically, including IT, analytics, and execution/organizational setup, and to pragmatically improve on all dimensions.

Secure senior management involvement in customer analytics. High-performing companies are led by data-savvy C-level executives who understand the importance of and involve themselves in customer analytics. Companies where senior management is not involved extensively, only 28 percent report a significant value contribution of customer analytics, versus 69 percent of companies with senior management involvement in customer analytics that say that customer analytics drives value

Specifically, looking at the level of management that should be involved, it becomes clear that what drives the value contribution is top management/board involvement. If the company has established a role within the top management team (TMT), such as via a chief commercial officer, more than half of the respondents (53 percent) stated that customer analytics contributes significantly to value creation. If only senior management is involved but not the TMT, this drops to just 29 percent, close to the value of no senior management involvement at all (20 percent).

 

In summary: three factors to drive Analytical Success:

  1. Strive for excellence in customer analytics matters (vs merely good average).
  2. Establish a culture that values fact-based decision making and analytics
  3. Secure senior management involvement in customer analytics.

Celebrate small wins , when changing company culture

chicos-600

Leadership Tip of the week

adapted from Harvard Business review

Celebrate small wins to change company culture

If you’re trying to implement a new culture in your organisation, colleagues are more likely to buy in if they see that the change is already sticking.

Demonstrate small wins early on and showcase examples of how the new culture will help the company achieve its goals.

Here’s an example. Before the pharmaceutical company Dr. Reddy’s rolled out the company’s new mission, “Good health can’t wait,” leaders redesigned the product packaging to be more user-friendly and recast its sales reps as knowledge hubs for physicians.

When the cultural shift was introduced, leaders could point to projects already under way to show how it was succeeding.

Celebrating the first small steps toward a new vision helps your employees understand what the new culture should accomplish — and gives them models to follow when making their own contributions to the shift.

Adapted from “Changing Company Culture Requires a Movement, Not a Mandate,” by Bryan Walker and Sarah A. Soule

 

H2 Accelerate growth using data

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Accelerating growth through data is challenging and requires commitment and alignment from around all the organisation to be successful, but there are 7 steps that make the journey more successful

  1. Identify the commercial & customer Goals in next 18m-36m
  2. Build a clear vision of a radically different data-driven customer experience, working across digital & bricks & mortar and align across the organisation.
  3. Remove Silos of data use creating a single version of the truth, with a data strategy linked to business goals e.g. Unified View of customer data, GDPR ready and tools developed to meet commercial goals.
  4. Breakdown the institutional fear of data & digital at all levels through training & doing: it’s a tool that anyone can use to do what you have been doing better
  5. Use Data Analytics to Map & Prioritise customer journeys & personalised experiences across human & digital touchpoints and align organisation capability to deliver for customer.
  6. Identify & Build the capabilities (Process, Tools People) that will be required to transform process design from efficiency focused (cheaper) to customer focused (better simpler cheaper) , specifically putting in place an analytics capability to enable data-driven, personalised journeys
  7. Foster stronger bonds between technical and different business people. This is a two-way process to ensure the technical teams understand the commercial imperatives, and customer solutions you would like to build, and the business teams learn to trust the expertise of technical IT teams. It will also allow you to improve data quality through showing the business impact.

Using Data & Advanced Customer Analytics  to put the customer at the heart of an organisation is a transformation that future looking organisations need to start implementing now.

Transformation to ensure data is part of the DNA of an organisation takes time and a holistic approach.

Best way to diffuse an Argument is to Listen

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The Best Way to Defuse an Argument Is to Listen

Leadership Tip of the week

Adapted from HBR

Few things feel worse than getting yelled at by a colleague or a partner.

When a colleague criticises you, your first instinct is likely to be self-defense: You want to point out all the ways they’re wrong and you’re right.

But even calmly contradicting the substance of your colleague’s argument may make things worse.

Instead of rushing to justify your points, start by validating your colleague’s feelings and restating their views. For example, you could try, “I hear you. You don’t see your team’s input in what I just presented.” Showing that you’re listening and genuinely trying to understand your colleague’s perspective gives them less reason to holler.

Although it might feel counter-intuitive, demonstrating support for an angry colleague — without necessarily agreeing with their points — is one of the best ways to deescalate a conflict.

it works at home as well….. Ask Verity

Adapted from “How to De-Escalate an Argument with a Coworker,” by Liane Davey

7 steps to data-driven customer obsession

seven steps

As we break for Christmas I have just had a great morning with DataIQ Leaders discussing how data can transform CX.

I led a discussion with a group of Analytical leaders with seven simple steps on the road to build advanced Customer Analytics. It’s challenging and requires commitment and alignment from around all the organisation to be successful

  1. Identify the commercial & customer Goals in next 18m-36m
  2. Build a clear vision of a radically different data-driven customer experience, working across digital & bricks & mortar and align across the organisation.
  3. Remove Silos of data use creating a single version of the truth, with a data strategy linked to business goals e.g. Unified View of customer data, GDPR ready and tools developed to meet commercial goals.
  4. Breakdown the institutional fear of data & digital at all levels through training & doing: it’s a tool that anyone can use to do what you have been doing better
  5. Use Data Analytics to Map & Prioritise customer journeys & personalised experiences across human & digital touchpoints and align organisation capability to deliver for customer.
  6. Identify & Build the capabilities (Process, Tools People) that will be required to transform process design from efficiency focused (cheaper) to customer focused (better simpler cheaper) , specifically putting in place an analytics capability to enable data-driven, personalised journeys
  7. Foster stronger bonds between technical and different business people. This is a two-way process to ensure the technical teams understand the commercial imperatives, and customer solutions you would like to build, and the business teams learn to trust the expertise of technical IT teams. It will also allow you to improve data quality through showing the business impact.

Using Data & Advanced Customer Analytics  to put the customer at the heart of an organisation is a transformation that future looking organisations need to start implementing now.

Deck the halls with sprigs of Holly

holly

Christmas Trees make a happier workplace

Leadership tip of the week adapted from HBR

Have you ever responded to an overwhelming moment at work by closing your eyes and imagining yourself lying on a beach or strolling through a pine forest path?

You may be onto something.

Research shows that exposure to green spaces reduces stress and boosts general health. One study found that greener office environments increased employee productivity by 15%.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to incorporate some nature into your day:

  1. Hold walking meetings outside.
  2. Use outdoor spaces for your lunch breaks.
  3. Open blinds to let in natural light.
  4. Green Plants in the office
  5. Real Christmas Trees and “decking the hall with holly” at Christmas

These small investments in a more natural work environment pay off in terms of increased happiness, relaxation, and even stronger connections to your colleagues.

Adapted from “Why You Should Tell Your Team to Take a Break and Go Outside,” by Emma Seppala and Johann Berlin

xmas tree