Tag Archive: Leadership

Always Be POSITIVE: Secrets of Customer Experience Success

My latest newsletter gives me the opportunity to share an interview I gave to Museums + Heritage Advisor magazine, sharing some of the lessons I’ve learned developing retail concepts for Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and other prestigious organisations over nearly 30 years.

I also share Baroness Karren Brady’s “6 Key Ingredients for Success”, gleaned from her appearance at the Spring Fair in Birmingham.

They Don’t Make ’em Like That Any More

“[Sir Ken Morrison] showed us all the importance of aiming high but never forgetting the practicalities of life and the humanity of those we deal with.”

These words encapsulate the essence of great retailing, great business and great Customer Experience. Ken Morrison was an innovator – for example he built Morrisons on a model of vertical integration, directly controlling many of its food suppliers, and developed the Market Street concept of retail theatre combined with expertise directly available to the consumer.

All You Need for 2017

My first newsletter of 2017 has a new look and a new focus. It’s inspired by a quotation given to me by my friend, futurist Nick Price:

“Customer Experience isn’t simply the quality & arrangement of assets. It’s their orchestration.”

So this month’s newsletter reflects three aspects of my mission:

“I help organisations orchestrate their assets so that everyone and everything plays to their full potential.”

Is there a Bear in Your Boardroom?

In the House of Commons, following Prime Minister Theresa May’s most detailed speech to date on her government’s Brexit strategy, Conservative MP Nicholas Soames (despite being a strong Remain supporter) says it is time to accept the verdict of the referendum and “get on with it”.

He quotes his grandfather Winston Churchill: “If there is a bear in your bedroom it is not a matter for speculation.”

The simple wisdom of this statement – as well as the refreshing humour – resonates through time.

If you have a bear (an unwanted, unwelcome, and potentially dangerous intruder) in your bedroom (or boardroom), sometimes it just takes an outside observer to say “I see you have a bear in there. What are you going to do about it?”

Customer Experience: Your Brexit Resilience Strategy

My POSITIVE Customer Experience Newsletter for September coincides with the Autumn Trade Fairs season: whatever your industry it’s a time to check in with the market, with your collaborators and competitors and with your business strategy and plan for the foreseeable future.

It’s time to move on from the holiday season and commit to the actions you will take to build Brexit resilience.

The newsletter contains 10 Top Tips to help you navigate the next few uncertain months and come out stronger.

It’s the Customer Experience, Stupid!

If you want to outperform the market, beat the competition, develop a Brexit resilience strategy, achieve Team GB-style world-beating performance, you can – there’s no magic formula.

But there is a formula.

Three Business Lessons I Learned From Gardeners’ World

At BBC Gardeners’ World Live the first celebrity masterclass I attended was delivered by Joe Swift, a professional garden designer, writer and broadcaster who has been a regular presenter on the BBC Gardeners’ World programme for 18 years.

The theme of the well-attended session was “Garden Design for the Enthusiastic Amateur” (my description) – so of course I listened intently. As I did so, however, I learned much more than I was expecting, and not just about gardening. It’s perhaps no surprise that more than one author has used a garden as a metaphor for “growing” a business; however, stick with me.

10 Lessons for Entrepreneurs, from LinkedIn Co-founder Reid Hoffman

I was fortunate enough to be present at Saïd Business School on Sunday, to hear LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman in conversation with Dean Peter Tufano. At the start of the session, Dean Tufano announced that Hoffman, who studied philosophy at Oxford, is donating $1m to help fund The Oxford Foundry, a new hub for future student entrepreneurs from across Oxford.

Starting on such a positive note, the ensuing hour was packed with insights and takeaways for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Here is my Top 10:

New Top Gear : Innovation v. Arrogance & Fear

“Matt LeBlanc is a natural at location filming, but Chris Evans needs to relax and stop trying so hard to be Jeremy Clarkson”, according to the Guardian – and if Twitter is anything to go by, according to many viewers.

Now, this isn’t another review of the programme – although from a Customer Experience angle, the (enforced) reboot of this hugely popular, and equally controversial, TV franchise poses an interesting debating point:

When your product or brand has to adapt to new circumstances, how do you go about it – do you innovate, or do you focus on damage limitation?

Better customer feedback management could boost revenue by £2bn

In a new report, Barclays predicts that if businesses become more responsive to online feedback the hospitality and leisure sector can add £2bn to the UK economy with the impact on the supply chain contributing a further £1.2bn.

Add that to the 2015 report, by workforce charity People 1st, showing that a 1% uplift in productivity could generate £1.4bn of extra revenue, and it is plain that there’s more upside than downside for organisations that focus on Customer Experience.