Mon, 28 August 2017
Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, a Customer Experience Futurist and author of the new book, "More is More: How The Best Companies Work Harder And Go Farther To Create Knock Your Socks Off Customer Experiences.” She is also my wife. Blake is an adjunct faculty member in Rutgers University’s executive education MBA program. She contributes to Forbes, the Harvard Business Review and the American Marketing Association. She hosts The Modern Customer Podcast and a weekly customer experience video series on YouTube.
More is More is about hard work. Blake says that companies today cannot sit on their laurels. “The only thing that will differentiate themselves from their competitors is customer experience.” Customer experience is what the customer thinks of the brand. It doesn’t matter what a company thinks, the customer has preconceived ideas of what it is.
The book discusses – a ‘D.O. M.O.R.E.’ framework. This is not just spending more money but making customers lives easier and better. Do More comes from the following:
D – Designing something special
O – Offer a strong employee experience
M – Modernizing with technology
O – Obsessed about customers
R – Rewarding responsibility and accountability
E – Embrace disruption and innovation
What are some trends Blake is seeing? More big companies are hiring remotely. With that in mind, it is important to be smart about the types of people who you hire. Hire for attitude not only skill set. Hire people who are wonderful representatives for your brand.
What you will learn:
Sun, 20 August 2017
Nilofer Merchant is the author of The Power of Onlyness and the recipient of the Thinkers 50 #1 Future Thinker Award. Nilofer began her career in business 25 years ago as an administrative assistant, and quickly rose to division leader, to CEO to board member of a NASDAQ-traded company. She has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18B in sales and has held executive positions at Fortune 500 companies like Apple and Autodesk to startups in the early days of the Web (Golive/ later bought by Adobe). Logitech, Symantec, HP, Yahoo, VMWare, and many others have turned to her guidance on new product strategies, entering new markets, defending against competitors, and optimizing revenues.
The term ‘Onlyness’ was coined by Merchant because it captured something that couldn’t be characterized in any other way. The way in which ideas are becoming the nucleus of all valued creation, it’s no longer about organizations or the capital that comes from that – it’s about ideas. ‘Onlyness’, is the spot in the world that only you stand in, which is a function of your background and point of view, as well as your vision and hopes. Merchant encourages everyone to reclaim ‘only’ as a strength, because your perspective has value.
There are three lessons for claiming your ‘Onlyness’. First of all, you need to understand your history and what it means it to you.
Secondly, embrace or value your full self.
And thirdly, realize that what surrounds you affects you – your environment shapes you, the 5 people closest to you influence you. You are a product of the people around you.
Merchant’s advice is to find 5 people that can most influence you in a positive way. Build those relationships. In those relationships you can find safety to claim and nurture your own ideas.
What you will learn in this episode:
Sun, 13 August 2017
Leena Nair is the Chief Human Resources Officer for Unilever. Since 1992, when she joined Unilever as a trainee, Leena has had many firsts to her credit. Prior to her current role, she undertook a wide range of HR roles in India and currently, she is the first female and youngest ever CHRO of Unilever.
Unilever is a Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company co-headquartered in Rotterdam, Netherlands and London, United Kingdom. Its products include food, beverages, cleaning agents and personal care products. It is the world's largest consumer goods company and is also the world's largest producer of food spreads, such as margarine. With 170,000 employees, Unilever is one of the oldest multinational companies; its products are available in about 190 countries.
“I can’t talk about being ‘more human’ if I am not living it every minute of the day.” Leena’s commitment to creating a more human experience is embodied in the way she functions each day. She gives 100% of her attention to the people she is meeting with each day – she doesn’t carry a phone to check emails, instead she waits until the evening before handling them.
Leena gives 3 main steps to being human:
How do we get leaders on this journey towards being more human? Most managers are going through the same feelings as employees. They are required to do more, with fewer resources and are left feeling anxious. Encourage them to recognize their feelings and understand these are the same feelings as their employees are dealing with each day. As companies have become more focused on becoming more human, health care costs have been reduced. Productivity has gone up, pride in the company has increased – there are many positive aspects.
Unilever found that people were spending 2 million hours calibrating people, giving people labels and ‘putting them in boxes’. Leena changed that by getting rid of the labels and boxes and instead asked the managers to spend the 2 million hour having conversations with people. She asked them to invest their time in the people, making HR much simpler.
What you will learn in this episode:
Links from the episode:
Sun, 6 August 2017
Dr. John J. McGowan, is a PhD and he serves as the NIAID Deputy Director for Science Management. In this position, Dr. McGowan provides leadership for scientific, policy, business, and administrative management of the Institute and conducts senior-level interactions with the extramural community, other National Institutes of Health (NIH) components, and the NIH Office of the Director.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research. It is comprised of 27 separate institutes and centers of different biomedical disciplines and is responsible for many scientific accomplishments, including the discovery of fluoride to prevent tooth decay, the use of lithium to manage bipolar disorder, and the creation of vaccines against hepatitis, Haemophilus influenzae (HIB), and human papillomavirus (HPV).
NIH represents a different world than private sector organizations – the public sector. For example, they are required to seek Congressional approval to make changes in their site facilities. Though Congress must approve the budget, they do not necessarily provide the funds for it to be carried out. The most recent building overall took a total of 8 years.
Beyond the need for budget approval, the government also controls the salaries of the employees at NIH. This makes it challenging to attract and retain the top talent within their fields. People must be motivated by the mission to stay at NIH. Often, people can leave the public sector and go to private organizations, making up to 3 times the salary. It is also a highly competitive environment; about 2000 – 3000 scientists begin working each year but only about 1 – 3% become permanent scientists.
When asked for leadership advice, Dr. McGowan says leaders must first be present with people and understand where what they are thinking and feeling at that moment
Second, they need to evaluate people’s emotional state. What is the level? Low, medium, high? If they are at high, they won’t hear you – so let them burn that level down before you talk with them.
Leaders also need to connect with the emotion they are trying to convey. That emotion is 90% more effective than anything you will say.
What you will learn in this episode: