Insightful.

Our thinking and opinion on the things that matter to those in the marketing, communications and design industries.

Keep up to date

Wellbeing - the new lens on business performance?

29 Sep 2020 by Mike Tisdall

On the very same day in 1876 that Alexander Graham Bell filed his patent for the telephone in Washington D.C., Elisha Gray filed his in Illinois. And a few years later, Briton Joseph Swan and American Thomas Edison...

Strategy
wellbeing - the new lens on business performance? mike tisdall

on the very same day in 1876 that alexander graham bell filed his patent for the telephone in washington d.c., elisha gray filed his in illinois. and a few years later, briton joseph swan and american thomas edison independently patented the light bulb.

whether you put this down to synchronicity of consciousness or the fact that nothing lives in isolation long before parallel schools of thought arise, the result is fertile compost for similar ideas to manifest in slightly different ways.

our government has enshrined the notion of wellbeing through the living standards framework amongst other initiatives, and a new language that speaks to the ‘soft’ values of ‘purpose, balance and meaning.’ it’s the newest and broadest measure of roi. and government now expects these principles to be evident in all its agencies’ and ministries’ ways of going about their daily business. we’re now ‘woke’ to this ‘kinder’ way of living our lives.

interesting, too, that the dimension of time is part of the vernacular, with frequent references in government frameworks to ‘future wellbeing’ and ‘intergeneration outcomes’.

but it’s not just our government. wellbeing is now a thing in the workplace, the home, everywhere you look now in one form or other. consumers and investors are actively choosing companies looking after the wellbeing of their wider ecosystem. employees are looking for employers with social-conscience and a wider purpose beyond the numbers.

like edison’s lightbulb, random threads have become woven together from all sorts of sources and schools of thought to make wellbeing the thing it has become. a zeitgeist moment in our species’ evolution perhaps?

what we see in the governance of society is no different from the context in which it thrives.

parallels in corporate-land

the language may be different but the similarities are more than discernible. business is becoming more aware of its broader responsibilities too.

ever since the world flirted with ‘triple-bottom-line’ performance reporting, the gamut of what’s important for corporate behaviour has been ever-widening. sustainability reporting started with a prime environmental focus that became dominated by climate change as that threat became more prominent. then the dots started to join. some of us liked the wider definition of sustainability that included people, planet and profit. and then investors started joining the dots too - wanting to know about the longer term ramifications for companies they were putting money into. esg reporting (environmental, social, governance) became that audience’s self-interested wellbeing lens on much the same subject matter.

this was merely the reporting end of enlightened companies reframing their outlooks on corporate responsibility. it’s actually the thinking and caring that counts.

and then, the most holistic framework of them all – integrated reporting – appeared in 2013 and has grown and matured over the years to become recognised as the most encompassing, inclusive of all the other schools, and with the added elements of shared value creation over the long term, and asking for transparency around the impacts on the very capitals that a company employs in the first place (human, natural, social, manufactured, intellectual and financial).

meanwhile, over in the kitchen at the united nations, the cooks were brewing up the un sustainable development goals.

the threads were being interwoven.

bringing it all together

all of these developments are really a maturing and sophistication of the same principle – that long term wellbeing and prosperity come from looking after all aspects of life.

they all care about what’s best for people, minimising harm to the world that nurtures us, and the glue of social systems and relationships that hold it all together. and they recognise that finance is the oil that lubricates the wheels. all creating a future that’s sustainable and perpetual.

for canny business and savvy investors, it’s about more than just doing the right thing. they have come to learn that it’s also wise business in the long term. there’s more new language afoot: ‘non-financial’ factors are now being termed ‘pre-financial’. a lack of focus on wellbeing factors like exploited employees, unheeded communities or depleted natural resources will eventually impact financial viability. 

whatever the motivation, surely the common destiny justifies? a win/win/win?

whatever your motivation, at least you’re swimming with the tide. all the threads are coming together, whether you use the language of government, business, society or simply being human.

the more i work with integrated reporting, the more the principle of taking a holistic view of the wellbeing of your entire ecosystem resonates. we’ve seen numerous entities get to grips with integrated thinking in their organisations and helped them connect how all these aspects of their corporate wellbeing drive current and future performance. once cracked, the clarity, simplicity and elegant seamlessness that results from integrated thinking is awesome to behold. it’s a powerful blueprint for any human endeavour – not just business or government agencies. 

balance. harmony. forces of good.

personal, business and social wellbeing is a movement whose time has come. i wonder whether edison and bell would recognise this as recombinant conceptualisation, groupthink or just blame the ubiquity of the internet.

wellbeing, living standards framework, integrated thinking, integrated reporting

Reviving and Revising Moments of Truth

20 Aug 2019 by Mike Tisdall

Moments of Truth  is one of my go-to strategic tools when advising clients on customer-centricity, or more grimly, when trying to analyse and attempting to reverse a company’s fading fortunes. What...

Strategy
reviving and revising moments of truth mike tisdall

moments of truth is one of my go-to strategic tools when advising clients on customer-centricity, or more grimly, when trying to analyse and attempting to reverse a company’s fading fortunes.

what surprises me almost every time, though, is that most business managers haven’t heard of it. 

so, first, a brief history

the concept is most associated with jan carlzon, a former ceo of sas (scandinavian air services). he became leader of the airline at a time of deep recession and identified that the only differentiator he could call on to succeed was an impeccable customer experience. he calculated that in a single flight of a few hours, a traveller would only experience a few short minutes that would affect their emotional response to the whole experience. these were the moments in the customer journey that made or broke brand perceptions. from memory, they were check-in, boarding, meal service, disembarking and luggage retrieval. each of these contact points was a defining moment – a ‘moment of truth’ – because it is in the moment and at the point of this ‘snapshot’ that a traveller decides whether to use the service again. carlzon did all he could to develop staff management of these moments, with astonishing success for his airline, which eventually became one of the most admired in the industry.

the concept has, of course, been used across many industries since. 

how do you apply the thinking?

it’s such a sound and powerful concept that it has as much value today as ever. as most marketers know, no matter what marketing fads and new technologies come along to seduce and distract us (and gobble increasing shares of our marketing budget), the fundamentals of human nature and core marketing principles are still critically relevant.

the process involves detailed analysis of your customer journey, and insightful mapping of those points along the journey that are your company's moments of truth. of course, different businesses and business models may well have a longer list of moments, and many businesses may have more than one customer journey to trace and map. but the principle remains.

thirty years on, what are the new opportunities?

well, the principle hasn’t stood still. twenty years after carlzon, in 2005, proctor & gamble chair, president and ceo, a. g. lafley, opined that that there were three different types of moments of truth: 1. pre-sale, when the customer is looking at and researching the product; 2. when the customer actually purchases the product and uses it; and 3. post-sale, when customers provide feedback to the company, and their friends, colleagues and family members etc. and in the era of social media, we all know how influential that can be.

and in the digital age?

enter amit sharma. sharma started working with walmart in 2006, designing the next generation multi-channel supply chain network, then joined apple in 2010 where he drove all aspects of the shipping and delivery experience. eventually, he left apple to start his own company, narvar, which focuses on the after experiencethe period of time from when the customer buys a product online to when he receives it. that can be as short as two hours with amazon’s new expedited delivery program, or several days, or even longer. it is that gap which is where this new moment of truth lives.

from here, i’ll let forbes writer, shep hyken, take up sharma’s story (edited for brevity):

 

in the online world, retailers drop the ball after customers click “buy.” customers don’t know when they’re going to receive their package. they might be able to track it on the fedex page, but there’s no branded moment or cohesive experience. this creates a gap in the experience.

once the customer hits the “buy” button on a website, the company may send an ‘order received’ or ‘order shipped’ notification but most companies now turn the order over to a carrier like fedex or ups. not only is there the lack of a branded experience, there’s no control over the outcome.

if the shipment shows up late, whose fault is it? it may the shipper’s fault, but who does the customer call? not the shipping company. the retailer usually steps up and apologises, and then works to right what went wrong, even though it was totally out of their control.

that gap is sharma’s concern. the company loses control over the process. but, more importantly, there is nothing to control the customer’s emotions during that time. what can you do to reinforce that the customer made the right decision to buy the product and do business with you? how can you boost customer confidence and avoid buyer’s remorse?

this is an opportunity to add value with a branded moment.

for example, a customer buys shaving cream through an online retailer. in addition to the notice that the product has shipped, the company can now provide suggestions on how to best use the product. maybe it’s the middle of winter and the company sends a link to a video on how to protect your skin against dry and windy weather.

or perhaps the customer just bought a workbench from a specialist online hardware retailer. shortly after the purchase, the customer would welcome a video on how to put the workbench together, the space needed, the tools required, etc.

both of these are examples of a branded experience that happens while the customer waits for the merchandise to show up. innovative companies such as nordstrom, sephora and rei, who really understand customer journeys, are now capitalising on this new moment of truth.

 

carlzon’s original principle of finding and perfecting the moments of truth in the customer journey is as sound and useful today as it ever was. and extending the concept to today’s more holistic full user journey is the intelligent new iteration.

for me, it’s a concept that i still use today as much as i ever have. and reading how sharma has extended the theory to the online shopping age, i have now sharpened one of the better implements in my toolkit.

strategic marketing tools, marketing, moments of truth
Sorry, there are no results for that search.