How do you equip everybody to take ownership of going the extra mile for customers?

By Chris Humphrey and Malcolm Ross, Co-Founders of Pelorus Jack

Organisations are hitting the headlines every week for wayward ethics, poor productivity, and commercial underperformance. Undoubtedly just the tip of the iceberg, too many leaders have lost sight of their customers and their employees, resulting in an insidious weakening of trust in institutions, business and leadership.

The problem is well known, but culture can seem overwhelmingly hard to change, so busy executives need proven operational solutions, not simply more discussion. In Culture by Design a white paper with Professor Emma MacDonald and Professor Hugh Wilson of Cranfield School of Management, Chris Humphrey and Malcolm Ross show how combining a deep understanding of customer needs with the entire organisation pulling in the right direction, can bring sustained commercial success.

  • Grow bigger and more complex without losing the agility, focus and connection to customers that originally gave the organisation its momentum and energy.
  • Improve employee engagement and productivity by empowering people to take spontaneous, creative and flexible decisions, at the same time as giving everybody clarity to stay on the same course. Avoid the demoralising tendency of many organisations to micromanage their people.
  • Enable customer experience initiatives to force sustained commercial impact, rather than simply patching-up the status quo, tackling the low hanging fruit, or remaining exposed to competitors who have a much better understanding of customer needs.
  • Inspire people with a purpose that unites everybody around a common understanding of what value customers want the firm to deliver. Do not fall into the trap of muddling purpose with corporate social responsibility, or lacking the right behavioural support to make it operational.
  • Ensure that changes have long-term benefits and are not just a flash in the pan by using HR strategically to permeate them throughout the entire organisation.

Many organisations have experienced an exceptional leader who inspires everybody to focus on what their customers value. Very few have someone to establish a methodology and inspire a legacy of customer excellence, continuous improvement and commercial success.

Chris and Malcolm believe that every organisation has all the tools at its disposal to deliver consistent, differentiated and sustained customer value, and use their years of leadership experience at Disney and other companies to explore how to make organisations feel good about doing the right thing for their customers.