Your Organization Is An Experience Factory

Experience Management (XM) isn’t just important, it’s the primary function of every organization. Let me explain…

The XM Institute team spends a lot of time thinking about and researching XM. Which means we spend a lot of time trying to understand how human beings think, feel, and behave.

What’s become clear is that experience is not just an interesting topic, it’s a fundamental component of life. As a matter of fact, I believe that it’s one of three core human domains:

  • Physiology: How we maintain life.
  • Psychology: How we think and feel.
  • Experience: How we interact.

Experience is the one and only way that human beings interface with the world. We create, consume, and remember experiences… that’s it.

If you want to communicate with or influence someone, then it requires some experiences. If you want to teach or love someone, then it requires some experiences. If you want to learn or enjoy something, then it requires some experiences. If you want to sell or provide services to someone, then it requires some experiences.

Our lives are a sequence of experiences strung together and built on each other. These experiences can be as mundane as ordering paper towels off Amazon or as life changing as giving birth to your first child. And though experiences themselves only last a short time, they can have long-lasting consequences, shaping our behavior, attitudes, and understanding of the world.

If experience represents how human beings interact with the world, then it’s also the input and output of every employee, every customer, every partner, every supplier, and every person that touches an organization.

Therefore, all that an organization does is create experiences. It creates experiences for the employees who spend 8+ hours every day at the organization. It creates experiences for the customers who visit its website or use its products. It even creates experiences for shareholders who benefit or lose financially based on the organization’s performance.

When you get down to it, experiences are the sole output of a company. Which means whether an organization thrives or fails comes down to the experiences it delivers.

That’s why every organization (including yours) is an experience factory.

With this new context, focusing on XM is not an optional decision; it’s already the primary activity of every organization. Think about the experience chain where your organization continually creates experiences for employees whose actions then continually create product and brand experiences for the rest of the world.

While you don’t have a choice about engaging in XM, you do have a choice about being purposeful in those efforts. Too many organizations fail to focus on the experiences they deliver and leave this fundamental activity to chance.

To create a thriving experience factory, you need to build the capabilities to continuously learn about the needs and feelings of human beings across your ecosystem, propagate those insights to the people who can take action on them, and rapidly adapt your operations to adjust experiences based on those insights.

How do you create those capabilities? By mastering Six XM Competencies, and remembering that your organization is—at its core—an experience factory.

 

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

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