An Ugly Uber Lesson In Organizational Culture

In a recent Fast Company article, This Is What Caused Uber’s Broken Company Culture, Uber was described as having a… “Hobbesian environment” where “workers are pitted against one another and where a blind eye is turned to infractions from top performers.” While I haven’t investigated Uber’s actual culture, it’s worth examining what could have caused this type of an environment in one of the fastest growing Internet companies. To be fully transparent, I’m an Uber customer who is thrilled with how the company has transformed the taxi experience. My take: Culture is frequently neglected. Why? Because it often doesn’t seem to show up until there’s a Read More …

Put Culture Change On Your 2017 CX Agenda. Here’s How.

If you’re thinking about improving your organization’s customer experience next year (and why wouldn’t you be?!?), then I hope you are also thinking about some changes in your organization’s culture. As I’ve said many, many times, your customer experience is a reflection of your culture and operating processes. It’s your culture that will sustain any improvements that you make in customer experience. As I’m sure you know, culture change isn’t easy. People are naturally averse to change. As John Kenneth Galbraith so aptly stated, “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, Read More …

Guide to Organizational Culture Change (Infographic)

We regularly help companies create cultures that are more customer-centric.  So it seemed like a fun idea to create an infographic on the topic. Enjoy! You may want to see a video we created about customer-centric culture or the report, Employee-Engaging Transformation. You can download (and print) this infographic in different forms: Infographic: infographic in pdf, infographic in png Poster (12″ x 24″): poster in pdf, poster in png The bottom line: The customer experience you deliver is a reflection of your culture

Wells Fargo: A Lesson in Leadership & Culture Gone Awry

In case you missed this in the news, Wells Fargo is under investigation for opening fraudulent accounts for its customers. During a period between 2011 and 2015, it is estimated that there were as many as 1.5 million deposit accounts and more than half a million credit card accounts opened inappropriately on behalf of customers. As part of a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren grills Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf and makes a few very important points. Stumpf heavily, heavily pushed his organization to cross-sell products, setting a long-term goal of 8 products per household, while the industry average Read More …

Customer-Centric Culture Change (Video)

Our research and work with clients show that customer experience is a reflection of an organization’s culture. Any company that wants to build sustainable customer experience must build a customer-centric culture. How? By mastering Employee-Engaging Transformation. Want to know more? Watch this short video: The bottom line: CX success almost always requires culture change

Hungry for CX, Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch

Management guru Peter Drucker is credited with saying that “culture eats strategy for lunch.” I agree, especially when it comes to large organizations. Culture can make or break the success of a company, which can be a scary phenomenon for executives. While leaders tend to be comfortable around strategy discussions, they’re often painfully awkward discussing corporate culture. Based on our work with many organizations and our research of 100’s more, here’s a primer on corporate culture that addresses six key questions. 1) What Exactly is Organizational Culture? All of our work in this area comes down to a key reality; culture is how employees think, believe, and act. Think: Employees are intellectually bought-in and Read More …

Report: Creating and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture

We just published a Temkin Group report, Creating and Sustaining a Customer-Centric Culture. Here’s the executive summary: Temkin Group defines culture as how employees think, believe, and act, and if an organization wants to differentiate its customer experience, it must address each one of these areas. However culture change is not easy. Culture change efforts are often impeded by common pitfalls, such as ignoring the existing culture or becoming impatient at the pace of change. To make this effort smoother, Temkin Group recommends adopting an approach we call Employee-Engaging Transformation (EET), which consists of five practices: Vision Translation, Persistent Leadership, Middle Read More …

What is Culture? How People Think, Believe, and Act

I often say that the customer experience your organization delivers is a reflection of your culture and operating processes. In other words, what customers experience outside is based on what’s going on inside. To consistently differentiate your customer experience, you need to transform your culture. “Culture eats strategy for lunch” – Peter Drucker The reason that culture is so important is that it frames what people (employees) do when no one is looking. You have two choices for driving employee behaviors: 1) Prescribe all of their actions and put in place mechanisms to monitor and control them, or 2) Create a culture that encourages them Read More …

Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Creates Fan-Centric Culture

I recently had the opportunity to hear Derrick Hall, CEO of the Arizona Diamondbacks, speak at the Arizona State University, Center for Services Leadership (CSL) Compete Through Service Symposium. Hall was extremely passionate about customer experience. His goal: “Treat our fans, employees, and players better than any team in sports.” Hall’s perspective as a senior executive was so refreshing that I scheduled a follow-up interview. The call started with some baseball talk (I confessed to being a passionate member of Red Sox Nation) and included a brief interruption by Tony La Russa, the Diamondbacks’ Chief Baseball Officer. Needless to say, I really enjoyed the conversation. Hall joined the D-backs Read More …

Don’t F*ck Up The Culture, Says Airbnb CEO

Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb recently wrote a post, Don’t Fuck Up the Culture. It’s a note that he sent to all of the Airbnb employees. It’s a good, short read. Here’s an excerpt: Culture is a thousand things, a thousand times. It’s living the core values when you hire; when you write an email; when you are working on a project; when you are walking in the hall. We have the power, by living the values, to build the culture. We also have the power, by breaking the values, to fuck up the culture. My take: Chesky is Read More …

Leadership Principles for Changing Corporate Culture

I just read a couple of articles about an important topic, corporate culture. The first one, The Rise of the Chief Culture Officer, describes how companies are appointing “Chief Culture Officers.” Here’s an interesting quote from one of those new execs, Maria Gendelman, from North Jersey Community Bank: I’m there to make sure that every single piece of paper that we give to the customer all looks the same, that our processes are efficient and streamlined — all of those things touch culture. The other article is an interview with John Taft, CEO of RBC Wealth Management. Here’s what Taft says about culture: Culture is everything when Read More …

Building A Culture Of Service At Cowboys Stadium

I recently spoke with Paul Turner, director of event operations at the Dallas Cowboys stadium. He was recruited to this position from the Philadelphia Eagles 2.5 years ago. According to Turner, his department is the watchdog for the overall guest experience and the quality of the show and his job is to make sure that there is an infrastructure to consistently deliver on all of the promises that the sales team makes. Here’s how he framed his responsibilities: “We are in the experience business; we can’t guarantee a win.” Creating a consistently good event experience is not an easy task. Read More …

European Firms Focus More On Culture And Brand

In the recent Temkin Group report Customer Experience Accelerates In 2011, we examined the 2011 customer experience plans of large companies ($1 billion+). I decided to compare some of the data across North American and Westen European companies for for a slightly larger group of companies ($500 million+). The data sample for the EU companies (52) is not large, so the data is indicative albeit not necessarily statistically significant. In this post, let’s look at the areas of focus for customer experience in 2011… A whopping 92% of European firms plan to increase their efforts in building a customer-centric culture in 2011. EU firms also plan to be Read More …

Inside Ritz-Carlton’s Customer-Centric Culture

I just read an interesting interview in Forbes with Simon Cooper, president of the Ritz-Carlton, who provides some insight into Ritz-Carlton’s customer-centric culture. Here are some of Cooper’s remarks: We focus on three fundamentals. First, location–making sure we get absolutely the best location. Second, product–building the right physical product for what our guests want today and what they will want tomorrow. That’s the platform. Third, people–our ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen. They animate the platform. We use what we call “lineup,” which is a Ritz-Carlton tradition… we want every single hotel, everywhere in the world, every partner, every shift, to utilize Read More …

Yum! Tunes Culture For Breakthrough Results

Yum! Brands (owners of brands like KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell) identified three key initiatives across its brands: 1) selling more healthy items; 2) offering a greater variety of drinks; and 3) changing menus according to the time of day. But the company was not in a position to take on these bold initiatives. According to an article in the Economist: The main obstacle to such ideas was Yum!’s corporate culture, in which different brands and operations in different countries had little to do with one another, slowing the spread of new initiatives. When Yum!’s CEO Dave Novack visited its Read More …