Updated: Mar 8, 2022
It begins with WHY.
All through my career, I had one big question that always helped me succeed innovative strategy integration, and it is to understand at every level of what we do, the “Why” of challenges. Why are customers buying, why are they not buying? Why are they hesitant to buy? Why do we need to do this? Why do they use these products at a fraction of their technology capacity? Why? And again why?
If you are ready for implementation, let’s understand the first WHY question: Why are the most intelligent, devoted, motivated and empowered teams struggling so much in their CX transformation and innovative strategy integration?
Let’s state an important fact here: it is much easier to implement change and innovation in a start-up or fairly new company than to try to change a very “set in stone” organization that has been operating the same way for over 10 or 20 years, if not more.
Creating from a blank canvas versus reinventing an existing company is a very different challenge. So don’t beat yourself up when you compare yourself with other companies’ such as Facebook or Twitter who are fast pace adopters. Remember that these millennial companies are the disrupters and not the challenged ones.
One of the elements forcing transformation is the fact that traditional business models are under tremendous stress in this new fast paced and competitive world. Companies are stressed by multiple external factors forcing them to change in order to remain competitive.
We all hear the maxim that the largest hotel chain has no real estate (Air BnB), the largest social community has no boundaries (Facebook or LinkedIn) and the largest taxi company (Uber) doesn’t own a car (that too is changing). They are called the disrupters.
These disrupters place older companies in a defensive and reactive mode, therefore, companies tend to review their customer experience in an effort to re-stabilize the ground for future growth and remain appealing to the market.
Amid all the good intentions, vision, mapping, technology investment and the large consulting firms or ad agencies that helped leaders define the ultimate customer journey to adopt, the facts are telling a different story.
According to a study from Forrester (2016), while 84% of companies are wishing to be CX leaders, 80 % fail in delivering a good to great customer experience. When it comes down to analyzing why these companies are failing to deliver their vision, the most common answers are Culture, Organizational structure, organizational process, peer support, and alignment.
Let’s now hope these tips will inform you enough to rise above and be part of the 20% who succeed their transformation.
The Island Effect
One of the most important concepts you should learn and keep in mind during implementation is what I mentioned earlier and named: The island effect.
The island effect within a corporate environment is created when a new vision or innovative transformation project transits from being a concept everyone wants to hear about and be associated with, towards being an isolated project that is looked from a far distance, talked about with skepticism at the water cooler, while hoping that the last boat has left the island to never return.
You may think that your project will be sheltered from the Island Effect because this new strategy was initiated by the President or the CMO of your organization and backed-up by the entire C-Suite. You may also feel positive about the strength of your internal relationships with the different department leaders, and confident that you know the company’s ins and outs well enough to navigate safely. Perhaps you even believe that the company needs to change so badly and adopt a new attitude that it will happen no matter what challenges it meets along the way.
Obviously, all of what I mention will help you through your integration. After all, this positive attitude and your large corporate network connections are probably some of the many reasons why you have been selected as a member of the ‘special project’ team.
Yes, such extraordinary projects are exciting, however, the novelty tends to wear out as challenges arise during implementation. The little dream island ‘Special Project’ that everyone envied and hoped to be selected for, could rapidly be at risk of fading out if not handled wisely.
The island effect is one of the first reasons why intelligent and competent teams of good companies struggle the integration of innovative transformation.