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Despite what you may think, ethical violations, scandals or improper conduct are not amongst the top reasons why CEOs are fired or forced to step down. According to a research study by Leadership IQ , the number one reason is mismanaging change. For all CEOs, and especially those who oversee large and complex enterprises, the responsibility to prevent or minimize the human costs of change is daunting. It’s easy to point to an ousted CEO and identify their mistakes, but what I’d like to do instead is show you how you can dramatically raise the internal capability, efficiency and success rates of delivering strategic change in your organization as a top-level ...
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Michael Porter, a well-known Harvard Strategy professor, developed a tool called “Porter’s 5 forces” to help structure the analysis of market attractiveness. In Porter’s own words, “The essence of strategy formulation is coping with competition”. With this idea in mind, it’s intuitive that a deeper understanding of the competitive forces within your market, helps you to make better choices about how you position yourself, and to identify levers where you can influence the amount of leverage that customers and suppliers have over your organization. Sometimes influence comes simply by changing your offering to generate competitive advantage, and in other ...
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Previously, we described the first three (of five) dimensions that form the customer experience: Touchpoints ;  Pathways , and Delivery. This week, we will explore the fourth dimension: Ecosystem. Ecosystem is the values and structure of an organization that drives how they do things and why, but also includes the way the organization is perceived and experienced by their customers. Some of the most obvious examples of Ecosystem are: Corporate culture IT infrastructure Supply chain Corporate structure Strategic partners Some less obvious examples of Ecosystem include: Brand perception in the ...
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A Summation by Heather Terrence, CAE On May 11, 2017, CMC-Ontario (GTA Chapter), in partnership with CPA-Ontario, was pleased to host The Leadership Thought Forum (LTF) and breakfast at the CPA Professional Development Institute. Husam Sha’ath, CMC, GTA Chapter Chair welcomed over 60 attendees, and Marylka Empey, CMC, Founder and Chair of the LTF, introduced the keynote speaker, leading governance expert, Dr. Richard Leblanc.  Dr. LeBlanc spoke about “The Criticality of Effective Board Governance” and reviewed current trends and issues outlined in his new book, “The Handbook of Board Governance: A Comprehensive Guide for Public, Private, and Not-for-Profit ...
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Times are changing. As new technologies are being discovered and implemented, businesses need to alter their strategies to their ever-changing industry. Presenters Allan Wilson and Richard Sachs recently joined interested GTA Chapter members at the June Customer Strategy SIG to facilitate a discussion on how one can help their clients adapt to new technology. The big takeaway? There are no blanket solutions but there are some general things one can do. Wilson and Sachs stressed that, in order to ensure your client does not become outdated, make sure you know the industry, are aware of the activity of your client’s competitors, and encourage your fellow ...
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In our previous 2 articles, we described the first two dimensions (of five) that form the Customer Experience: the Touchpoints of customer interaction; and the Pathways between them.  This week, we will explore the third dimension: Delivery. This dimension revolves around the co-operation between departments, suppliers, and distributors that enables organizations to execute memorable customer experiences.  Delivery, like the previous two dimensions, can take a number of different forms. Some of the most obvious examples of Delivery are: Organizational structure/hierarchy Internal processes (eg: sales, operations, account management) ...
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Facilitation is a huge part of being a strategy consultant, and being able to read the room gives a great deal of insight into how people feel about what is going on. Awareness of body language is an indispensable tool that allows you to tailor your approach to reach the best possible outcome. It's not reading minds, but it is perhaps the next best thing. This entry outlines the basics, in order to get you started on your journey of being able to read non-verbal cues. Once you learn how this works, meetings suddenly become more interesting because people find it very difficult to mask how they feel even if they consciously try to control body language ...
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I hear a lot of discussion among consultants about how and where to find new opportunities in this economy.   A headline I picked up today from the SCMA (Supply Chain Management Association) triggered my thoughts and inspirations on this topic.   "Canadian economy added 55,000 jobs in May, World Bank optimistic on global growth in 2017.  Canada adds 55,000 jobs in May, more than triple expectations.    Statistics Canada’s latest report indicates that Canada’s economy added a net 55,000 jobs in May. This exceeded expectations and almost all new jobs coming from the private sector. Economists had been expecting to add about 15,000 ...
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In a previous column, we outlined the importance of touchpoints as a vital first dimension of Customer Experience. However, to be effective these touchpoints must seamlessly transition customers from one touchpoint to the next. We call these transitions “pathways,” and they form the second dimension of Customer Experience. Pathways, like touchpoints, can take many forms. Some the most obvious examples of pathways are: -Instructions of what to do next; -Directional signage; -Website or app navigation; -Digital shopping cart instructions (step 1, step 2, etc.); -Flow charts. Some less ...
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“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.” Thomas Carlyle After six, long years I’ve recently been credentialed by the International Coach Federation as an Associate Certified Coach . Within the context of the immensely broad, deep, fascinating and complex universe of coaching this is probably the Boston Marathon equivalent of making a New Year’s resolution to start a running program. Nevertheless, I am proud of this achievement, and very grateful to the professionals at Erickson International , as well ...
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Image credit: http://clipground.com The best-in-class change leaders know that successful change is a team effort. The pattern goes something like this: executive leaders discover an opportunity and start to create a sense of urgency; the senior management layer below these leaders clarify the new direction and share this unified vision with the organization; the middle management layer start moving their lips and legs, acting in the new ways that move the company towards the goal and slowly grassroots changes take form. The change becomes a part of the company’s DNA and a new culture (e.g. trust, norms and values) emerges. Deceptively simple, right?  ...
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To all those consultants who advise Boards regarding M&A, or advise stakeholders in their dealing with Boards regarding M&A The June 6 Governance Special Interest Group meeting is focused on "How to advise Boards regarding M&A". As consultants, what challenges and issues have you faced in advising boards or the stakeholders dealing with the board regarding M&A? I will take your response and share it (anonymously) with the June 6 presenters and those people who are on my Governance Special Interest Group email list. Hope you can attend the June 6 meeting. Thank you To
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The most tangible and obvious dimension of customer experience is a “touchpoint.”  Read more about the five dimensions of customer experience here. We describe a touchpoint as any direct interaction between your customers and your business.  This includes obvious things like: -Websites; -Ads (print, radio, social media, mobile, etc.); -Emails (campaigns or regular); -Kiosks/check-in counters; -In-store sales people; -Customer service call centres. But it also includes other, more subtle things such as: -Search engine profile and link results; -Online resources (FAQ page, YouTube videos, etc.); ...
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The Spearhead Traverse and Operating at the Edge of My Possible   "Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.” Measure for Measure, William Shakespeare Recently, I successfully completed a lifetime bucket list item: The Spearhead Traverse. This world class three day ski mountaineering expedition begins at the 8,000ft summit of Blackcomb downhill ski resort and ends in Whistler village, conveniently, at the Dublin Pub. In between lies 45 kms of humility. Involving between 12 to 15,000 feet of elevation gain, crossing a dozen glaciers, teetering over knife edge ridges, dodging lurking cornices, ...
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In Rethinking profit over people, I discussed how the data clearly shows engaged employees have a significant impact on a company’s bottom line. “But, what exactly is engagement?” a panicked manager or CEO might ask. “Can it be quantified?” For enterprises undergoing organizational change, that’s the million-dollar question. Senior leaders need to increase employee engagement in the workplace. One way to immediately relieve this pressure, they might think, would be to throw money at the problem. Higher salaries must surely equate to higher employee satisfaction? Not quite, unfortunately. According to a recent Kronos report, when employees ...
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Do you know what makes great customer experiences memorable? Many believe that it is people delivering the service. Others feel it is a deep understanding of customer wants, needs, and expectations. Some value trust and consistency. While these are accurate, they do not capture all aspects of a great customer experience. Just as there are five senses in the human body, there are five dimensions of customer experience. All are equally important, interrelated and operate in synchronicity to produce the maximum impact. Ecosystem This foundational element refers to the culture and systems of the organization that provide the experience. ...
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Have you heard the story of the six blind men and the elephant? The basic story goes like this: a group of blind men encounter an elephant when they are out for a walk. They each touch the elephant to learn what it is. However, each man touches only one single part, and no other, such as a tusk, the tail, or the trunk. Afterwards, they compare notes and realize they are in complete disagreement over what it was they were touching. Only by combining their perspectives can the blind men accurately describe an elephant. We usually begin any discussion regarding customer experience with this story. Imagine the six blind men as different ...
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A follow-up to a previous post on the evolution of management consulting.  By Maureen McKenna CMC and Lyn McDonell CMC Thomas Friedman calls this “an age of dizzying acceleration” in his recent book   Thanks for Being Late - An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Acceleration .  To adapt, management consulting must and will evolve -- how we work, what we offer, and how we relate to each other across disciplines for a holistic perspective and to access resources. If other industries are any guide, we will be retooling, learning new skills, and networking to collaborate and transform our value propositions. Our mission is to help our ...
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Guest Blog Today’s governments are facing revenue challenges like never before. Most countries have raised personal income taxes as much as they can without facing open taxpayer revolt. And there is pressure to drop corporate taxes and repatriate money from Tax Havens like Ireland. Meanwhile, expense-side pressures from health care and infrastructure needs grow significantly every year. So, what is a government to do? Well, most governments are scouring the bare cupboards looking for new sources of taxation. Jurisdictions throughout Europe and North America have been eyeing corporately-paid employee benefits as a lucrative new tool for raising ...
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We are often asked "what is the difference between customer service and customer experience?" This is a very good question and one worthy of exploring further. Customer service is the series of rudimentary transactional elements that you can expect when buying a product or service . Things like eye contact, a smile, a warm greeting, and asking if you would like your receipt for your wallet or in the bag are some of the common customer service elements.  While necessary to ensure that customers feel welcome, valued, willing to part with their hard-earned money at a business, it is easy to replicate and can seem insincere if it is being done by habit or because ...
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