1. Move over product design, UX is the future

    July 1, 2016 by ahmed

    ux0

    Originally posted on FastCoDesign blog

    Rick Wise, CEO of Lippincott, says experience innovation is the next design imperative. Here are five things you can do this year to make that happen.

    For decades, the most successful businesses thrived on product innovation as the natural strategy to increase revenues, market share, and loyalty. Fast forward to 2014: today’s product innovations, and the growth they create, are often incremental, narrow, and fleeting. Take TVs or PCs—every competitor quickly matches the latest features, speed, brightness. As a result, companies are finding that returns from product efforts are harder to rely on. Among the Global Innovation 1000, R&D spending rose 5.8% last year, yet revenue for those companies increased less than 1%. Global competition and technological diffusion mean that competitors quickly catch up with most improvements, while the transparency of digital and social media also prompts consumers to quickly switch allegiance with each new alluring offer.

    Today’s enlightened leaders are achieving success by crafting the entire customer experience—shaping, innovating, branding, and measuring it. They are mastering a new discipline we refer to as “experience innovation” by going beyond the discrete product or service to reimagine the customer journey. The result yields new, unexpected, signature moments that delight customers and create significant opportunities for new growth.

    We believe that experience innovation will be a crucial component for companies seeking to remain relevant and retain customer loyalty in 2014. But the process of designing a truly innovative experience cannot simply rest on the process excellence of classic customer experience-improvement efforts or the creative brilliance of the marketing team. Drawing on our recent work, here are a few key principles for success.

    LOOK BEYOND THE PRODUCT

    ux1

    Experience innovation isn’t driven by specific product features or design, but by reimagining the broader experience of how customers might use the product or service. By looking beyond the product to take a broader view of customer issues and activities around the product, companies can find new ways to address unmet needs, create talk-worthiness, and fuel differentiation.

    Take Uber, the car service. Uber didn’t change the vehicle or retrain drivers, but fundamentally changed how you order, meet, and pay for a car. By taking a broader view of what a car service could be, Uber was able to reimagine the entire experience—offering “relentless reliability,” and a seamless system that addresses many hassles such as long wait time, not having cash, losing recipients, etc. The company is growing like wildfire—adding almost 80,000 new customers a week and is able to charge a lot more than the typical cab. Looking beyond the product to the broader experiences surrounding it also creates new horizons for growth. At Nike, for instance, shifting from sneakers to enabling fitness has spurred clothing sales, the Fuel band, and other integrated digital solutions, and fitness-oriented social media sharing and gamification.

    BE CUSTOMER FOCUSED, BUT NOT CUSTOMER LED

    Experience innovators recognize that consumers can’t tell you about the things they need or want but haven’t yet imagined. Nor can consumers articulate how they will do things differently in the future. For instance, customers will tell an airline they really want quick boarding and on-time departures.

    That’s fairly obvious. But Delta came up with an approach they call “delocation” as a way of taking services out of their typical location and improving the travel experience in unexpected ways. Delta brought the lounge directly to the gate, creating an enhanced experience among travelers who had never thought of the gate past its function as a waiting area and were often too rushed to visit the airline lounge. The Delta concourses at LaGuardia and Minneapolis have banquette seating, embedded iPads, gate side ordering, and specially curated shops and restaurants to create new levels of service and ambiance. The space takes advantage of Delta’s ability to partner and deliver on its essence of “making flying better” in a way consumers might never have articulated in a focus group—and provides an opportunity for a new revenue stream. Delta is an example of a brand that has committed to enhancing the experience on an ongoing basis and Delta’s stock price more than doubled in 2013.

    ux2

    BUILD LONG-TERM VISION

    Great experience innovation isn’t about a series of one-off moments, but a holistic vision for a transformed brand experience that evolves over time. A customer-experience map is, therefore, a bold, integrated vision for the future of your brand experience. Start with a broad and detailed exploration of the customer journey—and how it could be different. Don’t ask customers what they need, but observe how they behave and what makes them happy or sad. Then assess what people could do. Think about what they will notice, and what they will remember. Look for the big moves—can you take entire steps out of the process, change the sequence, add new value in unexpected places? Disney, for example, unexpectedly opens the park gates five minutes in advance fueling the “I’m about to be at Disney world!” thrill. In developing such a map, think in terms of a portfolio approach to execution, by balancing simple changes that build momentum with longer-term investments that require more radical changes and resourcing.

    ENGAGE ALL OF THE SENSES

    Today’s dramatically expanding set of touch points, shorter attention spans, and shrinking lifecycles all heighten the need for an experience that breaks through with increased vitality and dimension. In that vein, a great brand experience often engages all the senses. It considers the environmental, physical, digital, and even behavioral expression of brand—the way employees interact with both customers and each other.

    ux3

    MAKE IT REAL FROM THE INSIDE FIRST

    Products are usually managed by one person, whereas an experience must be curated by several different owners with separate goals and metrics. Drawing on expertise across functions is essential to push thinking, discover what is possible, and forge connections across operational silos. And, before an experience will come across as real to the outside world, dozens, hundreds or thousands of employees need to be educated and empowered to deliver the vision.

    The concept of innovating the experience isn’t new. Virgin’s airport clubs, Nike’s flagship stores, Starbucks restaurants, and Disney’s Parks set the standard many years ago. These innovators show us that the experience isn’t just about the planes, the shoes, the coffee or the even the rides—it’s about how we feel when we use the product or service. The stakes for getting the experience right, and continually enhancing it, have never been higher.


  2. JIC Wins European Award for best Practices – 2016

    June 26, 2016 by ahmed

    JIC 2016

    Al Jazeera International Catering was awarded the most prestigious European Award for best Practices – 2016. This award was presented as recognition for JIC’s best practices, adherence to the excellence program and the commitment towards sustainability and stakeholder engagement.

    The European Society for Quality Research (ESQR) recognizes and highlights outstanding business results, best practices, quality awareness and achievements by companies in regional and global markets. Through its recognition programs and awards, ESQR makes quality a top priority for the recognized organizations, regardless of their sector, size and location.

    The award was presented at a splendid Ceremony held at Le Plaza Hotel, Brussels (Belgium) on Saturday, June 4, 2016. Around 75 companies from 63 countries participated in this grand event.

    Receiving the award, Mr. Robby Thommy, Managing Director, Al Jazeera International Catering, thanked the organizers for evaluating and recognizing its commitment towards sustainability and stakeholder’s engagement. He also thanked the employees of JIC for their passion and dedication towards excellence and sustainability and said this award is a clear recognition for the commitment and attitude they possess towards the journey of excellence.

    JIC won the International Best Practice Competition 2015 and 2014, and Runner-up of GBN’s Global Benchmarking Award 2015


  3. Powerful habits of considerate people

    June 16, 2016 by ahmed

    being-considerate-of-others

    Originally posted on Linkedin by Dr. Travis Bradberry

    Philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said, “Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.” It’s true. Being kind and considerate softens people and makes them malleable to your way of thinking.

    But I see another meaning there, too. I think he’s also saying that being considerate of others is an integral part of what it means to be human. Charles Darwin would have agreed. He argued that our instinct to be considerate is even stronger than our instinct to be self-serving.

    As obvious as that may seem, it’s only recently that neuroscience has been able to explain why. Research conducted by Dacher Keltner at Berkeley showed that our brains react exactly the same when we see other people in pain as when we experience pain ourselves. Watching someone else experience pain also activates the structure deep inside the brain that’s responsible for nurturing behavior, called the periaqueductal gray.

    Being considerate of others is certainly a good career move, but it’s also good for your health. When you show consideration for others, the brain’s reward center is triggered, which elevates the feel-good chemicals dopamine, oxytocin, and endogenous opioids. This gives you a great feeling, which is similar to what’s known as “runner’s high,” and all that oxytocin is good for your heart.

    “Being considerate of others will take you further in life than any college or professional degree.” – Marian Wright Edelman

    That’s all well and good, but how practical is it? How do you become more considerate when you have so many other things competing for your finite mental energy? It’s not that hard—all you have to do is emulate the habits of highly considerate people.

    Show up on time. Sure, sometimes things happen, but always showing up late sends a very clear message that you think your time is more important than everyone else’s, and that’s just rude. Even if you really do think that your time is more important, you don’t have to broadcast that belief to the world. Instead, be considerate and show up when you said you would.

    Be deliberately empathic. It’s one thing to feel empathy for other people, but putting that feeling into action is another matter entirely. It’s great to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes—in fact, it’s essential—but that doesn’t necessarily translate into being considerate. To be deliberately empathic, you have to let your ability to walk in their shoes change what you do, whether that’s changing your behavior to accommodate their feelings or providing tangible help in a tough situation.

    Apologize when you need to (and don’t when you don’t). We all know people who are so insecure or so afraid of offending someone that they practically apologize for breathing. In such situations, apologizing loses its meaning. But it’s a different matter entirely when a sincere apology is really necessary. When you’ve made a mistake, or even think you’ve made a mistake, apologizing is a crucial part of being considerate.

    Smile a lot. Physically, it’s easier to frown than to smile—smiling involves 42 different muscles; however, it pays to make the extra effort, as smiling has a huge effect on other people. People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. When you smile at people, they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.

    Mind your manners. A lot of people have come to believe that not only are manners unnecessary, they’re undesirable because they’re fake. These people think that being polite means you’re acting in a way that doesn’t reflect how you actually feel, but they’ve got it backwards. “Minding your manners” is all about focusing on how the other person feels, not on how you feel. It’s consciously acting in a way that puts other people at ease and makes them feel comfortable.

    Be emotionally intelligent. One of the huge fallacies our culture has embraced is that feeling something is the same as acting on that feeling, and that’s just wrong, because there’s this little thing called self-control. Whether it’s helping out a co-worker when you’re in a crunch to meet your own deadline or continuing to be pleasant with someone who is failing to return the favor, being considerate often means not acting on what you feel.

    Try to find a way for everybody to win. Many people approach life as a zero-sum game. They think that somebody has to win and somebody else has to lose. Considerate people, on the other hand, try to find a way for everybody to win. That’s not always possible, but it’s their goal. If you want to be more considerate, stop thinking of every interaction with others as a win/lose scenario.

    Act on your intuition when it comes to other people’s needs. Sometimes you can just tell when someone is upset or having a bad day. In such cases, being considerate means checking in with them to see if your intuition is correct. If your intuition is telling you to reach out—do it; they’ll appreciate your concern.

    Bringing It All Together

    Being considerate is good for your mental and physical health, your career, and everyone around you. On top of that, it just feels good.

    What are some other ways to show consideration for others? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.


  4. Tips from five Baldrige award-winning organizations

    June 10, 2016 by ahmed

    tips

    Originally posted on Blogrige by Christine Schaefer

    Every fall and every spring, Baldrige Award recipients openly share their best practices with other organizations that want to improve their performance. This sharing and learning happens at two regional conferences in September and at the annual Quest for Excellence® Conference in April.

    For the benefit of those who missed those events last September and this April, below are five sets of tips shared by Baldrige conference presenters over the past year.

    How to Adopt the Baldrige Framework for Long-Term Use

    The following tips are from Joseph (Joe) Brescia, director for strategic management and process improvement; and James (Jim) Caiazzo, team leader for the Office of Strategic Management, at U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), a 2007 Baldrige Award winner in the nonprofit sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2015/09/01/a-baldrige-award-recipient-shares-leadership-practices-that-support-operational-excellence/.

    1. Establish a sense of urgency.
    The Baldrige Excellence Framework is a vehicle for establishing and maintaining transformational change in your organization. The responsibility of great leaders is to align the mission, vision, and values within the organization. Paint the vision of what change looks like and how the Baldrige framework gets you there.

    2. Use the Baldrige Criteria to provide a common language across your organization to discuss improvement so that everyone is using the same vernacular.

    3. Make sure you focus on results.

    In other words, the way to institutionalize the Baldrige framework is to actually use it to manage the business. That comes down to establishing a formal venue for senior leadership to review results and make changes as required. This way, when you have changes in leadership, with the venue institutionalized, it doesn’t live and die with the leadership that started it.

    How to Use the Baldrige Framework to Drive Your Desired Results

    The following tips are from Jayne E. Pope, CEO of Hill Country Memorial (HCM), a 2014 Baldrige Award winner in the health care sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/29/amid-struggles-of-rural-health-care-one-hospital-stands-out/

    1. Align and integrate processes within the workforce.
    Align all processes and the workforce to achieve strategic goals, with all processes supporting this alignment and integration. For example, when refining the workforce performance system, HCM asked how the redesign could integrate the system with the organization’s strategic plan. The organization developed quarterly coaching plans and an annual performance appraisal that aligns individual goals with strategic goals.

    2. Streamline processes and make them as easy to use and understand as possible.
    For example, HCM wants individuals to be experts at their jobs but doesn’t expect them to be performance improvement experts, so it developed easy-to-use worksheets that walk employees through process design and the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) methodology. Having such user-friendly tools allows every member of the workforce to be involved in performance improvement.

    3. To achieve strategic results, identify key action plans and monitor progress.
    Just having goals is not enough; develop robust action planning and monitor processes. For example, through HCM’s Strategic Breakthrough Initiative process, executives identify those key short-term action plans that will move the organization toward achievement of its strategic goals. These are 90-day action plans, and the team reports out progress on a weekly basis to the executives. This weekly report-out supports accountability and ensures that team members have the support and resources needed to achieve their goals.

    How to Get Started with Baldrige-Based Organizational Improvement

    The following tips are from Pete Reicks, senior vice president of performance excellence at Elevations Credit Union, a 2014 Baldrige Award winner in the nonprofit sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/23/with-humility-and-hard-work-elevations-credit-union-keeps-climbing-higher/.

    1. Embrace the journey, make the investment, and leave a legacy.
    You owe it to yourself, your workforce, your customers/students/patients, and your community. The hardest step is setting the goal. You have to commit. The journey is an investment. Just get started, regardless of the reasons to delay. The only better decision is to have started sooner.

    2. Use the power of the Baldrige framework and the magic of ADLI and LeTCI to affirm your Why (your organization’s mission and purpose).
    Become systematic in your How (approaches) and appreciate the Who, What, and When (deployment) occurring within an interdependent system (alignment and integration). Meaningful measurement (levels, trends, comparisons) of (aligned and integrated) results (operations, customers, workforce, leadership, and financial/market performance) drive accelerated cycles of applied learning.

    3. Make it FUN (really)!
    Celebrate! Make reaching for your goals fun. Have many carrots and few sticks. While gains may be slow at first, committed, talented, passionate people will be attracted to your organization as they see movement towards excellence. They will want to be part of it, to contribute and to attain excellence not only for today, but in an environment built to sustain excellence for generations to come. The Baldrige journey exposes talent, accelerates development, and is a magnet for others.

    4. Ensure an operational rhythm.
    Bring rigor and purpose to your organizational forums and meetings. Get to a point where your staff can discuss their work with the same fluency with which they dissect their sports team the day after a game. If the water-cooler or happy-hour conversations at the local watering hole are more honest than those in your meetings, you’re not being effective. Measure your performance. How are you doing relative to leaders within and innovators outside your industry? Get comfortable with truthful conversations. Set emotion aside and find ways to work smarter, collaboratively.

    5. Recognize that the path of a Baldrige journey is not a straight line.
    Realize you’ll take some spills. Learn from them and move forward. Guard against “change fatigue.” Be smart about change. Evaluate new ideas by reconciling them against your core values and strategic plan. Know the difference between good and great. Sometimes you need an outside view. Bring in someone unencumbered by the internal organizational dynamics who can coach you through blind spots as well as affirm your organization’s strengths.

    6. Embrace what’s “simple smart” (after you’ve made the “simple easy” improvements).
    Simplistic solutions quickly applied to complex problems temporarily address symptoms yet are ultimately rendered ineffective by unaddressed root causes. Fortunately, the answer is often not fighting complexity with complexity. A simple-smart approach requires an appreciation for the hard work necessary to get under the hood, correctly diagnose root cause, and assess the trade-offs presented by potential solutions.

    How to Create a Strong Measurement System for Your Organization

    The following tips are from Fonda Vera, associate vice president of planning, research, effectiveness, and development; and Bao Huynh, director of institutional effectiveness, at Richland College, a 2005 Baldrige Award winner in the education sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/28/a-strong-performance-measurement-system-tips-from-a-baldrige-award-winning-college/.

    1. Begin with your mission, vision, and values in mind. Be sure to measure what you value.

    2. Identify key performance indicators and measures that will yield actionable data (i.e. why are you measuring this?).

    3. Be sure you are selecting important measures for your organization. Just because you can measure something doesn’t make it important.

    4. Commit to your measurement system for a year; then evaluate and revise it as appropriate.

    5. Use your results to create the next iteration of your strategic plan.

    How to Manage Your Organization’s Key Processes to Achieve Excellence and Innovation

    The following tips are from JoAnn Sternke, superintendent of Pewaukee School District, a 2013 Baldrige Award winner in the education sector. For the full blog interview, see http://nistbaldrige.blogs.govdelivery.com/2016/03/21/where-success-isnt-an-accident-process-management-tips-from-a-baldrige-award-winning-school-district/.

    1. Identify a process owner as the “go to” for this process, and have this person document the process so there is a collective understanding of the process throughout your organization.

    2. Know what’s key and measure this.

    3. Have a systematic review of the process. Remember the “S” and the “A” in Plan–Do–Study–Act improvement methodology. Don’t become so busy doing the process that you don’t evaluate it or refine it.

    4. Realize that your organization can ensure innovation through a systematic process, rather than “light bulb moments.” The quest to offer greater value to stakeholders drives both process improvement and innovation.


  5. The Meeker Method: 5 components of successful presentation

    June 7, 2016 by ahmed

    the_meeker_method

    Originally posted on Linkedin by Nancy Duarte

    Every year, venture capitalist and former securities analyst Mary Meeker and her team put together one of the most anticipated PowerPoint files — the Internet Trends report.

    At this year’s Code conference, she delivered 213 data-dense slides in 24 minutes and 40 seconds. Yes, you read that right.

    (See the slides and footage of the delivery here.)

    Each year after the report is released, I’m approached by many well-meaning fans asking for a comment because they think she’s breaking every rule in the book by not simplifying her slides. In contrast, I love her delivery and her slides. (I can hear you gasping.) Because it’s Mary being her genuine, whip-smart self, delivering incredible insights backed up with proof.

    5 Successful Components of “The Meeker Method”

    Know Your Audience
    Meeker knows that her live-audience enjoys her talk, but her real audience is the vast amount of people that read her slides afterwards. She delivered her talk earlier this week and the video has about 45,000 views, yet her slides have almost a million.

    Use Spreadable Media
    The slide deck itself is the spreadable media and she knows that. What she has created is a slidedoc. Slidedocs are powerful, dense documents made in slide software that are meant to be read, not presented. (Technically she does present it, which means the slides should be processed at-a-glance, but she does the at-a-glancing for us in her read-along.)

    Talk to the Trend of the Data
    If you choose to use The Meeker Method, it will only work if you don’t ramble at each data set. Meeker’s verbal stream gives only a few seconds per slide. She doesn’t intend for the audience to read the chart; just get an impression of the trend from the data. Sometimes she’ll say things like, “This is what a global trend looks like,” and click right on by. It’s impossible to process the data that quickly, but the audience knows not to sweat it because the report will be in their hot little hands soon. Meeker just wants you to know that the data supports her point and you can read the specifics later.

    Use Source Data in Its Original Form
    You can’t criticize Meeker’s visuals too much because many of her slides are compiled by committee, and she leaves them true to the source instead of marketizing the data. Slick matchy-matchy slides would undermine the validity of the data source itself.

    Convey the Narrative in the Data
    It’s impossible to be bored by Meeker’s presentations because she doesn’t drone for 10 minutes pointing out each annotation on a slide, she uses it to support her über-narrative. Other analytical types may struggle with the style. Many presenters of data drill into the data instead of keeping the larger narrative front and center.

    The way Meeker delivers her deck is like a data-dense version of Pecha Kucha — which challenges speakers to deliver presentations of 20 images for 20 seconds each — although Meeker averages about seven seconds per slide. But it’s no surprise that Meeker moves more than twice as fast as the rest of us. Her rapid pace, valuable data, and industry-shaping insights are what makes her talk spread.

    Overall, I think it works for her. The deck could definitely be more attractive and redesigned to be clearer but then it wouldn’t be uniquely Meeker.