I’m variously described as a facilitator, consultant, coach, or writer, asking questions and challenging perceptions to help people do better for their customers and themselves.
What this really means is that I work with companies (and people) of all shapes and sizes, helping them with their questions on customer experience, propositions, and strategy. And because I’ve been working in and with big companies for about 20 years, sometimes people ask me about how best to survive and thrive in that kind of environment, too. I also do a bit of writing, regularly sharing thoughts with The Guardian, Management Today, and Market Leader, as well as on here.
The answers usually appear by focussing on people (finding real human insights gathered from lots of different perspectives) and by writing lots of post-its (using collaborative creativity to uncover interesting connections and create exciting new ideas.) Pretty big post-its, too.
As Steven Johnson once said, ‘the trick to having good ideas is not to sit around in glorious isolation and try to think big thoughts. The trick is to get more parts on the table.‘
And that pretty much sums up what I do.
Before becoming a Director at The Foundation, I was Head of Customer Innovation at HSBC, doing lots of fun interesting things with mobile phone apps, behavioural science, future trends, and journey maps.
It was a bit of a journey itself, from selling haberdashery on a market stall in Essex, via leading a bank branch through the financial crisis, then looking after Customer Experience for HSBC globally. And it’s a journey that provides me with invaluable real-world experience to make sure we deliver things that customers actually want and colleagues can actually deliver.
Finally, I fully subscribe to John Cleese’s view that ‘creativity is sparked when people are enjoying themselves, and not when they are on their laptops’.
So I think I’ll leave it there.