Our Thoughts

TLF Gems Newsletter September 2020

1st September 2020


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Your monthly CX and insight update from TLF Research


"There's no such thing as simple. Simple is hard."

Martin Scorsese



If you could go back in time and give yourself some advice, what would it be? One thing, for me, would be the importance of setting goals, in your work or personal life, that are medium term (say quarterly). Whatever system you use to manage your time (more on that later), those medium-term goals are what allow you to achieve big long-term objectives, without getting swamped in the urgency of the little stuff.

think this is really applicable to the action plans we draw up for improving the customer experience. It's easy to get lost firefighting the bad news from your most recent monthly survey, while lasting changes feel too big to address. The best Priorities for Improvement strike that medium-term balance that makes them significant, but addressable.

Thanks for reading,

Stephen

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Stephen Hampshire

Client Manager, TLF Research

stephenhampshire@leadershipfactor.com






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Here's 8 things we think are worth your time this month...
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Seth Godin with a great analogy to remind us that customers are not like us, and why it's dangerous to assume that they are. "That person across the counter or the web from you probably has very different experiences, beliefs and expectations than you do. Starting with your experience and assuming it matches their own is a trap."


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Working from home has made me review a few different "productivity systems" (i.e. to-do lists with delusions of grandeur). This quick quiz from Todoist helps you choose the best method for you (I ended up with "Eat the frog"), or you can just browse their useful summaries of each method. "Organize your life and get more done with custom recommendations based on your unique strengths, challenges, and goals."



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Fascinating long read from Meredith Broussard (author of the fantastic "Artificial Unintelligence") on the benefits old-school print maps have over their digital relatives, touching on the benefits of paper over screens more generally. The conclusion is that neither should replace the other, but that they suit different tasks better, and that paper maps are better for "deep knowledge".




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Information is Beautiful has a regularly updated infographic page with a few key facts and figures on Coronavirus. I particularly like the chart showing the relative risks of a range of activities from going to a nightclub (bad idea) to outdoor exercise (good idea), based on the NY Times article we shared last month.




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Great suggestion from Austin Kleon (whose superb newsletter was the main inspiration for starting this one). If you want to learn a lot about a subject quickly, books written for kids are often a good place to start. "I often think about how the kids’ books do a better job of informing and entertaining on various subjects..."




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I know, I know, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but we all do! In this article Mike Dempsey analyses the gulf between Penguin's thoughtfully designed covers for their backlist and classics, and the "design by committee" busyness of their new non-fiction releases. "...most new titles in non-fiction get the usual bucket-load of copy taking up every square inch of the cover"




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Stephen Few has, to my taste, been grinding one particular axe a bit too much on his blog in recent years. This is a return to form, picking up on a common error in chart design he calls the "curse of the top 10". The point is that choosing who to include in a chart (in this case countries) has a big impact on how we read it. If you want to make an argument about a country's overall position, it doesn't make sense to only show an arbitrary subset of the data (such as the top 10). "There’s nothing magical, or in this case relevant, about the number 10."



 

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One of the frustrating things about being a researcher is that everyone thinks they can design a questionnaire, and the results are often dangerously misleading. Erika Hall's book helps clarify the role of research in design, in particular the nuts and bolts of doing and analysing qualitative research, while emphasising the importance of collaboration. "We want to learn about our target users as people existing in their habitual environments."






 

 

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