TLF Gems Newsletter February 2021

Your monthly CX and insight newsletter from TLF Research

There’s one target, and everybody’s shooting at it...what if I just invent another target?

Brian Eno

How do you achieve the kind of reputation that Brian Eno, Hans Rosling, or Tom Peters have acquired?

There's an element of luck to it, perhaps, of being in the right place at the right time. But as Edison said "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."

You earn a reputation for excellence through consistent delivery and attention to detail. Excellence (as Tom Peters explains) is a habit, not an aspiration. It starts with the next email you send and your next conversation with a customer, and that's just as true for organisations as it is for individuals.

Thanks for reading,


Here are 6 things we think are worth your time this month

Remote Work and Trolls

Interesting piece in the New York Times on the rise of troll-like behaviour as more and more internal interactions move online, and what we can do about it. "Office conversation at some companies is starting to look as unruly as conversation on the internet. That’s because office conversation now is internet conversation."

Read: Remote Work and Trolls

Learning From Unknown Companies

I enjoyed this short post from Shep Hyken on the opportunities for learning customer experience lessons from small, local, or unknown companies (as well as the likes of Zappos, Amazon, and First Direct). Let's look outside the list of usual suspects for our inspiration! "It really doesn’t matter whether you know the company well or not. It’s the fact that the company offers an excellent experience—one from which we might be able to learn."

Read: Learning From Unknown Companies

Google on 2020/21

Long, but fascinating, roundup from Google Research reflecting on their work in 2020 and looking forward to their plans for 2021. "I’m excited about what’s to come, from our technical work on next-generation AI models, to the very human work of growing our community of researchers."

Read: Google on 2020/21

Excellence Now

A free preview of Tom Peters' new online course. Half an hour to introduce 6 important ideas, and assignments to go with them. I really like his emphasis on short term action: "Excellence is the next 5 minutes, or it's nothing at all."

Sign Up: Excellence Now

Modelling Disruption

Good article about a mathematical model of technology adoption that takes into account customer behaviour, and how different groups of customers respond to new technology. "The research slices the market into four segments of consumers that can make or break new technology: Leapfroggers...Switchers...Opportunists...And dual users..."

Read: Modelling Disruption

Top Reads: Factfulness

The late Hans Rosling is known for his lively presentation of what could be boring statistics. His message is that the world is, in many important respects, better than we think it is. Rosling spent a lifetime trying to educate policymakers with data, only to find that preconceptions are bizarrely resistant to change. In “Factfulness” he outlines the cognitive biases which get in the way, and equips us with better tools to improve our thinking. "It's not the numbers that are interesting. It's what they tell us about the lives behind the numbers."

Top Reads: Factfulness