TLF Gems Newsletter July 2021

Your monthly CX and insight newsletter from TLF Research

The last thing IBM needs right now is a vision.

Lou Gerstner

I really like this quote from Lou Gerstner, who is lauded for turning around the fortunes of IBM in the 1990s by creating a clear strategy around simplifying the organization.

The irony, of course, is that this *is* a vision. It's a good vision because it isn't about platitudes or marketing fluff, it's about what matters most to the organisation right now. It's about what we're collectively trying to achieve, and that only makes sense when it's paired with a strategy for how to achieve it.

Not everyone who talks about their vision really has one, and sometimes people like Gerstner have one even if they say they don't. Just like the article about "fake agile" below, there's a lot of "fake vision" going around, but if you have a meaningful one it can be tremendously powerful.

Thanks for reading,

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

Fake Agile

Long but interesting read on the problem of "fake agile", and why many of the firms who talk the best game on agile are miles away from embodying it. "The issue here is that if the firm is thinking about 'scaling up agile', it is already on the wrong track. The challenge of genuine Agile is how to *descale* big monolithic, internally-focused systems into tasks that can be run by small self-managing customer-focused teams."

Read: Fake Agile

What's Stopping You Being Customer Centric

Interesting short piece on the Lego marketing director's views about the barriers to customer centricity. "[There are] three widely accepted ingredients for success: people, process and technology. When you bring them all together, and you hit the sweet spot, you have success. But let’s not forget that people create process. And guess what? People create technology as well."

Read: What's Stopping You Being Customer Centric

Customer Lifetime Value

A fun cartoon from Marketoonist, but as ever there is depth in the post backing it up which is well worth reading. Do you know your Customer Lifetime Value? We're always banging the drum for it, but apparently only 17% of CMOs track it well. "...more granular segmentation can help ensure you’re not wasting resources chasing the wrong customers."

Enjoy: Customer Lifetime Value

Do We Trust Algorithms Too Much?

An interesting study that suggests our choices about who to vote for, and even who to date, may be swayed by our blind faith in the quality of AI decisions. "We conclude that it is important to educate people against trusting and following the advice of algorithms blindly. A discussion on who owns and can use the data that makes these algorithms work efficiently is also necessary."

Read: Do We Trust Algorithms Too Much?

The Human Library

Love this idea! We know that the best way to challenge stereotypes is to get people interacting, so the Human Library in Denmark was set up to allow people to "check out" people the way they might a book. "The Human Library is designed to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The Human Library is a place where real people are on loan to readers."

Find out more: The Human Library

Top Reads: Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

Lisa Feldman Barrett is a brilliant science communicator (the first author to feature twice in our "Top Reads"!) This book is essential for anyone who wants to understand their own mind or other people's. The relevance to insight is obvious, and there are many mind-blowing conclusions. Perhaps my favourite is the way she squares the circle of unconscious decisions versus free will. "It's impossible to change your past, but right now, with some effort, you can change how your brain will predict in the future...Everything you learn today seeds your brain to predict differently tomorrow."

Top Reads: Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain