Saturday, 30 May 2020

THE FUTURE Cultural Transformation Through & Beyond COVID-19

Janet Watkin, Managing Director, Zenith Choice
Tuesday 12 May 20

The COVID-19 pandemic took nearly everyone by surprise. Life as we knew it changed overnight. The phrase ‘new normal’ emerged as lockdown kept us largely within the confines of our homes. It forced us to embrace strange, new ways of behaving, such as social distancing, to defeat a viral enemy. To the bereft, heartfelt condolences. Adapting to a changed environment has challenged us all and changed us in the process, disrupting our home, work and travel routines, temporarily, but with high impact. The lockdown forced on us necessary adjustments. The telecoms sector, thankfully, stepped-up to keep us all connected, virtually. The focus on what is wildly important has energised people to prioritise well. 'Back to basics' however, tests loyalty and demands patience, yet an abundance of compassionate outpourings leave long…

The COVID-19 pandemic took nearly everyone by surprise. Life as we knew it changed overnight. The phrase ‘new normal’ emerged as lockdown kept us largely within the confines of our homes. It forced us to embrace strange, new ways of behaving, such as social distancing, to defeat a viral enemy. To the bereft, heartfelt condolences.

Adapting to a changed environment has challenged us all and changed us in the process, disrupting our home, work and travel routines, temporarily, but with high impact.

The lockdown forced on us necessary adjustments. The telecoms sector, thankfully, stepped-up to keep us all connected, virtually.

The focus on what is wildly important has energised people to prioritise well.

'Back to basics' however, tests loyalty and demands patience, yet an abundance of compassionate outpourings leave long-lasting impressions.

‘Necessity is the mother of all invention’ as the saying goes, a pithy yet accurate expression of wisdom. The focus on low effort, high impact innovations, has never been more pressing, or apparent, as organisations embrace remote working like never before and begin to recuperate from the enormous economic toll exacted from a truly global pandemic. ‘

Prior to COVID-19, there was a major focus on culture, with an emphasis beyond technology, on ‘softer’ transformational initiatives, particularly empathy and the humanising of technology to accelerate stronger partnerships with customers during digital transformations. Recognition of a colossal scarcity of customer-centric cultures, in the telecoms space, largely highlighted by the disruptive innovations that have changed the competitive landscape irrevocably, stimulated major organisational restructuring, around customer priorities, for fast and agile services. The transformation journey had started before the corona virus struck. Evolution to a customer-centric culture acknowledged the need to break-up competing silos in favour of coordinated and cooperative teams more fully aligned to support organisational objectives. Yet internal competition, as well as resistance to change, had already proven a very tough barrier to penetrate. Furthermore, the ability to assess progress effectively, as markets evolved, had been largely non-existent.

Engaging and empowering employees must take centerstage for lasting effective change. The extraordinary responsiveness to COVID-19 has brought out the best in a lot of people. Yet a high percentage of employees, across many industries, are now anxious and fearful of job losses as the ‘new normal’ demands new strategies for coping with an uncertain future. Furthermore, when the infrastructure shifts, everything rumbles.

An organisational culture is reflected in the leadership skills of its top executives as well as in the everyday behaviors of its workforce.

Now more than ever it’s time to stop talking about customer-centric culture and start to live it. During recovery from lockdown, changing priorities will accelerate culture change dramatically. Those firms most resilient and most able to adapt will emerge, in time, undefeated, though nobody underestimates that the recovery will be patchy. Recuperation will be faster for some than others and a percentage of once viable businesses will not recover.

Past customer experience metrics failed to drive the right changes while disruptive innovations eroded revenues and profits from most mainstream telcos, long before corona virus emerged to bring such chaos to all our lives. Recognising the gap in the marketplace for a reliable and accurate way to measure and monitor customer-centricity – that really works, Zenith Choice, learning lessons from evolutionary biology, developed and deployed a new service to do exactly that, known as 100 Benchmark. It accurately determines how aligned the workforce has evolved to win, keep and nurture customers pre-and post-purchase. The recovery from this pandemic will uncover a myriad of ways to add value to customers though releasing employee passion and talent making this an opportune time to seize the chance to put in place more effective evaluations of customer experiences to reflect the new normal.

Last year, at the 2019 World Communications Awards, participants in the first ever People & Culture Award were assessed on customer-centricity using the Zenith Choice method. The chart shows the performance of those companies who made the short-list last year.

Customer Centric Culture

There has never been a more opportune time to demonstrate customer-centricity than now while at the same time ensuring the workforce is kept safe from harm. Obtaining your customer-centric culture score from Zenith Choice is relatively low effort, a sample of employees participate in an online transformational game, something they can readily do working from home. The resultant overall metrics and analysis is astoundingly powerful and accurate because they illustrate, elegantly, the likelihood of customer defection, to competitive offers, at the high impact points of purchase decision.

ABOUT THIS ARTICLE: This viewpoint was written and contributed by Zenith Choice the specialist firm monitoring customer-centred cultural evolution, deploys its consulting expertise and 'software as a service' applications in more than 30 countries. It provides effective measurement of culture change for transforming organisations. Zenith Choice helps organisations monitor and overcome the difficult cultural barriers associated with implementing customer-centric, digital transformations, in the face of change resistance, disruptive innovations and a dramatically changing competitive landscape. The Zenith Choice method combines the science of competition with the art of human experience to help people and organisations transform processes and transcend barriers to achieve sustainable, lucrative, growth in local, regional or global markets.
www.zenithchoice.com

Disclaimer
Research publications consist of an analysis of opinions and should not be construed as statements of fact.
Zenith Choice does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings
Zenith Choice disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to its research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

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