We focus on the Customer, using Big Data analytics and insight, and connect our Client’s Branding and Leadership strategies and plans into an integrated whole.
This unique, blended approach is called “Customer Leadership“.
Download the White Paper on Customer Leadership
Our programs improve both senior leadership skills and data-driven customer strategies – based on a deep and uniquely connected understanding of leadership development, brand marketing, retail and the use of Big Data analytics and insight.
We use a “brand paradigm“, as this is the best way to conceptualise a modern, data-rich business. By brand, we mean the totality of what it is – its customer base, products, services, image, communication. These are all subject to scrutiny in today’s social environment. So we define companies as “brands”.
We work with Boards, the Executive Suite and the Private Equity Investment community.
Our work builds on Mick Yates‘ experience and successful track record as senior Exec & Board Director in global firms, consultancy, start-up & non-profit. We also call on a talented group of associate firms and experts to provide expertise as needed in analytics, brand strategy, communications, retail, digital design and social media marketing.
Mick has 10 years practical experience in the Big Data space, using analytics to drive growth and organizational change in businesses across the world. He also has almost 30 years of C-Suite level experience in General Management and Brand Marketing. He is thus ideally placed to work with leaders and senior teams seeking new skills and to derive real benefits from the Big Data revolution, by focusing on the decision processes needed to make things happen.
Services are delivered by LeaderValues Ltd. Mick founded leader-values.com in 1997, now a very popular site with a vast range of free leadership, innovation and customer resources.
We prefer to talk about “Leadership” in the context of actual tasks, rather than in some theoretical fashion.
Likewise, whilst there’s much focus on “Big Data” from a technology perspective, leaders must consider its real world application, challenges and opportunities.
In the past year or two, our work has increasingly been to help senior leaders build a strategic and organisational framework to allow them to make better use of data analytics and insight.
Mick’s published research had suggested that there are two overall business strategies to focus on. The first is Customer Centricity (driving towards personalised products and services) and the second is Innovation Networks (as an organizational design paradigm).
Today, every business leader’s goal should be to better meet customer needs, treating each customer with a better, more engaging experience and striving for the best possible products and services.
Innovation Networks then drive the organizational design, allowing business to speed up the flow of new ideas, products and services. Innovation no longer just comes from internal activities. Ideas can come from anywhere – suppliers, customers, universities and even government. So enterprises must proactively build networks of internal and external resources, with dynamic structures, common customer language and data exchange that drives the way the organisation innovates.
A “brand paradigm” is the best way to conceptualise this modern, customer centric business. By brand, we mean the totality of what a brand is – its customer base, products, services, image, communication, customer feedback and social network presence.
Increasingly, customer interactions are moving from “push” as default to “pull”. Instead of businesses “pushing” services and products at customers, the individual can now discriminate and “pull” services to them – to suit their exact needs, preferences and timing.
The social environment is increasingly defining what a brand is, as viewed and engaged with by its various and disparate user groups and other stakeholders. No longer does the brand owner pre-ordain “the truth”.
Technology, the web, and Big Data are thus driving transparency – both ways. Today’s technology allows customers to both understand what they are doing (and buying) and communicate (positively and negatively) about brands and companies in real time. Individuals view recommendations from other customers, access products, services, resources and media that they need, and then optimize for themselves how and when it is all delivered and how it is subsequently used.
In these terms, “brand” doesn’t just mean consumer products – it refers to whole companies. They are seen and act as brands in their own right.
“Customer Leadership” combines these ideas. Big Data analytics and insight drives leadership, organization and branding decisions and actions, all aimed to improve customer products, services, experience, satisfaction and loyalty.
It is estimated that only 18% of data that corporations already have is effectively utilised. But, even so, the real power of data analytics comes from starting not with the data, but with the strategic question:
“What problem are we trying to solve – or what opportunity do we want to grasp – and how can data driven insight and processes help”.
The mantra is then “right data – deep analysis – clear insight – measurable action”.
That’s Customer Leadership in action.
The 4E’s framework is perfectly suited to map out a change process to derive benefits from Big Data analytics and insight
1. Big Data Strategy and Execution
ENVISION an Enterprise that is Customer Centric and Uses Innovation Networks
1. Create a clear case for change that inspires people, using customer / brand paradigm
2. Create and describe a viable vision of an alternative and successful state which touches each individual in the organisation
ENABLE a Big Data business
3. Put change agents in place with a guiding coalition of willing leaders
4. Consistently drive the change from the top of the enterprise
5. Set a realistic scale and pace of change with a clear sense of urgency
6. Create an integrated transition program, from the current state to the desired future
7. Create a unique organisation shape to show how tasks and people fit the new world
EMPOWER Everyone to Think and Act Big Data
8. Execute a symbolic end to the status quo
9. Build options and plans to deal with likely resistance
ENERGIZE Everyone by Becoming a Big Data Leader
10. Constantly advocate the change – course correct on problems and maintain momentum
11. Create a locally owned rewards plan, so everyone benefits from the change
2. Organizational and Leadership Team Development
Leadership and Team development is an on-going process, not a one off intervention. A typical process could include:
- Understand the business and customer strategy and market context, as this is essential to defining future action plans.
- Ensure the organization’s Leadership standards exactly meet the business needs and are appropriately measured.
- Feedback and assessment of both individual performance and collective results.
- Team workshops, with structure and outcomes clearly agreed with the Client. These could include the role of values; the linkage between leadership and business strategy; change management and effective organization design.
- Follow up, working alongside the client to roll out, monitor and improve the program across the Enterprise.
3. Executive Coaching
Coaching assignments directly build on Mick’s extensive practical expertise, focused on the intersection of Leadership Development, Branding and Big Data insights. Coaching is a multi-dimensional relationship between the Coach, the Individual and the Enterprise. Our approach is to focus the development needs of the individual against improved business performance.
Mick draws on his own senior leadership and team development experience of many kinds of Enterprises, combined with a broad academic understanding of the coaching and mentoring process in different business and cultural settings. He can also draw on a global network of associates and experts, depending on the issue and need.
We will always build on an individual or team’s strengths. As part of the coaching process, we will seek first to fully understand the business context, and get input from colleagues on the individual concerned. We believe that measurement drives improvement, and we will set up simple but effective processes that make a positive difference for the individual.
4. Workshops & Keynotes
Based on our professional and research background, we are able to provide workshops and keynotes on:
- Customer Leadership today, especially when distributed across Global Enterprises
- The Customer centric enterprise
- The leadership, strategic and customer implications of Big Data
- The impact of Networks and Complexity on communications and decision taking
- Globalization – Leading organizations across multiple geographies
If you would like to contact us, please e-mail