A couple of months ago I made a switch I had been dreading: I made the move from my beloved BlackBerry to an iPhone.
I am still pining for the full keyboard and will always have a soft spot for the Canadian Brand that taught the world to type with their thumbs.
After a bit of wallowing, I turned to an expert in order to get up-to-speed as quickly as possible on my new device – my 12 year old daughter. She was taken aback – how could I work at TELUS (a global telecommunications leader) and NOT be an iPhone expert – aren’t devices part of our business? Shouldn’t I be the expert?
It made me think of how often we make this exact mistake – assuming that if you’re in this or that business, or part of this or that team, that you have deep expertise in everything to do with it, and that you somehow maintain this expertise over time with no effort.
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But let’s face it – that’s a tall order. Especially for CX practitioners, which is not a role for the faint of heart:
- Deep expertise in stats and measurement
- Able to translate oceans of data into tangible insights and colourful stories so compelling that people are lining up to take action
- Business case and budget expertise
- Tracking and proving ROI
- “Cat Herder” and “Sand Box Referee”– able to deftly bring together Sales, Marketing, Service, Finance, Operations etc…to manage the customer experience end-to-end as one team.
And even if you magically have all that down, you also need to look into the future and make some big bets as to what is coming next – AI? IoT? Grievance apps? Tech enhanced flight attendants? – and build the knowledge and skills to make it happen.
In other words, you always need to be learning new stuff and staying current with the latest information.
To borrow from the big brains at the Harvard Business Review:
“The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Good intentions, enthusiasm, and belief in the strategy laid out before you do not necessarily mean you know how to execute against it.
When you invest in the ongoing development and learning of the people in your organization, you help ensure they have the knowledge, skills and abilities you need to make your CX vision a reality today and well into the future. And the future? It’s coming fast!
At TELUS, learning is not a luxury reserved for a small group or an occasional special reward for a job well done. We believe that investing in learning for our team stacks the deck in our favour and is essential for our success. So, we invest in it with deliberate intent.
Here are 3 examples:
1. KEEP LEARNING ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS
Last year, we complemented our existing programs and tools that help TELUS team members learn about our business with the introduction of Amplify.
This innovative mobile app enables us to deliver a stream of curated social media posts to TELUS team member mobile devices that they can then easily share on social networks.
You can watch a 1 min overview of Amplify here .
While Amplify clearly helps us share what we are doing at TELUS with those outside of the company, it is also a fantastic way for us all to keep up with where our business is going.
Amplify makes it possible for anyone in any part of the organization to see the latest company news at any time. You no longer have to work in a particular area or know someone who knows someone in order to know what is going on – you can get it directly on your phone.
With more of us connected to the story of what is coming next, we have more people thinking, collaborating and innovating to ensure we continue to deliver a customer experience that is second to none. Which is fantastic, because it really does take all of us!
2. KEEP LEARNING NEW WAYS TO THINK, WORK AND LEAD
Mindfulness. Everyday Innovation. Diversity of Thought. Resilience. There is no shortage of new and exciting approaches to change up how you think, work and lead in order to increase the success of your business.
But in today’s age of information overload, who has the time to think about what’s coming next, let alone make the time to learn about and master it?
At TELUS, we make this time a priority.
We prioritize, schedule in advance, and ferociously protect face-to-face leadership learning forums across the country each year.
The forums are key culture drivers for our organization. It is during these forums that our CEO and leaders from all levels connect, discuss our corporate goals, share successes and opportunities, and introduce the newest ways of thinking, working and leading that will become critical to the accomplishment of our goals.
Leaders are also provided with materials post-forum to help share and cascade the learning throughout their teams.
In 2015, when we first started talking about Mindfulness in earnest, many team members were under the impression that we were going to be asked to roll out our yoga mats alongside our desks and chant. That it would be irrelevant and fluffy.
Now, just two years later, there is an appreciation of Mindfulness as a tool to increase focus and clarity in a way that reduces stress, boosts creativity and productivity, and improves decision making. Teams are finding ways to really make it their own.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but we make a commitment to provide opportunities and resources for leaders to learn about and develop skills in new ways of working that are key to our success.
3. KEEP LEARNING – EVERYDAY
When you consider the pace of change these days, you can’t afford to make learning something that happens irregularly if you want to keep on top of things.
And at the same time, you likely wonder (and stress about) how you’ll find time for learning, considering how busy and overloaded most of us feel most days.
At TELUS, we put a priority on making learning everyday easier, no matter your schedule.
We invest in curated resources and learning technology platforms to make it easy to find and take in learning in “small bites”, whenever and wherever team members find themselves. Videos. Podcasts. e.courses. Books. Web articles. Learning playlists accessible on your device. And most importantly, most of these of these resources can be consumed in less time than it takes to make a coffee run!
To help team members find what they need without stress and to learn new ways to really integrate learning into their everyday, we have Learning Business Partners (LBPs).
LBPs are senior advisors dedicated to consulting on and connecting team members to learning content and experiences outside the classroom to help them improve at the things that matter most to them. And part of each connection is sharing new ways to integrate learning with work, home life and hobbies, or how to “double dip” – getting more from your time.
So, keep learning about your business every day. Keep learning new ways to think, work and lead. Stack the deck in your favour to make your CX vision a reality today, and well into the future.
Want some great advice on how to get better at anything? This TED talk by Eduardo Briceño is a personal favourite. Well worth the 11 min 22sec investment!