In our conversation, Maury Kask walks us through his journey from pitching the Board of Directors to engaging people across the company to being named Chief Experience Officer. Much of his methodology is rooted in seven work streams. We discuss those, and then how to turn the work streams (strategic level) into execution-level elements.
As Senior Vice President, Consumer Operations and Chief Customer Experience Officer (CXO), Maury is responsible for overseeing our end-to-end customer experience and the execution of customer-centric strategies to enhance customer loyalty and business growth. In this capacity, Maury provides executive level oversight to all of our primary customer service channels including our branch network, Member Service Centre and online/mobile banking channels. Maury also oversees our wealth management and corporate marketing functions, and serves as president of the Westminster Savings Foundation, which is committed to increasing access to arts and active living programming in our local communities. Maury has more than 30 years of experience across a wide range of business sectors including four years working in the United States and in Europe.
Maury is a graduate of Simon Fraser University and completed additional post-graduate education through the Wharton/AT&T School of Business. Maury is a certified Customer Experience Management professional (CCXP), a graduate of Leadership Vancouver’s community leadership program and is a Chartered Board Director (C.Dir).
Maury is very active in the community. He currently serves as a director on the board of the Delta Hospital Foundation, and until recently served as vice president of Kids Up Front Vancouver.
The Seven Work Streams
Because this is very important to how he outlines his experience work, it’s important to list them up front. We’ll get into further detail later:
- Target markets
- Product/service strategy
- Channel strategy
- People and culture
- Systems (mostly IT dependencies and requirements)
- Financials and profitability models
Within each of the work streams, you evaluate along three parameters:
- External impact and performance
- Member and customer experience
- Employee impact and experience
It was organized around a central timeline, which Maury himself “marched along to” as he communicated with the Board. Board engagement was crucial in this whole arc as well. Simon Sinek advice dominated: it was all about the why of everything that was being done. The communication was always rooted in “why.”
Engaging With The Board
They almost treated the Board as another workflow, asking them questions such as:
- Where do you see our brand standing?
- What target markets should we be in?
- Is our channel strategy effective?
So when working with the Board, they:
- Led with “why.”
- Engaged them along the way.
- Made them active participants.
Now the Board is more than just a group of people receiving strategy documents and decks. Now they’re involved. You have a leg up.
Entrenched In The Work vs. Inclusion
Sometimes it’s important to recede into the background and let others step up and lead planning, set agendas, etc. Be a steward instead of driving everything else. Be inclusive of your team and other executives, as opposed to getting heads-down in the day-to-day work. Approaching work as a steward is going to help you, your team, and your organization much more in the long run. Maury says it best: “I like the word stewardship more than ownership.”
The Deliberate Timeline Of Improvement
Maury has phased out the work this way:
- 2012-2014: Closing the necessary gaps
- 2014-2016: The initial roll out of services and experiences
- 2016-2018: Excellence around execution
You can learn more in the episode, but “necessary gaps” included establishing services like mobile deposit. “Initial roll out” was the product-izing of the business. The current phase and the next 3-5 years are about capitalizing on investments made, especially around product and people.
The Pay It Forward Question
“What do you know NOW that you wish you knew THEN?”
- Have the right people to support the strategy you have: And this will evolve over time. But you need the right people.
- Priorities will compete for time and attention: As a result, any process of transformation will take time — and you need to help people recognize that you’re not just layering on more work. This is a long-term change adjustment.
- Distractions happen en route to change: As a result, you must reinforce key concepts, strategy ideas, and vocabulary. People further away from what you do = don’t always know/care what you do, and want to know how it relates to what they do.
- Increase simplicity: So many companies layer everything in process, and that can get too complex. What do you do? How does that impact the overall company? That’s all people really need to know at the end of the day. There needs to be clear lines of sight.