Experience at the Core: Identifying and Activating Competencies for the Future

Experience at the Core: Identifying and Activating Competencies for the Future

Author:  Diane Magers, CCXP, Founder and CEO, Experience Catalysts

Edited by Jenelle Berrien

Our world is constantly changing and transforming. As technology enables businesses to move at faster speeds, there is a continuous rise in Customer Experience expectations that touch all of us – as customers, employees, partners and suppliers. These changes have been a catalyst for dramatic shifts in the way brands work. Business is now required to transform customer experiences by differentiating themselves through strategy & leadership. This ever-changing landscape also requires new ways of thinking and new ways of working.

As companies race to transform and adjust to new expectations, there is a recognition that many critical capabilities are needed but are sorely lacking within their brands. Some of these capabilities include increased collaboration, agility, innovation and the attraction and retention of quality candidates that meet the needs of the ever-changing landscape. Companies are now having to define which organizational competencies are lacking and to coordinate the maturity of those needs across every customer touchpoint. Partners, suppliers, employees – everyone must be a part of how change occurs. Experience and strategic transformation roles will become more significant players in how organizations understand and design the experience. These internal changes require a dynamic change that is currently being driven by Customer and Employee Experience professionals.

Customer and Employee Experience professionals help an organization build critical competencies using holistic thinking and integrated approaches. They begin by focusing their efforts on gathering customer feedback, mapping and exploring the customer journey from end to end, launching new customer-focused projects and assigning metrics to track changes. This approach intensifies in time to include design thinking (a focused portfolio of projects closely managed by cross team leadership), end-to-end journey management to a defined future state and hiring the talent of disruptors to meet the demands of the changing market.

How can you identify the path for more experience-based change and competencies needed to transform your organization? The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has resources available that can help you determine your brand’s core and needed competencies. They recommend starting first by identifying the underlying skills, abilities, knowledge, experiences, technology or process that enables your brand to provide its unique set of products or services. Then, determine what core competencies are still needed to develop strategic responsiveness to gain competitive advantage.

For those brands who are looking to disrupt their market and achieve an experience-based competency organizational shift, below are some descriptions of the competencies:

• Experience Leadership: All leaders (and their teams) exhibit agility, flexibility and collaboration. They embrace change and innovation while balancing risks. They are motivated by the fast opportunity but have patience to recognize the core competencies changes needed and building those into their brand.
• Experience Urgency: The organization recognizes the threats of experience changes and the compression on the business’s pace of change.
• Experience Engaged/Informed: Allows the growth agenda to be driven from the outside-in; encouraging input and involvement in design from customers and employees; customer connectivity and engagement and a customer-centric ecosystem – from front-line to processes to digital to data – and management to a future state end-to-end journey.
• Experience Culture: Teams are cross-functionally empowered, to work with and learn from each other. Experimentation, entrepreneurship, learning design thinking and continuous learning of different approaches enable innovation.
• Experience Governance: New models are created to evaluate and orchestrate how the brand will work, be nimble and create value differentiation for their customers and employees.
• Experience of your Talent: People are at the center by investing in personal and professional growth, designing the experience your talent has with the brand (recruiting, onboarding, leadership, day-to-day, development). Prove opportunities to develop and contribute to experience changes.
• Experience Innovation: Recognizing disruptive and innovative competencies enabled by skill development, iterative development, re-imagining skills.

Redefine your Experience strategy (customer, employee/talent, partner, supplier) to include specific organizational capabilities and define how competencies will be developed, hired or generated (innovation) within your organization. Define the capabilities and competencies you need your organization to have (i.e., innovation and design skills, cross-team collaboration, digital) and put a plan in place to begin to develop or enhance those capabilities. Once you’ve defined your strategy and understand your competency needs, you will find yourself positioned to transform your organization into a forward-thinking brand that transforms itself through innovation and customer design thinking into a future leader. Are you prepared for an experience-based change and transformation? What competencies do you need to meet the expectations of the experience economy?

In her next post, Diane Magers asks and answers some critical questions on what’s next for CX as a profession. She’ll look at what challenges the CX professional will face among many other topics. Stay tuned…