6 CEO story-lines to communicate service transformation more effectively

by NIck Frank on January 23, 2016

StorytellingDeveloping Advanced Services within a Product Centric environment takes many years of organisational and technical development. Having a clear overview of the key elements required to successfully deliver service transformation over an extended time period is vitally important to a business leader. Even more important is the ability to communicate the route of the journey so that all members of the organisation can understand how they can contribute to the end goal. Time and again we see that successful leaders are able to articulate their vision with a simple picture and a compelling story about what they want to achieve. They are able to motivate all members of their team, what ever their role, into going the extra mile to meet their goals. They don’t use the language of the business MBA where managers describe WHAT must be done in a nice logical business plan type structure.

No, they first look to inspire their people as to ‘Why’ a change must happen and communicate with words and a style that engages their people. Usually it is pretty much the same style that they would use with their customers, keeping messages simple and relevant to the listener.

This insight paper aims to share ideas & metaphors that business leaders can use to suit their particular situation. For example I have heard CEO’s describe their journeys as a 20 mile march to emphasis the length of the period of transformation. Others have used night and day to show the fundamental nature of the change from the current to future state. One often hears managers talking about a ‘burning platform’ to spotlight urgency and the desire to survive. These phrases all capture the imagination and the need for change. The metaphor that I have seen frequently used is the one of building a house. It’s success is probably because everyone can relate to the building of a house, it is very visual in nature and can be made as complex or as simple as desired.

The ‘House of Service Transformation’ describes how all building projects start with laying the foundations which are our ‘People’. On the foundation we build four key supporting structures that will support our Brand, which in essence are our business objective. These four pillars are the key activities we need to transform in order to reach our goal;

  1. Strategy
  2. Customer needs and expectations
  3. Service Sales
  4. Service Factory

We will review the elements of the house in detail so that managers can build up their own metaphor and thoughts depending on their context and situation. Our goal is to break down some of the complexity that is involved in this transformation. The output is a view of the process, which is both easy to comprehend and communicate, yet has the intellectual rigour to enable timely and profitable execution. The benefit to the leadership is that the vision and next steps become easier to articulate, so enabling faster alignment of people and actions.

The full discussion can be found in my Service in Industry Blog


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