Humanizing Organizations:
Researchers as Knowledge Brokers and Change Agents
Robin Beers, Head of Customer Experience Insi...
Wholesale Banking serves large corporations, middle-
market businesses, governments, and institutions with
annual revenues...
33
This body of knowledge is used to inform strategic business
decisions and to influence user experience design.
Customer...
4
Competitive pressures and more empowered customers have
made customer experience a critical strategic imperative for
eve...
The need for research about people, their experience, and
how they define value has increased as businesses change to
beco...
User-centered Design is a structured, systematic approach to
achieving customer experience excellence
6
Make the right thi...
7
Customer Experience As A Strategic
Imperative Requires Organizations To
Develop New Capabilities:
• Embracing a Holistic...
Good Experiences Are Created By Aligning Strategies,
Technologies And Processes With Customer Expectations
8
Researchers must become more than purveyors of insight -
they must also act as knowledge brokers and change agents
9
10
Design researchers are poised to bring the benefits of holistic, systems thinking through mapping the
end-to-end custom...
Opportunity cards simplify complex requirements
11
v
12
Collective prioritization using design thinking facilitation
Design-oriented problem solving is visual
Experience Models are thinking tools
Researchers can help organizations transform and succeed in
today’s connected, social, and people-centered world
14
RESEAR...
15
Thank You!
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How Do You Make Business More Human?

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Disruption of established business models lurks around every corner and delivering a quality customer experience—one that helps insulate a business from competitive threats and total disruption―is bottom-line critical. But how do you achieve this? Design researchers bring valuable insights about people’s experience but we also make organizations more human by developing capabilities that enable businesses to thrive. These capabilities―embracing a holistic mindset, creating shared understanding, and engaging in design-oriented problem solving―are about seeing the whole, aligning the diverse perspectives, and visualizing the future and are crucial to building human-centered organizations for today’s networked world. I describe how design research and facilitation techniques bring benefits to business beyond customer understanding, including alignment on complex, multifunctional teams, project scope clarity, and strategies for risk mitigation in a world exploding with change.

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  • Good afternoon. I’m thrilled to talk to you today about the “real” job of researchers inside organizations which, in my opinion, is to make those organizations more human.
    Speaking of organizations that need to become more human, let’s talk about Wholesale Banking at Wells Fargo…
  • I joined Wholesale in 2011 and my charter was to bring these two teams together as well as build a culture and practice of user-centered design throughout the organization.
  • And the reason we care about user-centered design and customer experience insights is because we recognize that customer experience is a critical differentiator. As customers become more connected and empowered, and traditional sources of competitive dominance no longer suffice, “the only sustainable competitive advantage is knowledge of and engagement with customers”
    (Cooperstein, 2013).
    Why Customer Experience, Why Now?
    February 26, 2013
    Forrester
    By Kerry Bodine, Moira Dorsey, Paul Hagen with Harley Manning, Allison Stone, Molly Murphy
  • We do a lot of research with customers at all phases of the product development lifecycle.
    At the beginning of the lifecycle, that work is often ethnographic in nature. No matter what methods we are using, though, the goal is to learn and iterate.
  • The key practices of UCD - prototyping, learning and iterating – are risk mitigating activities in the Age of the Customer will help us correct course as early and cheaply as possible so that we make the right thing…and then we make that thing right.
    But it’s more than research. Embedded within the UCD process are new capabilities – new types of intelligence - that organizations now need to succeed.
  • These capabilities require that researchers become more than purveyors of insight – we must also become knowledge brokers and change agents that help organizational members remember that business is human. In the process, we researchers must become skilled at orchestrating and facilitating organizational change while we infuse our organizations with new ways of seeing and working.
  • Good customer experience occurs at the intersection of constraint, contingency, and possibility—elements that are central to creating innovative, elegant, and functional designs.
    But all these viewpoints and factors must be discussed, understood and reconciled for true collaboration to occur
    Reconciling perspectives and creating shared understanding takes dialogue and intention at the beginning of a project.
  • The real magic happens when we bring insights from customers and end-users back inside our organization and juxtapose them with our business goals and constraints. This is where the new skills around holistic thinking, getting to shared understanding, and design-oriented problem solving come into play.
    I’m going to give a super quick example of each capability.
  • The first is around using ethnographic data to map the customer experience ecosystem and journey.
    Today’s organizations need insight into the entire customer lifecycle and help connecting the dots between siloed organizational departments. Research projects can be platforms for silo busting – so be prepared!
    Ethnographers, as observers and interpreters of cultural systems, are accustomed and trained to look at systems holistically, to consider the entire ecosystem, or context, and not just the small piece that is impacted by a particular product or service.
    Organizational learning and change occurs as the business reconciles its own, internally held assumptions - embedded in its strategies, processes, and structure - with how customers experience the results across the lifecycle of engagement. What does it all add up to? What’s in and out of alignment with intentions? Where are the points of friction in the system? Where are the opportunities?
    The organizational change implications are potentially massive when companies start to understand their customer’s experience and their own processes holistically.
  • The second capability is Creating Shared Understanding.
    These are features that were embedded in a flat, project definition document, that represented the high level agreements that the multifunctional team was making around what would be included in a big application redesign and what would be out of the scope.
    The problem was that this traditional, flat document was doing a poor job of facilitating shared understanding and, therefore, agreements on the team.
    By creating these modular, simple visualizations and briefly describing the opportunity each feature represented, we were able to gain shared understanding on the meaning of the term as well as…
  • Collectively prioritize using a design thinking facilitation tool called Importance and Difficulty.
  • The last capability is Engaging in Design-oriented Problem Solving. The last story encapsulates design-oriented project prioritization nicely. But I also want to mention one other tool which are Experience Models.
    Experience Models are visual representations of ethnographic analysis and findings and communicate how people organize their experience and they often also point out the unmet needs or untapped opportunities.
  • How Do You Make Business More Human?

    1. 1. Humanizing Organizations: Researchers as Knowledge Brokers and Change Agents Robin Beers, Head of Customer Experience Insights Wholesale Internet Solutions SXSW 2015
    2. 2. Wholesale Banking serves large corporations, middle- market businesses, governments, and institutions with annual revenues of $20 million and above 2 = 35K employees We design the 89 applications on the Commercial Electronic Office (CEO) portal and CEO Mobile 97,000 active companies 666,000 active users 4.3 million sessions $11.5 billion moved online =
    3. 3. 33 This body of knowledge is used to inform strategic business decisions and to influence user experience design. Customer Experience Insights (CxI) Behavioral Analytics Quantitative User Research Qualitative My team brings together quantitative behavioral analytic insight, and qualitative user experience research to provide a holistic understanding of our customer’s behavior
    4. 4. 4 Competitive pressures and more empowered customers have made customer experience a critical strategic imperative for every industry and every company June 2011 “Competitive Strategy In The Age Of The Customer” Age of manufacturing Age of distribution Age of Information Age of the customer 1900-1960 1960-1990 1990-2010 2010…
    5. 5. The need for research about people, their experience, and how they define value has increased as businesses change to become more customer-centric 5
    6. 6. User-centered Design is a structured, systematic approach to achieving customer experience excellence 6 Make the right thing Make the thing right “You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site.” Frank Lloyd Wright
    7. 7. 7 Customer Experience As A Strategic Imperative Requires Organizations To Develop New Capabilities: • Embracing a Holistic Mindset • Creating Shared Understanding • Engaging in Design-oriented Problem Solving
    8. 8. Good Experiences Are Created By Aligning Strategies, Technologies And Processes With Customer Expectations 8
    9. 9. Researchers must become more than purveyors of insight - they must also act as knowledge brokers and change agents 9
    10. 10. 10 Design researchers are poised to bring the benefits of holistic, systems thinking through mapping the end-to-end customer and employee journeys for a full view of the experience Marketing, User Assistance, Sales, OnlineFront Stage Interactions o Employee Actions visible to the customer Back Stage Processes Technology, Operations, Policies o Employee Actions invisible to the customer Customer Journey Discover Evaluate Buy Access Use Get support Re-engage Leave o Customer Types o Experience Phases o The Steps in the Journey o Touchpoints o Moments of Pain – barriers o Moments of Delight - opportunities o Emotional Experience – highs and lows o Key to Explaining the Map
    11. 11. Opportunity cards simplify complex requirements 11
    12. 12. v 12 Collective prioritization using design thinking facilitation
    13. 13. Design-oriented problem solving is visual Experience Models are thinking tools
    14. 14. Researchers can help organizations transform and succeed in today’s connected, social, and people-centered world 14 RESEARCHER Embracing a Holistic Mindset Creating Shared Understanding Design-oriented Problem Solving
    15. 15. 15 Thank You!

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