CEO Blog

Immortal Memory and Abiding Wisdom

Anne Marie Forsyth, CEO, CCA


You don’t have to be Scottish to celebrate the beauty and the wisdom inherent within the writings of Robert Burns. Yesterday, people worldwide toasted the immortal memory of a man whose words still resonate 259 years after his birth.
They include several particularly apt lines for customer service professionals. Foremost in my mind are some lines from a poem rather unfittingly addressed ‘To a Louse...’
‘O wad some Pow’r the
giftie gie us
To see
oursels as ithers see us!
It wad
frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion...’
It translates as a heartfelt plea to be granted true self-awareness and to really understand how others perceive us, helping us avoid foolish mistakes and misapprehensions. Frankly, as a lesson in heeding customers’ views, being aware of failings in your own behaviour and adapting as a result of that knowledge, is useful and indeed timeless advice.
This week, one of the busiest ever in our calendar, we had our own words of wisdom from contributors at CCA events.
‘Boards should mirror the population of their stakeholders; diversity in its widest sense should be fostered and celebrated in all workplaces’.
This was from our first women in leadership and enterprise lunch in London earlier this week to discuss dealing with vulnerable customers, and the benefits of female traits in helping to get
voice of customer higher in the agenda in today’s boardrooms.
CCA Futures Thought Leadership Forum launched its 2018 programme this week, also in London, with high impact contributions from Catherine Howe, digital director from Capita and Ben Page, CEO at Ipsos Mori.
There was a plea for simplicity from Ben; 66% of consumers want their lives to be simpler. Because of the daily bombardment of 
messages we actually sleep a whole hour less than we did in the 20th Century.
This was echoed by Catherine who presented a simple to understand 
case for how we should actually view digital projects, whether they are small or large; no mean feat given such a complex topic. Too often, she argued, organisations are stymied from sensible progress by flawed thinking - ‘we can’t do anything until we do everything’. 
Today’s complex business environment demands and values sharing, relevance and collaboration over hierarchy and going it alone. There is no real endpoint, 
instead a continuum of change.
Many of the issues around investment blockages are to do with language, translating a digital sales pitch to finance chiefs can be a challenge for customer experience professionals - does the language have to be so complex?
So perhaps we should all give ourselves the gift of simplicity, demand clarity and say what we actually mean. Test communication with those who aren’t involved. If we don’t understand the group speak, stand up and say so, the chances are you aren’t alone.
To listen to these great presentations register your interest for our upcoming webinar. 
A parting quote from the bard, ‘Dare to be honest and fear no labour’.
Have a great weekend!

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October 2017

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