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General or Insurgent

Do you want to be a general or an insurgent?

So, says my friendly client, we need to get serious about focusing on the customer experience. Customer Experience needs to gain status; it needs a budget in its own right.

Well, of course it does. Like government ministers, corporate executives need budgets. And few executives ever got promotion by giving their budget away. Size may or may not matter, but budgets do. This may sound cynical, but in most organisations you spend your way to importance. Vision and goodwill are great, but without a seat or a voice at the top table they won’t get you – or the organisation – far. As a rule.

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Bullet Trains, Banks and the Curse of Legacy

As 2014 comes to a close, it’s interesting to look back on some significant anniversaries.  In the very different worlds of railways and banking 2014 marked the anniversary of the founding of two highly successful brands.

2014 was the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Japanese Shinkansen (‘New Main Line’ – or more commonly, dangan ressha or ‘Bullet Train’).  50 years on and the Shinkansen is still regarded as a marvel and a source of national pride.   Why?  Well, ‘bullet train’ appeals more to the 8 year-old child in us than ‘TGV’ or ‘ICE’, I suppose.  Aside from that, though it still provides an utterly reliable, fast and uninterrupted service, through a still-expanding national network.

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