As quite a few people are asking me what I'm up to, I think it's time for a once-in-a-blue-moon personal update.
Over the past 6 months I have been doing a controlled exit from my executive obligations in Futurelab. As a shareholder, I still care about the well-being of the business, and I will - on occasion - continue to contribute to projects. But after a decade of playing in a band, I thought it was time for a solo album (or 2, 3, ...).
While it will probably take me another 6 months to truly find my new stride, it already turned out to be a life-changing move. Re-starting from scratch, and without an infrastructure, brings quite a few organisational, commercial and financial challenges. But it also brings the freedom to selfishly focus on some of the things which have been lying in my cupboard for way too long. In fact, they've got me pumped to a degree that I haven't been in a while.
So, what am I up to? Broadly, my activities fall into three categories.
I GET TO WRITE AGAIN!
Over the past decade, I have had the privilege of working on some of the most challenging customer experience projects on the planet.
I am currently capturing everything I learned from this in a total Customer Fitness Programme (aptly titled: Customerfit 😃). This provides companies with a full overview of their customer experience management capabilities as well as a series of practical workouts to improve them.
Over the past 6 months, the Customerfit model and its accompanying assessment have been beta-tested by over 150 executives in 40+ countries. After all this customer feedback, I’m proud to say that the final version I’m about to release is rock solid. And as I’m told no model should exist without a book to promote it, I’m working on that too (but that will be for later in the year :-).
I'M PILOTING A NEW INITIATIVE
My closer contacts know this as "the project Alain has been talking about for years, but never seems to get round to". For the rest of the world, the Customer Council is a customer experience accelerator aimed at building prototypes and visualisations of next generation customer practices and concept experiences.
It's a bold project, which - to succeed - requires the support of corporate visionaries that are ready to work on the customer experiences of 2020 and 2025. Whether I'll find these people, the future will tell as we're currently in full pitching and business development mode. But the signs are good: the Customer Council has already received very kind support from the folks at InSites Consulting and Confirmit. More interesting names are on the way.
If you want to know more: check out www.customercouncil.eu.
All this development work costs money, so to pay the bills I still service a number of private clients as a customer experience architect and occasional storyteller/speaker.
In doing so, I focus on what I'm good at, which is larger, international and complex CX initiatives for people that want to get results (rather than debate the finer academic points of customer strategy).
On that note: I still have one or two client slots left, so if you have a juicy challenge, let me know. For more info: www.alainthys.com.
AND OF COURSE THAT’S NOT ALL
2017 and 2018 are completely focused on executing the above. But beyond this there is a longlist of projects which go well beyond talking about customer experience management and focus on creating actual customer-centric propositions. After all, with all the opportunities that large and small organisations waste every day, someone has to do it. But that is a story for another time ...
Take care !
About this blog
Whenever inspiration strikes, I use this space to share my thoughts on customer experience management, storytelling or what ever else crosses my mind.