Author: Sergio Caredda

Channels Are For Televisions, Not For Customer Experiences


The title of this post is a direct reference to a few reports from Forrester on the Omnichannel Playbook for 2018 written by Brendan Witcher. Since when I read this the first time, I thought that this provocative sentence really summarises in the best possible way one of the biggest organisational mistakes many companies are still doing: organise themselves by channels. Reality is that this truly “inside-out” perspective misses the real value driver in the new experience economy: customers. While prior economic offerings—commodities, goods, and services—are external to the buyer, experiences are inherently personal, existing only in the mind of an individual who has been engaged on an emotional, physical, intellectual, or even spiritual level. They don’t understand the different business models that companies put together. As a customer, I want to be able to buy a product in one point of sale and return it online. I want to be able to have assistance wherever there is a signage of that brand. I want to be able to exchange and be reimbursed if there …

The Future of Working in Retail


With news titles of “Retail Apocalypse” lingering around in masses, a drop of traffic in many area of retail, that is driving a constant pressure on productivity in store, one of the key question for the professionals working in HR Retail is how can we make Retail attractive for today’s talents? The issue is even more complicated. Many agree now that the future of retail is in delivering experiences. But these don’t come easy, in an industry that for a lot of time has been used to often hire low skilled labor, focusing on basic customer service and “hoping for the best“. In a not so distant past, it was sufficient to have a decent product, and then a script for smile, greet, check the size and process the customer at the till. Sales would come. In the omnichannel reality we live today, things have changed. A sales associate in store is asked to compete with customers that normally have already done all the product comparison at home before coming to store. She’s asked to …

Disrupting HR: start thinking of HR Customer Service


After many years of discussion and implementation of the HR Transformation framework developed by Dave Ulrich, very few organizations have been really “able” to undertake one of the key challenges posed by that concept: evolving into a true service organization. Many organizations declare to have successfully implemented the model. The key is of course how is success measured. Very often the issue is that HR transformation has been solely pursued with a cost-saving goal, and thus success has been eventually measured by the dollars the HR organization has saved. But at what cost? Way too often the result is a service organization that is distant (not only physically) from the needs of the employees. Managers have effectively to undertake too many HR tasks designed by HR for HR, not really having in mind the different approach a line manager would have. HR Business Partners that maintain the HR generalist mindset, not having evolved in terms of competencies through the transformation, and that continue to pursue HR tasks instead of being actor of the business support. Failing to …

Fire the Project Manager


The last decades have seen a key trend in organisations: more and more work is carried through “Projects“. The actual content of what a Project is varies from company to company, but as a rule of thumb the common element of it all is that somebody assumes the role of “Project Manager“. Other elements instead (the availability of a resource plan or of a specific budget) vary instead. Very often this is a part time role, assumed by somebody in the Organisation who is supposed to continue carrying on its own job at the same time. But in many cases this role is delegated to a “specialist” in Project Management. This can be an internal resource, or more often a contractor, who professionally does project management by applying one of the many methodologies available. The goal of this role is to ensure that the project itself is maintained within budget, planning is respected, results achieved. I guess you all recognize this. Yet a sentence I heard a couple of days ago from an executive made …

Against the Big Data revolution


Ok, I must really say that I start to get afraid of this hunt for “Big Data” in HR. Apparently on the blogosphere and in the HR domain there is nothing else to talk about. Up to the point that somebody labels this as a A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think. Don’t get me wrong, a lot around this is inevitable. We are producing more and more data everyday. Somebody should be able to do something with it. What I do question is this hunt for a miracle recipe that is lying within this huge amount of data, sort of resembling the famous needle in the haystack. And apparently there’s somebody that holds the secret recipe (in the form of an IT system) to find it. Sorry, but I don’t buy this. First of all because the issue is to define what we are looking for, and not explore the data just for the sake of it. As any student of statistics can demonstrate, give me enough data and I can demonstrate practically …