The Work Experience

Top 10 traits of the perfect boss

Sylvia Pennington reports on the characteristics of the perfect boss. How does your boss stack up? Or if you’re the boss how do you stack up? The cheat sheet list is:

  1. Provides purpose
  2. Demonstrates vision
  3. Collaborates
  4. Sets clear expectations
  5. Provides a positive work environment
  6. Is even tempered and resilient
  7. Treats everyone fairly
  8. Provides recognition
  9. Are always learning
  10. Helps and mentors others

Read the full detail of the top 10 traits of the perfect boss here:

The Work Experience

Shrill? Aggressive? And other names we call smart women by Clem Bastow

Clem Bastow writes a lot about women’s issues. In this piece from August 2012 she reflects on the name calling attributing to woman that perhaps is not bestowed on men displaying the same attributes. Food for thought.

You might have seen Leigh Sales take Tony Abbott to task on 7:30 last week. For her troubles, she’s been called “shrill” and “aggressive” (despite her work on7:30 being neither), and then, yesterday, Liberal Party strategist Grahame Morris unleashed this corker: “Well Leigh can be a real cow sometimes when she’s doing her interviews.”

Read the whole piece over at

Events Service design

The evolution of CX

The first Australian CXPA meet-up in Sydney (16/4/2013) was a breakfast session at Atlassian HQ with Cyrus Allen of Strativity as the MC. The special guest via a Google Hangout was CXPA and Temkin Group founder Bruce Temkin. He is also the creator of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index and Voice of Customer Award.

Bruce Temkin beaming in via a Google Hangout
Bruce Temkin beaming in via a Google Hangout


What Bruce saw from his side via this tweet

Coming at this space from an Experience Design background as I do, I was most interested in what Bruce Temkin had to say about the ‘evolution of cx management’. He presented the following chronological model:

CX intrigue 2005 -2009

  • Organisations have applications, infrastructure in place.
  • CRMs don’t deliver anticipated value.

CX exuberance 2008 – 2013

  • The term CX gets ’slapped’ on top of titles.
  • 60% of companies think they will be customer experience leaders in 3 years (the maturity model indicates this is a much longer journey)
  • Shows that ambitions are emerging, but that organisations are not realistic about the implications.

CX professionalism 2011 -2015

  • People are starting to have clear practices and procedures around customer experience
  • A set of consistent practices is being collectively pushed into the community (via the CXPA of course 😉
  • VOC programs, journey mapping become standard process.
  • Close loop systems are in place to re-contact customers and learn.

CX Mastery 2014 +

  • Real time customer satisfaction analytics are able to project NPS, customer trends and other metrics.
  • Employee engagement becomes increasingly important as the connection between staff and the ability to drive sustainable customer experience is acknowledged.
  • The human resource sector becomes committed to employee engagement.

Temkin’s rally cry to the community was to practise a core set of repeatable processes and procedures; for the differences in practise that have existed to date to become standardised if the ‘era of CX’ is to continue. In support of this vision the CXPA is developing a vendor neutral certification program they hope will be recognised as a legitimate professional standard globally.

I should mention the format of the breakfast. The talk was followed by a Q&A and group discussion. It was valuable gaining insight into so many organisations so quickly and hearing about the various surveys, processes and incentives in place. I have a whole page of notes but if your are intrigued, you may just have to come along to the next event.

If you want to read more of Bruce Temkin’s work check out his blog Customer Experience Matters.

Design Product design

Requirements versus specifications

Time and again I see requirements mixed with specifications. The rule of thumb taught to designers is that requirements shouldn’t specify or suggest the solution. 

Why does this matter? It matters for two reasons

  1. Requirements represent user needs, not the execution of the solution.
  2. Requirements should inspire possibility

Designer Nathanael Boehm puts it simply here:

… it should be clear that the requirements are defined and accepted first and that they are fixed whereas the solution specified is just one way that the requirements can be met.

Design Research

Don’t ask why

As a student  I worked in retail. I was expected to invite conversation with open questions. It’s harder that it sounds. Years later when being trained in user research I was encouraged to ask why. Not only why, but as many whys as I could … and you know why … to get to the root cause, that deep fundamental driver of behaviour. Of course this too is not as easy as it sounds. Unless you’re a charming 5 year old asking why can sound pretty obnoxious and being asked why can make anyone feel quite defensive. I’m guessing advice like this has its roots in the famous 5 Whys, which I take to be a tool of analysis, not a script. If you disagree with anything here, or have more to add please say so in the comments.

And if you are looking for more in depth information on conversation for design research read Ethnography for Marketers.

Ask participants the right open questions to get them to describe or explore your line of inquiry.
Ask participants the right open questions to get them to describe or explore your line of inquiry.