conversation about maximising value from customer insight

6 leadership styles and why you need behavioural flexibility

leadership styleAs we continue our month focussed on leadership development, including coaching & mentoring, it’s great to welcome another coach as a guest blogger. Kevin Watson is director & lead coach at and benefits from a broad experience of coaching leaders across industries. In this post, he shares the importance of being flexible in your leadership style.

My own experience, both as a customer insight leader & when coaching leaders, confirms Kevin’s proposition here.

Having the self awareness and flexibility to adapt your leadership style to the needs of your team or stakeholders, can make a big difference.

To discover your leadership style(s) and what Kevin means by ‘behavioural flexibility‘, over to our coach… (more…)

Do you listen to podcasts to hone your skills?

podcastsLast week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for a business podcast. A positive experience & I’ve shared the resulting interview below. This also reminded me of the power of podcasts & how little we’ve referenced them here.

So, to make up for that gap, this post is dedicated to sharing audio content.

Whilst attending a co-coaching forum this week (where coaches share ideas & support each other), it also struck me that podcasts fit well with the listening skills so key for coaches.

For those of you working in fields where listening is key (which covers most leadership & professions), I recommend the discipline of regular podcast listening. (more…)

Could you be more self aware from coaching?

self awareIt’s been a busy week of client work (which is great!), but that has meant less time for this blog. So, to make up the second blog post this week, here are some resources on coaching or mentoring that I’ve found interesting. To help you stay more self aware.

These caught my eye because they focus on topics which I find coaching clients often raise.

Despite the range of technical issues to discuss when focussing on Customer Insight leadership. It is striking how often our conversations come back to the same challenges faced by all leaders. Here are a few of them. (more…)

Are you strengthening by using Coaching or Mentoring?

using coachingAs our Olympians continue their efforts to move up that medal table, it’s time for another poll here. This time focussed on understanding how you are using coaching or mentoring.

Please answer the quick survey below, to help us all see the current state of using these roles to help develop leaders.

It will be fascinating to see how today’s customer insight leaders have embraced use of coaches or mentors (or not). As per usual, once we have sufficient responses, I will share findings here.

Hopefully, that helps us all benchmark our approach & consider what might help us strengthen in future.

So, without further ado, here is your latest survey. First some questions about use of coaches: (more…)

Which do you really need, a coach or mentor?

coach or mentorAs the world’s athletes show us what they can achieve in Rio, it’s easy to overlook the achievement of the coaches. Most medal winners will acknowledge a debt of gratitude to their coaches. But, what about the world of business? Many companies have internal mentoring programmes. So, do you need a coach or mentor?

Today, I want to briefly focus on the difference between both types of help.

Now, academic research is evolving on this point, with some academics pointing out that unlike definitions, roles blur in practice.

Some research suggests that the roles of mentor, coach & even counsellor or therapist blur & such help sits on a spectrum. We might be better to think of ‘helping by talking’ professions, as one writer has suggested. (more…)

Can your coach help you with an integrated leadership model?

Integrated leadershipThe Rio Olympics are finally almost upon us. In a few days our screens & radios will be filled with news of personal achievement & records broken. But as everyone knows, a lot of training & coaching goes into preparing for what may just be one event. Coaching business leaders also requires a lot of investment to see desired changes, but more integrated leadership can help.

Before explaining what I mean by the term ‘integrated leadership’, let me mention our theme for the month.

Regular readers will know we have this year had monthly themes of content, to help us cover the breadth of customer insight leader interests.

In keeping with the Olympics, our theme this month is coaching. How you can you achieve peak performance as a leader & sustain it? (more…)

Can FinTech have anything to do with Customer Insight?

FinTechHot on the heels of my last post, recommending you reboot your thinking after your summer holiday, here’s another. Both another post & details of another event. For those of you more interested in the emerging world of FinTech & what that could mean for customer experience, read on.

Earlier this year, I was approached by the FinTech Network to help create an event that brought together FinTech or InsureTech innovators with existing providers. The aim is to focus more broadly on topics that matter to us here, like Customer Insight & CX.

Avoiding the pitfalls of technology for technologies’ sake, this agenda aims to focus on how such capabilities could deepen customer engagement. it’s an interesting opportunity to also hear further from technology firms & new entrants, to get a new perspective on customer insight needs for our industry. (more…)