The Most Powerful Activity you Can Use to Demonstrate Shared Vision

A few years ago, I met with the MD of John Lewis's flagship store on Oxford Street, London. Sales were slipping and the store was lacking in other key areas including the customer experience. My partner and I were invited to the store to discuss ways to shake things up across the business and to lead some workshops for management and store partners (the term they use for employees). In his words "I need to reinvigorate the store!" It was the perfect word to describe what was needed.

Reinvigorating Your Business

Reinvigorate. It sounds powerful, earthy and energetic. It's not a word you often hear used in business nowadays but it's the perfect antidote to a business that is failing or underperforming.

When you re-invigorate your business you fill it with life and energy. You can energize teams, sales, customer experiences, shareholder value and more when you choose to reinvigorate your business.

In our experience, most business owners or department heads know where they are...

Continue Reading...

Apple's Secret Genius Training Manual, Is It a Reference for All Course Designers and Developers?

Uncategorized Feb 17, 2018

There are so many ways in which Apple has brought change into our world. They've dented the universe for sure. If only our personal universe. From their devices to their retail store experiences they have set the benchmark for many others to follow.

The Genius Bar is a tech support station located inside all but one of Apple's retail stores transforming the technical support for customers to concierge-style support for Apple products. These bars have often been referred as the "heart and soul of our stores" by Ron Johnson, the former Senior Vice President for Retail.

There are many organisations around the world who are committed to creating the greatest customer experience with Apple being a hot contender for the number one brand to visit and experience for benchmarking.

So it's interesting to see 'secret' or 'leaked'  material finds its way onto the Internet where  we can get a deeper understanding of how Apple goes about its training before they can be let loose on...

Continue Reading...

Benefits of Using Ready To Use Training Materials

c.e.x training Dec 01, 2017

Ready-for-use (RFU) training materials have been around a long time. I can remember using them back in the 1980's when I first began training. Those were in the days of overhead projectors and acetates. Back then we even had ready-made silhouettes for using on your acetates! So the concept of using RFU material isn't new nor is the key benefit where all the heavy lifting has been done for you.

What is new is the method by which we can access them and the quality that is now possible to obtain. We have the Internet and technology to thank for both. The former allows us to access everything online as you well know and the latter enables us to produce materials without ever going to a printer or graphic design studio. Course material editors can develop content that is of high quality and distribute it online to a global audience.

We've taken the view that it's safe to share our content without the worry of competitors stealing our best ideas or material and using it against...

Continue Reading...

Change Your Scenery and Understand What's Going On in Your CEX

c.e.x free activities Nov 30, 2017

If you have ever moved house or changed workplaces you'll know how much more sensitive you are to your surroundings. You become heightened and sensitised to new experiences and stimuli around you.

Such experiences provide you with rich and colourful inputs that rapidly help you become aware of your new surroundings and how to adapt to your new setting.

We can take this phenomenon and apply it to our business world by deliberately changing our environment. It's a quick and easy way to begin shifting our mindset.

If you work in a business where you rarely get out of your office then this will really help you understand what's going on in your business.

I'll give you an example and then you can apply it to your own situation. For the sake of the example let's imagine you work in the training department for a large fashion brand and your own stores and franchises across the country.

Here are the steps to follow.

Step 1

You visit several of your stores and ask a...

Continue Reading...

How easyJet Passengers are Facing a ‘Bonk’ in Their Customer Experience

customer journey Nov 22, 2017

Firstly, I will explain for those unfamiliar with biking terms that ‘a bonk’ is cycling’s classic term for hitting a brick wall. My eldest son is into mountain biking in a ‘big’ way. Not only does he ride downhill extensively in Europe, but he has his own company specialising in titanium suspension springs for mountain bikes and nearly new bike parts. So no it's not me with familiarity with bonking but him!

Apart from some new biking terms, this post will teach you three things you need to consider when making changes to your organisation's policies.

Recently my son noticed that easyJet has changed their sports equipment weight allowance for passengers with bikes, impacting their customer experience. Previously, with an appropriate 32kg maximum weight, a bicycle could be packaged well and transported in a padded bicycle bag. Unfortunately, they have now have reduced the maximum weight by 9kg! The maximum weight is now just 23kg, meaning it's almost...

Continue Reading...

My Shoe Represents How I Feel About My Role in Our Team

free activities teams Nov 22, 2017

We've used this activity many times with teams to help them understand the landscape they work within may not be quite like they perceive it to be. The team landscape is for ever changing and evolving and not always toward star performance. It can evolve for the worse as well as for the better.


You can't put your shoes on, then your socks on. That's a fact. You can't do this anymore than you can change perceptions until you first establish what the current view is.


Individuals may often feel like outsiders, not connecting their contribution to the bigger goals of their team. This can lead to frustration, a sense of alienation and not wanting to contribute above and beyond.

Try this activity with your team next time you want to develop a better understanding and awareness of what lies within the team landscape. It will cost you no more than an hour of your time and the price of some rope. A small investment with big returns!

Activity Aims

The aims of the activity...

Continue Reading...

Our Encounter of 'Amazing'. A Lexus Launch

c.e.x stories Nov 20, 2017

Popped through our letterbox the other day came our invite to the launch of the new Lexus GS at our local dealer. As I opened and read the information inside it read

"You can expect the very best of Lexus hospitality, with delicious food and drink to tempt your palate... and some unusual twists to the entertainment, as part of your opportunity to ENCOUNTER AMAZING. If you think all executive cars are much the same, you're about to be amazed."

With this tempting news I promptly filled out my details and popped the leaflet back into the post box, diarised the event and eagerly waited for the day.

The day arrived, my daughter decided to come with me, so dressed for the premium occasion we drove to the dealership in our car (not a Lexus by the way). On arrival at the entrance to the forecourt of the said dealership, we were surprised to be met by a gang of men huddled together.

Men in Black

These men were stood around all in black; one asked me to wind my...

Continue Reading...

American Hunter Kills BMW Customer Service Agent

a.o.k stories Nov 19, 2017

This post describes a recent experience I had which falls outside of the norm and one which on the face of it I would have expected to have been resolved fairly easily. The resolution came from a completely unexpected source. Stick with me on the post title - nobody was hurt in the exchange at least not physically although the reputation of one brand was damaged in my eyes because of the poor customer experience I had. You will also learn about the three key ingredients that drive a great customer experience.

The Scenario

My cherished BMW convertible spends its time garaged most of the year in our holiday home in SW France. It's the ideal car for touring whilst on vacation enabling passengers and driver to enjoy balmy evenings with the roof down. However it has a fault that has developed where the tyres aren't lasting as long as they should and so need replacing more frequently than the norm.  

A visit to my local French BMW dealer is about an hour away and without the use of a...

Continue Reading...

Passionate Pillow Talk of the Customer Experience Kind

a.o.k behaviours Nov 18, 2017

In this post, you will learn from an experience I had when travelling aboard a cruise ship and what to ask if you want similar extraordinary things to happen with your own customers, guests or clients and the experience they have doing business with you.

Not Everyone Can Be Excellent

"Anybody can be a waiter, not everyone can be an excellent one."

That's what our waiter Pepe said as he set down our drinks on the table and arranged the small bowls of nibbles alongside. We were on a cruise a few years ago.

I'd chatted with Pepe to find out a little more about life aboard his ship and one of the answers he gave me included this. And what a great observation too, one which applies to all walks of life.

"Anybody can be a .......(insert your own job title here), not everyone can be an excellent one!"

We met Pepe when we spent five days aboard MSC Fantasia, the then recently launched flagship of Italian cruise line MSC Cruises. The trip was partly a holiday and partly...

Continue Reading...

How Many Ways Can You Tie Shoe Laces?

Activity Aim

The aim of this activity is to get participants to think about how routine many of their choices are when it comes to offering customers solutions to problems and how by being creative they may be able to offer an alternative solution. The activity can also be used wherever you want to challenge people's ideas about the norm and what they have become accustomed to.


Participants consider how many different ways they think there are to lace a shoe with 12 eyelets (6 per side).

Setting Up the Activity

  1. It's important that you stress a 12 eyelet shoe so either have one on hand or use the image at the top of this post. This is because the answer you give as the solution to the activity is based on calculating a formula using 12 eyelets.
  2. Ask participants to work in pairs or individually.
  3. Give them 5 minutes to consider their answer.
  4. Ask each person or pair for their answer and then reveal the correct answer which is 43,200! For...
Continue Reading...

50% Complete

I'm Ready

We're ready if you are and we'll keep your details secure too.