This time last week, I was introducing speakers and fielding questions in the Future Leadership track of the UNLEASH conference and expo in Paris.

I was also speaking to close out the Leadership track of presentations. My presentation focused less on Developing 4th Industrial Age Decision-Makers to create outcomes while dealing with VUCA: the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the modern world.

I decided to follow my own advice that I was giving to others and to focus on what we can influence give up trying to control VUCA in the macro environment

  • Political
  • Economic
  • Social
  • Technological
  • Legislation
  • Environmental

Janice B Gordon People Business Customer Model

I presented.

  1. HR leaders can move the needle and influence rather than tick the box.
  2. When the future is uncertain and complex, the antidote is simplicity.

And focused on one key message

  1. Do not lose focus on the mission of the business and the purpose of the action.

Why Simplicity?

According to the Global Brand Simplicity Index study, customers want effortless and frictionless experiences. From 2009 Siegel and Gale have surveyed the worlds simplest brands to find how the global top 10 out-performed the major indexes by 679%. Through the Global Brand Simplicity Index study, we can understand the impact of simplicity on customer behaviour and company performance:

  • 64% of customers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences.
  • 61% of customers are more likely to recommend a simple brand.

Brands that don’t deliver frictionless customer experiences are leaving an estimated share of $86 billion on the table. However, the brands that are disrupting industries are doing so by providing simpler brand experiences to their customers.

My challenge to the audience was: How simple and transparent are your processes and your company practices?

Stating what happens internally is a reflection on the external relationship the company has with its customers.

Align Every Decision to the Ultimate Business Outcome

I saw many excellent presentations on the difference HR champions are making through their leadership programme, the subject of this track. However, I did not hear the word CUSTOMER once, so I wanted to challenge the audience of HR leaders to align every decision to the ultimate business outcome, to gain customer and to delight customers with ease. That delivers a positive impact on revenue which enables the leadership to invest in the business and its people.

I wanted the audience to look at how their leadership development model or current programme is helping their people to delight and gain more customers? And if they could not answer this question, then it is time to rethink the programme and approach!

At the heart of every business is its customers and to help the audience see the relationship I presented my model:

Focus on What’s Important

  • Impacts of Sales Revenue
  • Feeds the Business Mission
  • Directs the Leaders
  • Empowers the People
  • Create the Experience
  • Drives the Customers

Too often, I see companies asking consultants to develop solutions without first surveying the competence within their organisation due to is a lack of internal confidence.

I challenged the audience to:

  • Build internal capacity and then fully use it.
  • Focus on the people and help them to drive the purposeful outcomes.
  • Strengthen what you have and enable your people to make a difference.

I share my experience of working with a customer experience consultancy and realising that customers are of incredible innovators and the most underutilised resource.

I challenged the audience to:

  • Build the tribe of key customers, influencers, detractors and advocates.
  • Bring the tribe in to become initiators and advocate of change.


I help companies develop a clear line of focus on their key customers and to deliver the business mission through their people. Customer behaviours are changing how we interact, communicate, sell and influence in the 4th industrial age. My role is to ask the open strategic questions to find the gaps, to help the business find the opportunities. One of my heroes is Richard Branson. He has always advocated that happy employees create happy customers who positively impact revenue.

My colleague, Bev Hancock, is a ChangeMaker who stimulates the vital conversations that empower companies to thrive in the future world of work. Bev uses her deep understanding of conversational intelligence to build, trust, accountability and inclusive leadership into every conversation and relationship touchpoint whether it is face-to-face or digital.

I challenged the audience to:

Do not allow the leadership models to be internally focused and lose sight of the company mission, the organisational purpose of why it exists. Customers!

The way we work allows bespoke company needs to be met, following an audit of strengths, a refocus on what’s important and evaluation of needs and essential conversations. We look at the customer experience and the people behaviours required by customers to make revenue-enhancing sales easy.

Both Bev and I agree that to lead, influence or sell effectively, long into the future, you need to change the conversation.  We are always happy to have a no-obligation conversation to explore how we can help your company change the conversation and focus on what’s important.

Let’s Start a Different Type of Conversation!

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