Behind every satisfied customer there is a satisfied employee

Behind every satisfied customer there is a satisfied employee

Creating satisfying customer interactions should be a priority for all businesses. It all begins with satisfied and happy employees who are more likely to have an energetic, enthusiastic and customer oriented approach to the employer and their own tasks. They are more likely to have a positive disposition when interacting with your customers.

One of your customer’s first experience with your brand is interacting with your employees. If this interaction is positive, your customer will associate this positive experience with your brand. If the customers have a positive experience at your business, you are more likely to have higher levels of customer satisfaction which leads to higher levels of customer and brand loyalty. It can also contribute to your business by word of mouth referral. When customers have a good experience with your brand, they will tell other people about your excellent service.

 Your frontline staff members that have direct and daily contact and interactions with your customers, should be seen as valuable assets. When you’re employees are valued, the customers’ experience of your business improves and it forms the basis for customer loyalty.

 According to Forbes, when employees feel emotionally committed to their organisation and its goals, they have higher levels of discretionary effort. They do their best at their job, because they value their job and the commitments and obligations as set out in their roles and responsibilities. Engaged employees are loyal and have higher effect of customer ratings, profitability, productivity, turnover and quality. They also contribute to the reputation of the brand.

 Customers who trust your brand are repeat shoppers, they support your business and love doing so. When you have proven to be reliable to your customers, whenever they hear of a friend of theirs having an issue that your business helped them solve, they will tell their friends about you. We live in a digital age and websites exist with the sole purpose of rating businesses by having consumers leave a review of the business. When your customers trust you, they will leave a positive review. This will boost your business.

 By treating your employees right, you show them how to treat your customers right. By increasing employee engagement, you will increase the value your employees attach to their job, which in turn, will make them perform better. What many businesses do not release is that in truth, their employees are their first customer and that satisfied employees not only contribute to satisfied customers, in some instances, satisfied employees cause satisfied customers.

Internationalisation made easy

Internationalisation made easy

Case Study

Internationalisation made easy

Gravicon case study

Gravicon is a Finnish based software and service company specialising in Building Information Management (BIM) services. In Finland, Gravicon services have been widely used in prominent and complex construction projects to support efficient and predictable construction processes.

Gravicon has developed SaaS-based Modelspace software to support information, task and project management of demanding construction projects e.g. in hospitals, schools and shopping centres. Information management in planning and construction phases have improved significantly, especially in hospital and public sector projects.

 Challenge

How to enter new markets successfully

After achieving a stable market position in Finland, Gravicon decided to set up international sales operations and chose Africa for its focus market. The main reason for choosing Africa as a target market was its huge potential with large number of hospitals, airports and other complex public construction projects in planning.

SaaS-based Modelspace software can be used from anywhere in the world. However, entering certain markets is as challenging for SaaS business as it is for other businesses. Market dynamics need to be understood, sales messages need to be formulated according to local market environments, sales capabilities need to be improved and local partners need to be identified. Intolead supported Gravicons’ expansion into Africa with its internationalisation consulting and growth services. In the first phase, a strategy was developed for South Africa, one of the Africa’s biggest markets.

 Solution

From research to action in three steps

In the first phase, Intolead looked at the South African construction industry and compiled a market evaluation including maturity level, market potential as well as a competitor and partner analysis. Based on the market research, Gravicon evaluated the local construction industry markets as lucrative and the company launched a search for potential consulting partners.

Intolead produced communication material to support the search and conducted in-depth interviews of potential partners. At the same time, in order to get a better understanding of the dynamics of this market, Gravicon participated in a few industry events and trade shows.

The next phase involved setting up the sales operations and implementing Modelspace piloting projects. With the help of Intolead, Gravicon hired and trained a country manager to support sales and new business development.

 Results

Head start for new business opportunities

Internationalisation is the championship sport of commercialisation. To properly understand new markets, cultural considerations specifically in sales and marketing is vitally important. With careful preparation, an accurate sales strategy, realistic goals and commitment makes it possible to succeed in these markets. The amount of preparation often comes as a surprise to companies exploring the process of internationalisation. Additionally, any sales strategy should be agile enough to adjust to any market related changes if need be.

“Intolead’s experience in developing international business and sales operations has been a valuable addition to this project. Intoleads’ knowledge of African markets has helped us to recognise and anticipate market risks well in advance and to react quickly when changes are needed to execute our go-to-market strategy. Intolead consultants have committed to the objectives that were set together and their co-operation has been flexible, goal oriented and dynamic.”

Pauli Jantunen,
CEO

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Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Case StudyCulture Stars shine brightly Solid Systems Customer Case StudyFounded in 2003, Solid is a leading IT solutions provider specialising in delivering outsourced IT services to businesses in the most human way possible. Solid is based in South Africa, with...

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From basketball courts to online

From basketball courts to online

Case Study

From basketball courts to online

HNMKY Basketball Case Study

HNMKY (Helsinki YMCA) is an organization that is part of the worldwide YMCA movement based in Helsinki, Finland. HNMKY was founded in 1889 and is known for its pioneering youth work. Throughout the years, HNMKY has been launching many significant new activities in Finland, of which one of the most well-known is introducing basketball to Finland back in 1927.

 Challenge

How to support the independent training activities of basketball players during the Corona outbreak induced standstill?

Amongst other things, HNMKY is running one of the largest and most successful basketball clubs in Finland with approximately 1200 players. As all the training activities came to a halt because of the Corona restrictions, the coaches were facing an acute challenge. How to support and encourage the players in their independent training? How to take the training online and retain visibility to the independent activities of the players.

 Solution

Digital platform supports coaching and training

We at Intolead wanted to do our part to help mitigate the crisis and offered our help to HNMKY on a pro bono basis. Together with the HNMKY coaches, we co-created a solution in an agile way. Within two weeks we had the first prototype of the concept including a digital training diary for the athletes and a dashboard for the coaches to follow up the activities on a team level. After initial testing, the concept was taken into use by all of the HNMKY Basketball’s 10 varsity teams with approximately 400 players.

The next iteration was a lightweight app-like interface for the players with enhanced features, such as a dashboard, plus feedback channel for the coaches. This was taken into use within 6 weeks from the get-go.

With a wealth of positive feedback from both the players and the coaches, we then proceeded to brainstorm new features together with HNMKY coaches.

 Results

Mobile Training app for the players and coaches

The result of our joint effort is a native mobile Training app tailored to suit the needs of both coaches and players. New features include e.g. a possibility for the coaches to add and share training plans, set goals and send push notifications for the players. Players have also a possibility to set goals for themselves. We are currently testing the app and deploying it shortly.

“The path from idea to prototype and an implemented solution has been fast, iterative, co-creative, and user-centered. For HNMKY Basketball teams, players and coaches the digital training platform has offered new possibilities. Not only it enhances the coaching and training activities off-court and between the breaks, but also provides a powerful tool for boosting team practices during the season.”

Juuso Milén,
Head of Coaching

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Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Case StudyCulture Stars shine brightly Solid Systems Customer Case StudyFounded in 2003, Solid is a leading IT solutions provider specialising in delivering outsourced IT services to businesses in the most human way possible. Solid is based in South Africa, with...

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Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Case Study

Culture Stars shine brightly

Solid Systems Customer Case Study

Founded in 2003, Solid is a leading IT solutions provider specialising in delivering outsourced IT services to businesses in the most human way possible. Solid is based in South Africa, with offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London.

 Challenge

Define their purpose

Their lack of Brand Personality and more importantly Brand Narrative, made them appear like every other IT company, boring, predictable and extremely complicated. We were tasked with building a Brand Narrative and reflecting that narrative throughout the entire business from the identity and website to internal processes and communication.

 Solution

Create a story and adjust their look and feel to reflect their purpose more authentically

The Logo and Identity were refined to reflect a more human approach. The identity and typography were tweaked according to best design practices. Small changes made a big difference.

Their Positioning:

We’re human not robots
We never compromise when it comes to human values.
Our honest, truly personal approach to service and our leading IT solutions will enable our partners to step into the future, confidently.

Their Manifesto:

Because we are human…
We see the people behind the businesses we support.
We find solutions through creative thinking.
We fail efficiently and learn from our mistakes.
We use technology as a tool and not a way of life.
We are capable of building and fostering honest relationships.
We embrace and adapt to change.
We love and respect one another.
We have the ability to empathise.
We believe in our ability to offer the highest service.
We will never cease our efforts to be the best solutions provider.

The website was simplified and redesigned to reflect the new Brand Narrative  https://www.solidsystems.co.za/

In order to build their corporate culture, we developed rituals that reflected the brand narrative. This enabled Solid Systems to truly live their Story.

All internal communication was redeveloped and rewritten according to their Story.

 Results

A purpose-driven business ready to interact with the world authentically and successfully grow

Solid’s Culture Stars was produced as an in-depth document accompanied with workshops explaining and guiding their value-based culture. It was essential to focus on the human element present in Solid’s work. The result is a company that is aligned with its values, has a clearly defined purpose and interacts with the world in an authentic and easy to understand way.

Solid’s relevant, unique and enduring brand culture is testament to the value an immersive Culture Stars can have for any business.

“The importance of culture cannot be overstated. At SOLID, it makes us who we are, how we behave and interact with the world each and every day. Our vision is our north star which we’re always working towards and validating all our decisions against.
Working with Vincent and his team was a transformational process for us, they helped us dig deep to find our true DNA and then helped us bring it to life.“

Daniel Avenir,
Founding Partner

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Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Case StudyCulture Stars shine brightly Solid Systems Customer Case StudyFounded in 2003, Solid is a leading IT solutions provider specialising in delivering outsourced IT services to businesses in the most human way possible. Solid is based in South Africa, with...

read more

Future Skills and their Impact

Future Skills and their Impact

World is evolving around us with technological developments. Machines and technology are an undeniable part of our world and will continue to be for the near and far future. In this context, it is important to see and understand how humans benefit from these developments and how we can develop ourselves to remain grounded, resourceful and capable within these changing environments.

The Institute For The Future (IFTF) (2011) explained what skills will be needed to be successful in the 21st century. A range of diverse answers was found, those were further narrowed down to the following ten competencies or areas of development. These are the future skills humans can embrace to equip themselves for the undeniable change that we are constantly living in. Similarly, Ehlers created The Future Skills Report (2019). The time difference between these two reports enables us to draw critical conclusions not only on how accurate the predictions were but also how substantial the constant flux and change we are living in is.

By developing these ten skills, you will not only grow as an individual but chances are that you will remain successful in our wonderfully interesting world.
1. Sensemaking

Sensemaking is defined as “the ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed” (IFTF, 2011 p. 8). Sensemaking skills are skills that help us create unique insights critical for decision making. These innate human capabilities cannot yet be replicated by machines. With regards to future skills in general, we as humans need to identify what makes us unique and work on those abilities as well as embrace them in our work and personal lives.The future driver connected to this future skill is smart machines and systems.

2. Social intelligence

Social intelligence is defined as the “ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way to sense and stimulate reaction and desired interaction” (IFTF, 2011  p. 8). The experience of emotions, how we feel them and how they interact with our physical state and behaviour is just as complex as critical thinking.When someone is socially intelligent they are not only aware of their own emotional state but also that of others. This relates to emotional intelligence. Socially intelligent employees are aware of the emotions of the people around them and can change their demeanour, words and tone as well as gestures accordingly and accurately. Our social IQ has developed over millennia as we have evolved as social beings. Being able to collaborate in meaningful ways is a big advantage for humans.The future drivers related to this future skill are globally connected world and the rise of machines and systems (IFTF, 2011).

3. Novel and adaptive thinking

Novel and adaptive thinking is the “proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is role- or rule-based” (IFTF, 2011 p. 9).Situational adaptability is the ability to respond to unexpected circumstances positively and productively. As our world is everchanging, the ability to be open to change is very important. Human characteristics such as creativity, ingenuity, adaptability and agility are important here.

4. Cross-cultural competency

Cross-cultural competency is the ability to operate in different cultural settings (IFTF, 2011 p. 9). This requires specific content and linguistic skills and also adaptability to changing circumstances and cultural sensitivity. It relates to the ability to sense and respond adequately to new contexts and environments.Diversity is seen as a driver of innovation in organisations. A combination of different skills, ages, working and thinking styles and disciplines make a group intelligent and innovative (IFTF, 2011). Progress depends not only on our individual IQ but also on our collective IQ.Diversity should be a core competency for organisations. Employees need to be able to identify and communicate points of connection such as shared goals and priorities or even values that surpass their differences and facilitates the building of relationships and enables them to work together efficiently.The future drivers involved with this future skill are globally connected world and superstructed organisations.

5. Computational thinking

Computational thinking is the “ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning” (IFTF, 2011 p. 10).The amount of data we have access to is increasing exponentially. Understanding data analysis and the programmes that are used to run these analyses will become more and more important. Entry-level and user-friendly coding language capability will be favoured. We need to keep in mind that we still need to be able to make decisions, even when there is a lack of actual data to support them. Take care not to become data-dependent.The future drivers involved with this future skill are new media ecology and computational world.

6. New media literacy

New media literacy is the “ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms and to leverage these media for persuasive communication” (IFTF, 2011 p. 10).New programmes exist to create presentations and present findings. Animations, Keynote and PowerPoint have become the norm in presenting.  Being able to create presentations that are immersive and visually stimulating presentations of information is a key skill. User-friendly tools and programmes for video creation as well as basic design skills such as what fonts and colours to use together will be greatly beneficial.We need to make sure that we are capable in these tools to communicate with our audiences engagingly.The future drivers involved in this future skill are new media literacy, superstructed organisations and extreme longevity.

7. Transdisciplinarity

Transdisciplinarity refers to “literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines. The problems we face today are multifaceted and complex and can often not be solved when approached from one specific discipline. We need to look at problems holistically and be aware of what we know, what is needed and where we can find the information as well as who will be best to collaborate with to solve the challenge or problem. The ideal worker in the future will be T-shaped. With a depth of knowledge in at least one field but a broad understanding of other areas as well.To be like this, we need a great sense of curiosity and drive to go beyond the traditional years of formal education. Extended lifespans will create the opportunity for multiple careers and exposure to multiple disciplines and industries. This relates to adaptability.The future drivers involved with this future skill is extreme longevity and computational world. However, it can also be new media literacy.

8. Design mindset

A design mindset is the “ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes” (IFTF, 2011 p.11). We can create our environments to be most conducive to desired outcomes. The more neuroscience develops, the better we are understanding the complexity of the human mind. Our physical environment shapes cognition. When we change our environment, our brains change and subsequently our behaviour changes as well.The future drivers associated with this future skill are superstructed organisations and computational world.

9. Cognitive load management/ Psychological space

Cognitive management is the “ability to discriminate and filter information for importance and to understand how to maximise cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques” (IFTF, 2011 p. 12).Information is coming at us from various streams and various devices in various formats. We need to be able to discern the important information from that which is not. This also relates to the concept of psychological space, what we spend our thoughts on and the importance of focus. The future drivers involved in this are computational world, superstructed organisations and new media ecology.

10. Virtual collaboration

Virtual collaboration is “the ability to work productively, drive engagement,  and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team” (IFTF, 2011 p.12)).Technology enables us to work remotely and across vast geographical distances. To be a successful leader in the virtual environment, leaders need to develop strategies for engaging, motivating and inspiring their virtual teams often a dispersed group.Gamification or techniques borrowed from gaming are extremely effective in engaging virtual communities. Tools such as Yammer can be used. Yammer is like twitter for businesses and only people who are registered in the business’ profile on Yammer can communicate with each other.

Impacts

The future drivers and future skills mentioned above will have several implications for us in the future. It will have different implications for individuals, educational institutions, businesses and governments.  These will be briefly discussed here.

Individual Impacts

Individuals need to navigate our rapidly changing landscape the diversity of organisational forms and the various skill requirements. Individuals need to continually assess and reassess and adapt the skills they have and need.

They also need to find resources to get the skills they need. There are various free or affordable online sources. The individual that will succeed in the future will be an adaptable lifelong learner.

Educational institutions impacts

Educational institutions will need emphasize on the development of these future skills, especially critical thinking and insight analysis. They should integrate new media literacy into their curriculum. They also need to include experiential learning like programmes that emphasise the development of soft skills such as the ability to collaborate, learning work in groups, to read social cues and to respond adequately and accurately. Educational institutions need to broaden their scope from teens and young adults to people of all ages. It is also important for educational institutions to integrate interdisciplinary training that allows students to develop a wider range of skills in a wider range of subjects.

Businesses Impact

Businesses need to adapt their workforce planning and developing strategies to ensure alignment with the future skills discussed. They need to use technology to ensure their employees have the skills they need and to enable their employees to renew these skills. Businesses that will be successful in the future need to be focussed on agility. They need to collaborate with universities to enable lifelong learning outcomes. Sustainability of business goals is also important.

Government and policymakers impact

Governments need to take a leadership role and should make education a national priority. If it is not done, the citizens will not be prepared for a healthy and sustainable future.

References: Davies, A., Fidler, D., Gorbis, M., 2011. Future work. Institute For The Future. http://hdl.voced.edu.au/10707/194830.

Yap K, Tiang YL. Recommendations for health care educators on e-professionalism and student behavior on social networking sites. Medicolegal and Bioethics. 2014;4:25-36
https://doi.org/10.2147/MB.S60563

Finnish Digital Agency

Finnish Digital Agency

Case Study

Leading the way through learning and education

Finnish Digital Agency Case Study

Finnish Digital Agency started its operation in the beginning of 2020 when Finnish Population Register Centre and Local register Offices Maistraatti joined their forces. Finnish Digital Agency has 36 offices and 900 employees together with 300 consultants or software developers operating in three different countries. The Finnish Digital Agency provides services for the life events of its customers leading the way, reforming society and supporting citizens in their interaction with public administration.

 Challenge

How to get all aboard on the lean digitalization framework

Finnish Digital Agency started to utilize a new digitalization framework to support their agile portfolio and service management. The big public sector organization consists of employees with different skill levels and to many the new framework appeared abstract and complex.

The need was both to give an overview and understanding of the framework and also to train the Finnish Digital Agencys staff so they can start using the new framework together with its practices.

One identified challenge was how to find best ways to communicate and effectively train the new way of working to the employees.

 Solution

Visual management combined with online training supports the deployment

Experience from previous projects has already shown that in order to succeed in the deployment process, it’s essential to invest to the training and to use tangible and user-centric communication.

In the starting phase of the project Intolead created an animation that introduced the main principles and the benefits of the framework in an easy and understandable way. Together with the animation an overall visual identity was created that supports the visual management and different communicational materials. You may watch the animation here .

After the communication phase Finnish Digital Agency started to plan and execute the training materials. Digital learning was chosen in order to serve the widely spread organization. The training was fulfilled with user-centrified methods and it consisted of several everyday case-examples together with inspiring videos. One main objective for the training was to implant the new ways of working to everyday work of the employees. Separate trainings were launched that were aimed for different target audiences.
During launch Intolead created a small campaign to raise curiosity and recognition within the organization.

 Results

Measuring the impact will help the development work in the future

Effective communicational materials with their own visual identity were created together with interactive and easily absorbed trainings. Feedback is actively gathered and the impact measured in order to further develop the trainings to meet the changing needs also in the future.

“The existing frameworks for visual management and digital learning that Intolead has, helped to speed up the change transformation within DVV organization. Intolead was able to offer the kind of “out of the box” type of thinking that was needed in order to support the change execution.”

Esa Keränen,
Development Manager

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Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Culture Stars Shine Brightly

Case StudyCulture Stars shine brightly Solid Systems Customer Case StudyFounded in 2003, Solid is a leading IT solutions provider specialising in delivering outsourced IT services to businesses in the most human way possible. Solid is based in South Africa, with...

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