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  • Rudi Bringtown

The SUPERPOWERS of HUMAN-CENTRIC approaches.

Mis à jour : janv. 24

Today, I would like to share with you what organisations could gain by putting employees and customers into their driving seat.

Before we deep-dive into the subject, you should find below a shortlist of 5 human-centric approaches that I use and also strongly recommend. I have added a short definition that captures the essence of each approach along with their typical use cases.


Definitions and use cases


#1 Customer Experience consists of putting yourself into your customer's shoes and understand what he sees, feels, thinks and does when interacting with your company. Customer Experience can be used to drive your: organisational culture and strategy, service strategy and operational mode for delivering products and services to clients.


#2 Agile approaches (e.g. SCRUM) consist of a set of rules, practices and values. They are designed to increase the frequency and quality of the communication within an organisation and foster a culture of constant learning and development. Agile approaches can be used to design: mobile applications, physical products, events and many other tangible and intangible things.


#3 Serious Play is an unlimited set of games that are played and facilitated in the physical world. It cannot be confused with Serious Gaming which is played through the use of video games.

That being said, the purpose of Serious Playing is to create in a playful way: insights, awareness, empathy and learning for the participants. In terms of use, Serious Playing is often a very good method for team building and learning activities.


#4 Innovation games are a set of predefined games which are played and facilitated for both customers and employees.

The overall purpose of this approach is to: understand customer behaviour and improve or design new products and services through playing scenarios and games.


#5 Lego® Serious Play® is a communication method that relies on using metaphors, story telling and Lego bricks to express ideas. The main purpose is to: create insights, share vision and ideas while giving an equal voice to all participants. The main use cases for Lego® Serious Play® are: strategy and vision creation, product and service design, training and team building activities.


By looking at these 5 human-centric approaches above, you might think that a lot is down to playing games and the answer is actually YES. I don't want to play the smart a**e here but Plato cited centuries ago the following: " An Hour of Play Discovers More Than a Year of Conversation ".

I will soon dedicate another article on the "Power of Play" but let's continue on our topic for now.


The benefits of Human-Centric approaches


I believe that the words "employee engagement" have now been one of the major challenge mentioned by organisations over the past few years. As per a global study from 2017 conducted by Gallup* across 155 countries: only 15% of employees worldwide are engaged in their jobs. If we make a close-up on Western Europe and Luxembourg as well, it is even more alarming with respectively:


  • 10% / 8% engaged

  • 71% / 80% disengaged

  • 19% / 13% actively disengaged


If we look at the reasons that underpin such ratios, we have the following ones:


  • Lack of purpose at work

  • Lack of ability to leverage one's strength and natural ability at work

  • Lack of interest and recognition from management

  • Lack of opportunities to voice one's opinion and make it count

  • Lack of opportunities to grow and learn at work

  • Slowness by some organisations to adopt new technologies

  • Change of expectations from younger workers which requires a different management style


According to Gallup's research: "Engaged employees" are highly involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace. They are psychological “owners,” drive performance and innovation, and move the organisation forward.


Multiple benefits like: increased sales, productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction and lower staff turnover, absenteeism and quality defects are natural results of an engaged workforce.


With the above elements in mind, we can understand that applying approaches which are by design encouraging values and characteristics such as:


  • Sharing

  • Collaboration

  • Empathy

  • Individual and team introspection

  • Constant learning and development

  • And purpose driven


can considerably increase the odds of having engaged team members. Yet again, there is no magic wand. Having engaged employees start by leadership teams conveying this culture. It means, focusing on employees' work experience and seeking common grounds between employees' personal goals and the need of the organisation.


Why opting for these human-centric approaches now?


The first reason is the very high cost of having disengaged teams. The main drawbacks are: poorer service delivery, missed sales opportunities, damaged company reputation, challenges to attract top profile employees, contagious demotivation within teams, increased sickness and absenteeism.


The second reason is the amount of generations of workers that are cohabiting together (almost four) and which do not relate in the same way at all to the "notion of employment".


If we combine these reasons with the accelerated speed of change that we witness since the digital era began - it makes sense to use approaches that appeal to our common human nature and needs regardless of our age, background or generation type. And despite the power that technology can offer, people are still the organisation's fuel that keep the machine moving forward.


Thank you for reading me.


Rudi - Your Transformation Couturier


*Gallup Study: State of the global workplace 2017 (takes into account aggregated data from 2014 to 2016)



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