This joint whitepaper, published by academics from Cranfield School of Management together with business strategy and customer experience consultancy Pelorus Jack, explores how organisations can do the right thing for their customers by intentionally designing a culture of customer excellence.

Drawing on the example of global brand Disney – which pioneered this approach more than 60 years ago and still lives by it today – Culture by Design shows how enabling employees to stay focused on what matters to customers, equipping them to go the extra mile, and empowering them to use their common sense and judgement within clear boundaries can result in sustained commercial success for businesses that make that commitment.

According to research figures, in 2017 in the UK, trust in business lay at just 33% (Edelman), with only 11% of employees claiming to feel engaged at work (Gallup). This is supported by the findings of a 2013 study by McKinsey and Company, which showed only 22% of directors know how their firms create value, and just 16% strongly understand the sector within which they work.

Culture by Design shows businesses how to:

  • Grow bigger and more complex without losing the agility, focus and connection to customers that originally gave the organisation its momentum and energy
  • Improve employee engagement and productivity by empowering everybody to take spontaneous, creative and flexible decisions, at the same time as giving them the clarity to stay on the same course
  • Enable customer experience initiatives to force sustained commercial impact, rather than simply patching up the status quo, tackling the low-hanging fruit or remaining exposed to competitors who have a much better understanding of customer needs
  • Inspire people with a purpose that unites everybody around a common understanding of what value customers want the firm to deliver
  • Ensure changes have long-term benefits by using HR strategically to permeate them throughout the entire organisation.
Malcolm Mcdonald

The world is full of meaningless pronouncements about being "customer led", "customer centric" etc, popularised by notices in offices and openly mocked by employees who don't believe what they know to be lies based on the observation of actual behaviour. This white paper sets out a very clear process for embedding the appropriate culture in organisations [and] a checklist for implementation, which I for one will be using in future with my work with both multinationals and SMEs.



Professor Malcolm McDonald, Author of more than 40 best-selling marketing books.