Beacon 2020: Driving Workforce-Powered, Customer-Led Transformation

It goes without saying that change has become the new normal—so normal, in fact, that accelerated change is universally acknowledged. In our research, nearly 9 in 10 business leaders agree that the market and customer preferences are moving more quickly than ever before. Keeping up with this breakneck pace commands that change and transformation become part of an organization’s routine course of operations and, ideally, its culture, rather than a painstaking overhaul. Our research underscores a movement toward this pattern of change: 71 percent of businesses are undertaking transformation on a smaller, functional scale, and fewer (28 percent) are undertaking transformation at the enterprise level. At North Highland, we call this emerging imperative “always-on” transformation.


In this market landscape, customer experience (CX) strategies are a central business focus. Year after year, organizations strive to align on outside-in, customer-led ways of operating. The workforce is integral to CX strategy because neither one team nor one function can enable the end-to-end experience or the ability to continuously adapt. Instead, cross-functional adoption is a requisite. In other words, the ways that organizations empower employees to engage with one another will position them to compete on CX, the coveted high ground for competitive advantage. In this piece we explore five critical opportunities to transform toward outside-in, customer-oriented ways of operating and collaborating through the workforce.

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