A letter from CEO Kevin McCarty discussing our April issue of Best of the West
For this issue of Best of the West, we highlight some hot topics that we are hearing in the market and provide a fresh perspective by combining thoughts from multiple practice leaders. We discuss how the concept of different perspectives very often creates value beyond the sum of the parts.

To our clients and friends:

I recently heard comedian Michael Jr. speak about the power of laughter. During his talk, Michael explained how dyslexia required him to really work at understanding the words he saw on paper. Sometimes, he had to look at a word in different ways to figure out what it meant. Comedians are good at what they do in part because of their ability to look at things differently. You think you know where they are going, and then they throw an unexpected curve that triggers what they seek—laughter.

The more I thought about his message, the more I recognized its relevance for our own business. Whether consultants or corporate executives, each of us has expertise and unique perspectives that we apply to create value. In our work, we often see the greatest value when we turn a business challenge or problem upside down and look at it from a different or multiple angles. That concept of multiple perspectives very often creates value beyond the sum of the parts—in other words, 1+1=3.

That’s what we strive to do every time we confront a new challenge—and why we have carefully built our team with an uncommon blend of business consulting and technology expertise.

For this issue of Best of the West, we picked four topics—all hot issues in the market today and things I hear frequently in discussions with our board, executive team, and clients—and took a fresh look at them by having members of multiple teams collaborate to provide a different and multidisciplinary view.

Without question, the concept of effortless and differentiated customer experience is one of the hottest business topics, across all industries. It is very easy for people to “switch” when they don’t get the real-time, on-demand experience they expect. To deliver the experience your customers expect, you need to understand them…but you can’t do that without good customer data. In the article, Customer insights: The next frontier, our customer experience and advanced analytics teams have paired up to pose some key questions to ask and answer in your journey toward your organization’s customer experience “North Star.”

We also look at:

  • Driving retail sales through customer-centric staffing. Many think of “workforce optimization” as a strategy to eliminate waste in operations, but when combined with the right data and analytics, it can be a powerful tool for increasing sales.
  • Fighting diligence fatigue. Last year was a record year for mergers and acquisitions, and activity doesn’t appear to be slowing much. After several strong years and seemingly non-stop activity, it is normal to feel a little “burned out.”
  • Keeping the lights on: Addressing the challenges of distributed energy resource (DER) growth. The rise of DERs is exciting for customers but potentially challenging for the utilities and organizations that regulate them. In a recent study, we take a comprehensive look at the present and future state of DERs through multiple lenses: customer adoption and awareness; utilities’ adoption challenges and opportunities, and support and planning initiatives; and regulatory commissions’ actions, obstacles and perceptions.

We hope you’ve found these new perspectives useful and relevant. We encourage you to look for new ways to apply multiple lenses the next time you confront a challenge or decision in your business. Sometimes, those different ways of looking at things might just be the ticket to that next big breakthrough.

Regards,

Kevin

Organizations are trying to navigate towards their customer experience (CX) “North Star” – that end-state CX vision that provides an enjoyable, effortless experience that will build brand loyalty and advocacy with customers. However without accurate customer data, this becomes impossible. If your organization is trying to "boldly go where no organization has gone before," consider these five critical questions about specific customer data you will need to navigate your CX voyage.

After several strong years and seemingly non-stop activity, it is normal to feel a little “burned out.” Find out how you can prepare for a stream of diligences and fight the fatigue.

In a recent study, we take a comprehensive look at the present and future state of DERs through multiple lenses: customer adoption and awareness; utilities’ adoption challenges and opportunities, and support and planning initiatives; and regulatory commissions’ actions, obstacles and perceptions.