The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

24. How Failure Actually Benefits Your Customers w/ Marc Rodan


Marc Rodan was unhappy with his life in the Netherlands. And he didn't think it was possible to be happy there. He thought he'd have to create the life he wanted somewhere else. 

But one day he realized that, maybe he didn’t need a change of scenery. Maybe he just needed to change his mindset. He realized that he needed to be willing to experiment and to fail. To just start doing things that would change his situation.

This mindset has a lot of benefits to offer us as individuals. But it can also provide some great wins for companies — and their customers, too. 

Marc joined us on the latest episode of The Customer Experience podcast to talk about cultivating a growth mindset and the benefits it offers to your customers. Marc is Co-Founder of Ninjafy, a company that's all about human centric leadership.

You may be in a certain situation, butjust making it whatever you wantit to be it's possible, and it's just about.You know having that grorth mindset having that belief that you can you're listening to the customerexperience podcast a podcast dedicated to helping today's growing businessesrestore a personal human touch throughout the customer life cycle, getready to hear how sales, marketing and customer success experts surprise anddelight and never lose sign of their customers. Humanity here is your hostEfen Beaute, Hey! If you want to learn how to makework and how to make learning more fun, more memorable and more actionablethrough experimentation, you are in the right place. Welcome back to thecustomer experience. Podcast I've got the cofounder of Ninjify with me. It'sa company, that's all about human centric leadership and a company thatwas built while its CO founder was traveling. The world he's taughtcorporations how to transform to agile through scrum and Conbon and othermethods he made bikes to make street food more sustainable and costefficient. I'm really excited to learn about the experiments and the resultsfrom our guests today. Mark Roden. Welcome to the customer experiencepodcast thanks a lot heapy to beer yeah, so I anways start Winh in the sameplace with everyone again. My argument is that customer EXPERIENCIS, thesingle most important thing we create and deliver as as individuals and teamsand companies. How do you define customer experience? So for me customerexperience, it's really all about putting the customer first, you knowI've as consultant. I've seen so many instances where teams were just focusedon their product or onther yeatheir own internal prospesses, and they didn'teven know who their customer was anymore. So for me, is just wheneveryou build a product dor. Whenever you build a company like I'm doing now,it's just putting that customer. The veryvery first place ind whatever youdo. I think that's for me what customer expriengs all about excellent talk tome. You know for context for people what is Ninjifi all about you. Havethis Ninja leadership concept talk about injify what you're trying to dothere yeah, absolutely so Whalan injify. We wanted to do something to Pul peopleout of there sort of bad routines righd. We we looked around as, and we saw manypeople that were just stuck in a job that either they didn't like or theyliked, but they were just going too fast or they were just working too hardor just you know, yeah. Maybe they were working ver hard or they can connect anwhere the company goes. It was just there was always something and thatpeople just kept on doing and maybe sometimes for a year or maybe even tenyears. They were just stuck in a bad work situation. So that's what we'retrying to change from many different angles. So what we try to do a lot isto look at okay. We have a big company. How are we going to help them make thattransition to making work awesome, and sometimes that takes a particularchallenge, but often it's also just about you know a smaller setup, so weteach teams and people a lot about what they can do to take sort of ownershipof you know their work because it's not up to your manager or to you your bus,to improve your work. It's up to you. So we give people the tools, thelearnings and the trainings. To do that. That's awesome! One of the things Iread in a really great piece that you wrote about this philosophy that guidesyou and the team. It's that everyone has nearly unlimited potential to growand you blend neuroscience. behavoral psychology, design, thinking and Agileto help people really unlock their potential to grow. Talk a little bitabout about that yeah. So wer, really big believers in he book. I don't knowif you've heard of it mindset by Cald reck. I it's a weird thing that almost all ofus, we think certain parts of our life are just unchangeable, and I was likethat you know when I used to be living... the Netalens every time I was here.I thought like how the heck can o ever have a good life. Here I was just youknow. I thought it was not possible. I had to go away and even quite recentlywhen I thought I was really working on my mindset to really. You know thinkthat I can change everything still. I thought I could never be happy in theneterlands and I think yeah bout a year ago. I thought like if I really want topush this like believe that I can change whatever I'm going to like havea fun time here. So then I started, you know just doing things doing the thingsthat I would maybe do abroad. I started to connect a lot more with people. Istarted having fun, I started, you know expanding my horizonof possibilitiesand I think that's what you know having that mindset is all about, like you maybe in a certain situation, but just making it whatever you wanted to beit's possible, and it's just about. You know having that gorth mindset. Havingthat belief that you can and things will happen, I mean they will start tochange yeah. What I love that I'm hearing here is that you are consultingindividuals and teams and entire companies on a problem that youexperienced yourself. You worked your way out of it through mindset andthrough experimentation, and now that's what you're teaching folks, let's gointo growth mindedness. Obviously, it's critical to the success of anindividual as you've experienced yourself and as you've, probably seenin a number of the people and teams you've consulted. But what is thebenefit? Well, I guess I'll ask this two ways: What is a growth minded company likewhat are some of the characteristics and how can they get started and then,let's transition to what is the benefit to the customer of working with thegrowth minded company? How does that growth minded approach of theindividuals and teams inside a company? How does that benefit the customer froma product and service standpoint, so a growth mind at company is a companythat had you know that sort of embraces failures? It's a company that doesn'tfeel like they are hiring talent and that's like telling that is just like.We have this great people they're going to make this awesome. It's a companythat believes in the growth of people. So we do that all the time when we hirepeople a netify, we always look at you know their enthusiasm and theirwillingness to grow and to really you know, give it their best job. Insteadof just looking at their experience or their skills, so what you get then, asa company, if you look at people ind, that way is that everybodyis just theystart to try things they start to now. Do things that out of their comfort onthey're, not trying to please the Bos or to you know, sort of prove thatthey're good, but they're, really just you know growing as an individual andhelping the company grow, and I think if you want to cieve that as a company,it's really important that you allow people that freedom, that a freedom toexperiment, Butdo woul talk about experiment, Os, pementation, a lot andalso the freedom to fail, and actually that is always very hard, because it'snot something were thougt, I mean ever since we were little and Wewere inschool every test. There was a matter of like failing or not feeling right.Ite was always a matter of success and now suddenly it's okay to feel like howdo we even comprehend that so that takes quite Yo, know big stepseventually, but bleaving that you can grow it's all about making these tinylittle steps these Tang little experiments forward. So that is really,I think, what that is all about in yeah. If you have that kind of COMPA, don'tknow if that answers your question at sure you mentioned, you know it takessome big steps, but it starts a course with small steps. You know maybe fromsome of the some of the folks you've worked with. You know, if a manager,let's say who's, listening to the show, a manager in sales or marketing orcustomer success or customer support is listening and they think okay, I feelmaybe a little bit stuck where I or I feel like some of my team members arewhat are some of the first steps that someone can take toward being activelyan intentionally growth minded. What...

...does that look like? What does it feellike? You have any examples yeah, so you mean as an individualright like for that manager o but ind as a manager of other people. How canthey help facilitate that anothers yeah? So I think one of the first things thatyou should always start doing is like to just start asking that question whyyou know why do you get out of bed in the morning? If you ask your peoplethat, and why do you get out of bed yourself and what gives you energy? Areyou really happier to work here? What would you change? What could I do sofor manager? It's about. I think facilitating that to be able to askthat question not only to as people but to himself as well and to get sort ofout of that mindset that he should manage people, because he doesn'tnecessarily now best. I mean the people that are in it. They probably know so.We talked about this term. servint leadership, a lot so where yourmanagement sort of role turns into much more of sort of a faciltating rolewhere you give people the space and you give them all everything they need togrow and, of course, there's like you, don't just stad back completely, butit's like sort of the way you go into a conversation changes yeah. So if you have leaders and teammembers inside organizations that are that are operating with these questionsand being clear on their intentions and motivations, I imagine that this isgoing to bring them to life. I've experienced the same thing myself. Now,let's go back to the customer. What is the benefit of if we get more peopleinside our organizations, thinking and operating this way and more brought tolife? What is the benefit to the customer to the business in general yeah? So for the customer of courselike when people are, you know willing to fail. It's not just aboutmaintaining the status. Quot of a company is not just about you know,making profit or doing as good as we did it's about finding new solutionsthat help the customer better, because that is eventually why you experiment,you don't experiment. I mean, I think, there's always two ways toexpementation right. That's how I see it like. You have one way to make yourown work better and you have one way to make your product better or yourservice. So I think we should be experimenting always on both levels. Weshould be trying new things on both levels, but that often goes hand inhand when you can experiment for product. You can experiment as well foryour own work process and that's often what we forget, and if you allowyourself that freedom, you often you know, start you can probably do twiceor four times as March in the same amount of time, because you, you startthinking about automatc, othermedization or different ways tomake your work mawesome, because you don't want to do all the tidiousadministration tax or you can. You know just come up with a whole new way tobrand your product or to to be out there and speak to the customer, so Ithink the benefits for the customer almost endless awesome. I love thosetwo layers that you experiment to improve the way you're getting the workdone or experimenting to improve what you're delivering to the customer interms of a product or or service. Before we go, I want to ask you about aparticular experience of yours, but before I do talk a little bit aboutNinja Whyninja, what are the characteristics of an injue that you'retrying to bring into the work environment or bring out of People YeahYeh? So there are a lot of like layers, I think toninjo. I really like it, I'mof course. The first thing is that it's you know it's a bit weird: It's sort ofa counter movement, toars alther like boring like Ey and the difrinitionalconsultance. So that's why I love the Ninja word but of course, the firstreason, because Y, why we went withn Inja is because of the agility. I meanwe live in a constantly changing world. Everything goes so fast just to keep upto hise new phones. There's VR happening theres blockchain happening.I mean what are all these opportunities?...

How do we? How do we go to you know,use these opportunities? So, of course an Agen mind O next permentationMindsei will help you and that's the main reason for the Ninja, but thottoreason I think Ninja is a powerful world is work is because you know, thenjust they're sort of like you feel like a focus: they're, powerful, they're,they're cool and a lot around experimentation is very uncomfortable.It's often about you taking that first step and taking a first step insomething that you don't know how 's going to canymite be success or failure.That's always stuck, and I think Ninja sort of you know if I'm an Inj, I madethat stuff. I just do it and that's that's why we went twitt it that'sgreat. Now you just touchdown agility. There obviously agile work, scrum,Conbon and some of these other methods. I think most people associate them withproduct and with development. Have you seen successful and we've experimenteda little bit with you know a quasi scrum method on our marketing team.Have you seen some of these applications or ways of working appliedin a customer successor and a sales or a marketing environment whor? Is it really product anddevoriented? No, I mean it's definitely where itoriginated right. So it's where scrum and can ban all those things they werein SOTFOR development space. Initially all these leaders from the SUFWOFORdevelopment space mad this ad Gol Manifesto and that's where it sort ofdeveloped from there, but no, I was actually I think this week I was at amarketing team that it was just starting with frum. You really see thatis now being appliyed in HR as well, so it really it could work everywhere, butI'm always very hesitant when I talk about these methods because it's sort of it took on a life of itsown, when people talk about Camban or scrum or even lean startup, it's likeyou know, that's like the the way to success. That's like! If you do that,then you will be at jeal. If you do that, then it's just it's really bad. I think thathappened. So I would never say that Gro Mor Cambinis the answer. I would say there are things from those methods that can bevery helpful for you, but that you should be in charge of experimenting.You should find your own way so, if you're just starting to work at Yel, Ithink scrum can be a great way to tell you away right. So it tells you all the meetingsyou should have and it can be great for two months as a starting point. Butafter that I think you should go your own way, so I've seen this appliedsuccessfully, often but often after a very long time. So youse you see theseas as very very useful frameworks, but its frameworks rather than dogmathernot to be followed to the letter of the law. thethere is no law, these justguidelines and processes that you can take and make your own. Yes, absolutely- and I think it's justalways simple expermentation- is about just starting doing something likeagreeing before and how you're going to do it like determining what yoursuccess is doing it and then Tis learning from it reflecting on and thengoing for the next. It's just working in these bloops. Is that simple, butthese framework, sometimes they make it damn hard to even just understand,what's going on yeah so so before you arrived in in this typeof work and consulting and really turning people onto to growthmindednessand agility, you were a pancake entrepreneur in Sweeden. Tell me aboutthat. What were you trying to do? What were you trying to solve? How didcustomers respond? Talk to me about being a pancake entrepreneur? Yeah so also is grand hat you an bringit up. So after my my university, I was like most people, you know Iu, don'tknow what you're going to do. I mean I knew I wanted to be an nonprepreneur. Iknew I wanted to be abroad, but I just...

...had no clue so I thought what the HellI'm just going to start. I think that's where you know know that sort ofmindset of expermentation start like if I'm not going to start, I'm not goingto even learn. So I jus going to start on, learn from me and then yeah. I hada sweee girlfriend at the time and that's why I moved to Sweden and I wasthere and I didn't really have an idea yet and then she was like yeah, butisn't you know those pancakes that you have an nooll? Isn't that somethingYeah Yeah? Maybe so I started beking them for some people, people wereenthosiastic and then yeah it just ad evolved and I thought like what Itheheck not is maybe not my ideal company, but I'm going to do it. Then I'm goingto learn from so then I thought. Okay, I need something to bake it with. So Ithought first on a restaurant, but restaurants were just way beyond what Icould afford. Then I thought a food track still too high, but then footbike that was possible. So Yeah Footbike, I'm Dutch. So I'm not. Icrane the bike. I know I designed it had to shift over and just went out onthe streets and started baking and yeah. I really thought it was fun. It wascrazy, tough. I mean to get out every day and you know do all those things absolutely not easy, especially if youhave a moilication but yeah. What I I really liked about that experience. It's where Ireally saw the result of what I was doing, so I was standing out every dayon the street, making those pancakes, but I wasn't just making pancakes. Iwas giving people have moment. I was really providing them with a smile ontheir face. I was asking about their day. I was asking like Hey. I was goinglike. I was giving me little bit of a show. You know, and I just saw Bropeople sat so much joy and that's that's why I wanted to get up everymorning. Just for that moment. That's so awesome. It's just such apure entrepreneurial story. In that you wanted to start something you had tostart in order to make anything happen, you walked out all the problems where alot of people get stopped, as I can't do it because this I can't do itbecause that you kept going and then and then it ultimately arise where youconcluded there was in this true human connection in this personal connection,do you have any thoughts about where we are with technology and in humanconnection? Obviously it allows you and I to have this conversation from. Whereare you right now? Are you in the Netherlands? Oh yeah, absolutely, okay,so it allows us to have this conversation and connect face to face,but but it also keeps us, apart from a lot of people, to talk about therelationship that you're observing with some of the companies that you workwith in your own experience, the relationship between technology and intrue direct human connection yeah. So it's funny that you ask because, ofcourse, I started minjify when I was traveling right. I needed to get out ofthe Nethrlands and try something new after my consult ant adventures butyeah when the other reason was because I felt like I needed to allow myself tobe more online to greate those skills and that's why I started to grate a Lov,more video, a lot more elearning and develop that and that's how I actually met my co foundernow, because he saw a video of mine, so we started working together while doingthese video calls like we're having now so the first time I've met my cofounder, I mean I felt like I knew him so well already, but it was likemeeting a like a movie star or something. It was a really real,strange experience. So, if you ask me like where we are with companies, UNTErelation with technology is like we can build businesses without even being nowtogether. It's is that far ahead and I'm can imagine Hon. we want Vr, Iguess a bit more in our main stream. Then we wouldn't even feel thediffenfrencs anymore. So I think it's amazing just the way we can talk rightnow. So I'm not sure if this fully...

...answers your question, but I think thefact that we can just completely work apart is awesome, but I have to admitthere are a lot of challenges to overcome as well, because that sort ofreal personal connection- it's almost almost like you- have to meet face toface it's just a different feeling is just yeah. That's where you really, Ithink connectand! That's where you really see some magic happen where youreally Bie people to you and really can do amazing stuff. So I would alwaysrecommend that technology is not always the answer fully. At least meed likequite regularly face Tho face, because that's why you get that sort of is morethan is a person more than a twodimage is a feeling you get that yeah, I'mwith you a hundred percent on that that it's all about that healthy balance andvideo is really powerful for for building that psychological proximity.Even when you don't have physical proximity, you can have thatpsychological proximity, where your feel drawn or closer to someone just byexperiencing them. In that way, Hey. I want to ask you before we wrap up and-and I asked a couple of my standard, closing questions, because I just loveall the different responses I get by asking so many smart people the samequestions. You know one of the things tha in reviewing some of your work andyour philosophy. You observe that, like a lot of people are working every day,they're toiling away, but they really don't have any idea who they're reallyworking for that there's this disconnection from the customer. Canyou talk a little bit about that, like these people ha are going to their jobsevery day and their workwork workwork workwork work, but they have no sitlineto the customer like talk about that as a problem is something you've observedand and maybe a couple ways out of it, yeah absolutely so yeah. I think whatyou describe is as the way it is right, like especially in these bigorganizations where there is just themes that are sort of working in achain where you give you create something, goes to another team. Theydo something wheth. It goes to another team, especially in when you deal withsort of like banking, information or stuff like that or like a tech. So Ithink that jol movement also is breaking that a little because you haveall the members in the same team to create something small but then they'restill. Even then, there are teams that that an are self focused on the productor on their internal stakleis that they forget about the endperson who's reallygoing to use this thing right and it's really about pleasing them and when Ithen see that they didn't even speak to those to those people to eir customerday I mean I often asked I on was the last time we spoke to customer dayeither never or like two years ago, or something when I started working here.I spoke te customer like I think, that's just unbelievable to me so yeahthere you have already your answer. T do your first way out of it. It's likeit's an old saying of Thoda as well like we started this adgol sort ofMovman ca peak to your customers, so yeah. That is something you candefinitely do to break that and I'm thinking about another way. But sincewe've been talking about experimentation so much it's, I think yeah just sit down with your team andthink about what you can do to really enhance value, because that's whyyou're working right, you're doing your working to provide value to someoneelse so and just sit down. Think of your first expreriment that you can dothe first small step that you can complete in two weeks time to providemore value to that customer. Even if that's just you know, a ververy tinything almost always seems a like. That's just a small step that doesn'tthat doesn't count, but then at least you're going you get the wheel spinningand from there you can only pick up mormoment those are greatrecommendations and and the Toyota reference is great to the just. Thewhole Toyota way is worth studying for anyone who hasn't done it before, andone of the techniques and ther is...

...asking the five levels of why and asyou're asking. Why? Why? Why, as you're getting answers to these questions,those are all grounds for theories right and, and you can test thosetheories through experimentation. So relationships are a number one corevalue here at Bombam and here on the customer experience podcast soenclosing. I always like to give you the opportunity to think or mentionsomeone who's at a positive impact on your life for your career and tomention a company. That's doing customer experience really well allright. Well, I mean, I think, the person that that is currently havingthe biggest impact on my life should be news. My gofounder, I I met him onlylike a year ago, like a year and a few months ago. That's when we we connectedin Linkedon and since then has been sort of this crazy roller coaster ofpersonal growth and learning to work together, because I hadn't founded acompany with someone else before, and you know the fectthat to everything andthrough all the heart work and all the heart like problems that we encouderedwe're still there for each other like constantly every day. It's I think it's it's something invaluable. So if Iwould like to thank someone, it's absolutely neils and about companiesthat I I look up to that are really inspiring me. I mean this should comeas no surprise but another guy who really started to get out there a lotmore of his Tom Billu with imbect theory. He used to have quests beforeand he's now a lotte more active in in Bacterian. Yeah he's always liketalking about how you can grow as a person. He shares our mindset, ourbeliefs. I think the book mindset, th backout Rack- is his Bible, so yeah,that's absolutely a big inspiration and nels, and I talk about his podcast alot with all our successful people, and I just think it's great that suchprograms as posguys start being Maye, so yeah absolutely awesome I'll droplinks to those into the end of the post that I write around this one. This hasbeen an absolute pleasure mark if someone wants to connect with you orwith your cofounder or with Ninjify, what are some ways that people canconnect with you online yeah, so I'm most active on link s. If you go toLinin and find Mark Roden, I should pop up somehow and of course wear our website antified out me. He can readall about what we do. There awesome and that's Marc Ro Dan. Look for him onlinked in this has been an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for yourtime and really enjoyed it. Thanks, love, IU, and so did I youare listening to the customerexperience podcast, no matter your role in delivering value and servingcustomers. You're intrusting, some of your most important and valuablemessages to faceless digital communication. You can do betterrehumonize. The experience by getting face to face through simple personalvideos, learn more and get started. Free at Bombomcom. You've beenlistening to the customer experience podcast to ensure that you never missan episode subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player or visitvombomcom. Thank you so much for listening until next time.

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