30Apr Andy’s 3D Thoughts 30th April

3D ThoughtsIt’s 3D Thoughts time and this week’s 3 iDeas include Dramatically and Demonstrably Different bank – that’s Monzo. There’s also another innovation from Amazon to improve the customer experience and news that toxic company culture is costing the UK economy £23.6 Billion a year!

As ever, you don’t have to download anything, but you can download our free e-book Create An UBER Culture if you want it. Before that, just click on the image below, listen and … DO SOMETHING!


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26Apr Monzo – 7 Lessons From A Truly 3D Bank!

I opened a bank account this morning in 3 minute 24 seconds from the comfort of my own desk! Now, THAT’S being Easy To Buy From which is a key ingredient of 3D Characteristic #3: Create Delighted And Devoted Customers and Monzo Bank is a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different bank that went from 50,000 customers to 500,000 in 10 months!

This disruptive business is led by 32 year old entrepreneur Tom Blomfield, and he and his team are definitely going places. Having read about him in an article in The Times a couple of week’s ago, we then went along to a little event he was running at his headquarters in Shoreditch in London on Monday where Tom was giving an update on progress and sharing his plans for the future.

The room was packed full of people who it turned out, weren’t employees, other young entrepreneurs looking for lessons in leadership or investors and business advisors, but they were CUSTOMERS – all keen to know what was happening next! (They were nearly all under 30 – we were the oldest there!).

Talk about a ‘tribe’ of people who had a passion for the business… they hung on Tom’s every word, and it was quite clear that they had bought into what he was doing… and it was quite clear to see why. There were so many lessons for anyone (everyone?) in business and here are just 7 of them…

Lesson 1: Get That Vision Thing!

Tom’s passion and clear aspirational picture of the future was every evident. His vision is to create a single control for all your money and he wants to do it in a Dramatically Different way – from your smartphone! He says he wants to be a category changing business (although, in his truly self deprecating manner said that he knows that sounds like some wanky start up founders phrase!). He started off targeting young male techie professionals in London, but that has now become UK wide and is currently growing at 60,000 new customers a month!!!

The immediate focus is ‘profitability’ and having reduced their administration costs for running an individual account from £62 to £6.50, they are clearly ‘on target’. Longer term, he talks about financial inclusion: making sure anyone can get a bank account, whether they’ve been bankrupt, in prison or are a refugee. Apparently, there are something like three or four million adults in this country who can’t get a bank account and pay a lot more for the basics than they should and he wants to end that in the UK. That’s the goal… for now. Then it’s America!

Lesson 2: Create Raving Fans Who ‘Buy In’ To Your Vision!

It’s clear that a real success factor for this business is the ‘tribe’ that they have built (and are continuing to build).  As Tom explains “We believe the best way to build a great product is by launching it early and improving it based on feedback from real people. I feel very lucky that we have a community of users that care enough to share their enthusiasm, ideas and frank feedback with us. They’ve helped us make Monzo what it is today, and I’m glad that so many people have chosen to join us for what’s next.” 

The business started as a ‘beta’ model and offered itself as a prepaid card with people using it as a secondary account alongside their traditional account. Tom appealed to his customers asking them to establish their prepaid cards as ‘proper accounts’ earlier this year and 94% of active users upgraded! They’ve clearly ‘bought in’ to what the business is trying to achieve. In fact, last year, they got commitments of over £12 million from those customers via crowdfunding – unfortunately, legalities meant that they couldn’t access that funding, but it’s clear that the ‘buy in’ was there.

Lesson 3: Know Who You’re Competing With!

Tom doesn’t see his competitors as other start up banks but the ‘apathetic’ big banks and that’s who he’s targeting.  He talked about getting rid of all the bullshit that goes with banking, being your financially savvy friend and doing things that ensures it all works easily – the things he says is the opposite of what’s on offer at the moment from established banks.

It’s all about being 10 times better, he says and in some areas that not difficult because of the apathy demonstrated by the banks. As a result, he has identified the ‘pain areas’ that customers have with banks and Monzo strives to alleviate that pain. The result is a very prompt, user friendly customer experience at every touch point.

Lesson 4: Choose ‘Em Or Lose ‘Em!

Like the best 3D Businesses, Monzo has started with a clear focus in terms of its customers and what it does and doesn’t offer. Tom explained that they will not be offering ‘standard’ products such as mortgages and credit cards like other banks – he is avoiding ‘homogenised’ products because a) they cost more to manage and administrate and b) add complexity. He knows what he stands for and isn’t afraid to say ‘no’.

As mentioned, the initial focus is on digital savvy young professionals. When asked about expansion by one of his (disappointed French) customers, he said that he had no plans of developing in France (or any other European countries) again because of complexities of translation and legalities – the focus is on ‘English’ speaking countries!

Lesson 5: Be ‘Dramatically and Demonstrably Different‘!

Monzo has ripped up the rule book when it comes to banking (although there are obviously lots of ‘legal rules’ they have to follow), and their ‘bundle’ of skills, methods and practices that differentiate them include: being incredibly easy to apply and use, no branches, very, very clear charging fees, summary statements that categorise what you’ve spent your money on and helping you budget, free withdrawals when you are overseas, the ability to freeze your account by phone if you lose your card, 50p a day overdraft charges meaning you never pay more than £15.50 a month and an ability to sign up in minutes from wherever you want – I did it at my desk and all I needed was my driving licence which I photographed and a 5 second video I did of myself on my iPhone!

Lesson 6: Demonstrate That ‘Dramatic Difference‘!

From their colourful and quirky branding through to the physical process of signing up, it’s clear that this is a Dramatically Different banking experience that has been thought through from a customer’s perspective. The messaging when you sign up is friendly – for example the pink card cartoon card is holding a sign saying ‘I’m on my way’! There are tools that help you budget and manage your money, and they will help you switch your account to them in 7 days. You simply give them your details and they do all the work ….in 7 working days guaranteed – Any problems and they pay!  You can even send someone an emoji to say thank you when they’ve deposited money in your account!

Even Tom’s very short video showing the rapid expansion and accumulation of customers with  a map of the UK lighting up by customers ‘signing up’ did the job – this is a business that’s clearly going places. (Check that out here – it’s really impressive!)

Lesson 7: Create Dialogue With Your Customers

There are forums on the website for customers to make suggestions and contribute to the development of the business. The ‘open meeting’ that we attended demonstrated this too – they’ve clearly got ‘raving fans’ who care. Tom explained that the more transparent they are, the stronger the bond with his customers. For example, Monzo’s ‘free withdrawals’ abroad costs the business more if people do lots of small withdrawals over the month than one big one, so they explained this to their customers in a forum and via the website – lots of customers stopped doing it, and just did one withdrawal to help them out!


The business is only 3 years old and clearly there’s a long way to go. Monzo raised £71 million in a fundraising round last November, so it’s clear that there are lots of people there with them to help it happen. There are exciting times ahead…. and I don’t just mean my new card that will be delivered on the 30th!

Breaking News… And An Extra ‘Lesson’…. 

My card arrived today! That’s 2 days ahead of schedule and Lesson 8: Exceed your customer’s expectations – that’s ‘Customer Delight’ in action!

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23Apr Andy’s 3D Thoughts 23rd April

3D ThoughtsIt’s Dramatically and Demonstrably Different  3 iDeas offers this week, because there aren’t 3 of them, but 10Yes,  that’s ’10’! No, I’m not expecting you to take them ALL on board, but go on, pick just one and DO something!

As ever, you don’t have to download anything, but you can this time as we have produced a little toolkit to ‘prompt’ you! Just click on the icon below and listen… and DO SOMETHING!


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

Alternatively, if you want to get all ‘modern’ and never miss one again then click on the icon to…

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20Apr 20 Leadership iDeas To Help You Not Just ‘Think In 3D’ But ‘DO in 3D’!

We work with lots of business leaders helping them ‘think strategically’ and develop their vision and long term picture of the future, and it’s something we help and encourage people who come on our leadership programmes. However, sometimes it can be useful to ‘Just simply DO stuff’ and here are 20 ideas to help you do that. All you need to do is pick one (or two or three) and have a go!

Read through them and remember, winners take ACTION, not notes…..

  1. Ring up or talk to ONE customer and ask ‘What are we like to do business with?’
  2. Spot somebody doing something well in your business and thank them
  3. Find out what you should ‘Stop, Start, and Continue’ doing as a leader
  4. ‘Stand in your own queues’: Ring up your own business, make an enquiry on your website and check ‘How easy are we to do business with?’
  5. Ask your suppliers and advisors ‘How can you ‘add value’ to my business?’
  6. Spend three hours at home to ‘work’ ON your business – think ‘strategically’!
  7. Ask someone ‘What’s the first thing you would do here if you were boss?’
  8. Generate five ideas to ‘delight’ your customers (Better still, get your team to do it) and then make it happen
  9. List the improvements you’ve made in the last 12 months
  10. Spend two hours ‘back to the floor’: sit on reception, help out with deliveries, go out ‘on the road’, work in accounts – what can you learn?
  11. Find one thing you always do that someone else could do
  12. Visit someone else’s business – what can you learn?
  13. Ask your people ‘What information do you need to help maximise performance?’ and consider giving it to them
  14. Take an office based person to see a customer
  15. Bring a customer in to meet your team
  16. Ask each of your team members ‘What motivates / demotivates’ you around here?’
  17. Twenty minutes into your next team meeting, stop and ask ‘How can we make this the best use of our time?’
  18. Create a list of ‘dreams customers’ and develop a plan
  19. Let someone else chair your next team meeting
  20. Ring up one of your best customers and ask ‘Who could we learn from?’

 And a bonus iDea….

Read ‘Think in 3D: The 7 Characteristics of Dramatically and Demonstrably Different Businesses’

(Sorry, we couldn’t resist! Click on the image to order it on Amazon)


If you would like a copy of this to Download, Distribute and Do Something with, just CLICK HERE!

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09Apr Andy’s 3D Thoughts 9th April

3D ThoughtsWhat are the blockages in the customer experience that you deliver? Want to know how to spot and eliminate them? One of this week’s 3 iDeas offers a Dramatically and Demonstrably Different approach to doing this and it involves ‘Trauma Teddies’! There’s also an insight into Net Promoter Score and some great examples of what some of the best businesses offer when it comes to employee perks!

As ever, there’s no need to download anything! Just click on the icon below and listen… and DO SOMETHING!


If you never want to miss another 3D Thoughts and want to hear other past episodes or want to sign up for a little reminder when they’re out, just click here

Alternatively, if you want to get all ‘modern’ and never miss one again then click on the icon to…

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09Apr It’s A Fair Cop! Trauma Teddies Improve The Customer Experience

A great way of improving the customer experience you provide is to ‘Stand In Your Own Queues’. That means seeing things from their perspective and identifying those aspects that irritate, frustrate and annoy them, stop them coming back, and even stop them buying from you in the first place.

Having identified them, the challenge is then to remove, reshape or improve them and making the overall customer experience a better one throughout the customer journey.

The goal is to create an outstanding customer experience that ‘delights’ your customers and exceeds their expectations – it’s a key ingredient of 3D Characteristic #3: Create Delighted And Devoted Customers. 

Here’s a great story about, and lovely example, of ‘Standing In Your Own Queues’ to improve the customer experience…and it comes from Manchester police. Although the aim is clearly not to create ‘repeat business’, it does make the customer experience a much better one, and that has to be a good thing.

They will soon be carrying Trauma Teddies in their fleet of traffic cars. These fluffy little creatures will be given to children at accident scenes to keep them calm and to act as a comfort during what can be very difficult times for them. It’s a simple, but effective, way of creating a better customer experience (The 100 Teddies have been donated by a local Manchester company, S Ryder Ltd – well done them!)

PC Matt Picton explained that the teddies are a great way to calm youngsters down after what can be a very upsetting experience. “When you go to a collision children are distressed and the idea is to reassure them by giving them one of these teddies. From previous experience it does work. It has a positive effect on them, it calms them down and it takes their mind off what they have just witnessed.It’s also a great ice breaker as they sometimes don’t want to speak to us; we can be scary in our uniforms.”

‘Standing In Your Own Queues’ is one of those simple things that you could do in your business, and encourage your people to do too – especially your non customer facing people! It simply means doing things like ringing up your own business, visiting your own website, placing an order and querying your accounts department (Hey, this is revolutionary stuff!!!).

It’s a great way of identifying issues, problems and opportunities to improve the experience you give to your customers.

We’ve created a FREE simple toolkit to help you do it in your business – Just click on the image to DOWNLOAD it! 

Go on… have a go before you ‘cop for it’ with your customers!

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