REVIEW: Bill Price and David Jaffe — The Frictionless Organization (BOOK)
What Bill Price and David Jaffe might not have in terms of conceptual anomalies is made up for by craft, articulation, and their implementation strategies.
The Frictionless Organization: Deliver Great Customer Experiences with Less Effort is a leadership advice read whose title perfectly encapsulates the scope of its topicalities. Price and Jaffe write with an affable and laidback style, keeping things simple and effective in terms of their presentations. “The case for becoming frictionless is compelling, but it might be hard to know where to start.
RELATED URL: https://www.frictionlessorg.com/
You might be intimidated by the lack of information surrounding the friction in your company. On the other hand, you might be overwhelmed by data or by the number of problems that need to be solved. Or, you might think those problems are too urgent to solve by going through the nine stages to becoming frictionless,” Price and Jaffe state. “…Understand action because too often there is a surprising amount of friction that isn’t well known and shared across the organization…The Understand action will address…issues by helping to build a common level of insight around what needs to change, creating momentum that can drive the remaining steps toward becoming frictionless.”
Putting into perspective the craft surrounding Price and Jaffe’s topicalities is the equivalent to separating oxygen and water. Everything truly feels full-circle, sometimes relayed to the reader in painfully obvious prose. But it’s through this kind of technique Price and Jaffe are able to articulate the concepts A to Z, never stumbling nor making the kind of fastidiousness mentioned pedantic. It’s a welcome relief to otherwise well-intentioned, but painfully dry and exclusionary books in the same ideological echelons.
This is evidenced by passages like the following. “After an organization understands the reasons for customer contacts, it can apply the Assign and Prioritize processes to clarify who is responsible for the underlying issues, what strategies to pursue, and which actions should progress first. These process steps trigger the actions that start to remove friction for customers. Assigning contact reasons to owners involves getting consensus on who owns each problem across the business. Prioritizing includes determining what to do about each reason code and the associated causes, how important each reason is, and how feasible it is to determine solutions.”
Price and Jaffe continue, “The first step — assigning tasks to owners — is critical, because most problems are caused outside of customer service and need to be owned in the right place in the organization. This step sounds straightforward enough, but getting busy departmental heads to take ownership of problems they haven’t previously recognized can be quite complex. In addition, it usually means getting senior leadership to back a different way of working: since the job of owning contact reasons needs to have consequences if is to be effective, this step usually requires changing or realigning current business goals and strategies and resetting targets, all of which need to be agreed upon across the executive team.”