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Podcast: Process excellence is about implementing change

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Posted: 12/04/2017

Dana Wilson, vice president of customer experience assurance at global media and technology company Comcast shares that at it's core, process excellence is changing process, changing culture and changing behavior for business results.

She started her career as a chemical engineer than became a six sigma black belt holder and found a way to bridge the technical acumen she had while developing leadership skills.

After running processing improvement for the city of Philadelphia, Dana worked on the Olympics for Comcast and eventually landed a job in CX.

Customer-Experience

Dana learnt that in any new situation you have to become a student. She seeks to educate herself before doing what's next.

“In any situation, I've gone from industry to industry. Each time you have to humble yourself and learn from the people that are actually doing the job every single day,” Dana Wilson.

Recorded at OpEx San Diego, Dana Wilson gives her insight into process excellence and improving customer experience.

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Transcription

(The following is an automated and unedited transcript. Please be aware that errors may be present.)

Interviewer: Seth Adler

Guest: Dana Wilson

Seth Adler:  Recorded at OpEx San Diego, Vice President customersurance for Comcast, Dana Wilson joins us and shares that very early on in her life she had a love of math, science, and engineering. She went to Drexel University and majored in chemical engineering. She graduated and became a process engineer [00:01:30] at Philadelphia Gas Works. It was there that she realized that in any new situation you have to become a student. She seeks to educate herself before doing what's next.

After working as a chemical engineer at Daux, she became a six sigma black belt, where she found a way to bridge the technical acumen she had while developing leadership skills. After running processing improvement for the city of Philadelphia, Dana worked on the Olympics for Comcast. Eventually landing in CX. Welcome to Pex Network on B to B IQ. I'm your host Seth Adler. Download episodes [00:02:00] on PexNetwork.com or through our app in iTunes. Within the iTunes podcast app, in Google Play, or wherever you currently get your podcasts.

Dana Wilson.

Dana Wilson:  You're the boss.

Seth Adler:  Well, I don't think so is my point. I'm getting a boss vibe from you, is my point. Is that fair?

Dana Wilson:  That is fair.

Seth Adler:  That is fair. Is that why you smile so brightly, because deep down inside you know you're the boss type of thing?

Dana Wilson:  Yeah, pretty much.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  But, you know, it never hurts to smile.

Seth Adler:  It never hurts to smile. It never hurts.

Dana Wilson:  It's a healthy [00:02:30] thing.

Seth Adler:  It is a health thing. You're from Philadelphia.

Dana Wilson:  I am from Philadelphia.

Seth Adler:  And you're from Philadelphia?

Dana Wilson:  No, I am not from Philadelphia.

Seth Adler:  Oh, where are you from?

Dana Wilson:  I'm from Baltimore.

Seth Adler:  Baltimore. Okay.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  Aren't you supposed to say Baltimore? Aren't we supposed to roll over the t?

Dana Wilson:  Baltimore.

Seth Adler:  Baltimore, right. Yeah. You work for Comcast, which is definitely a Philadelphia company.

Dana Wilson:  Yeah. I've been in Philadelphia for 20 years.

Seth Adler:  Oh, for a long time.

Dana Wilson:  Yeah.

Seth Adler:  Did you go directly from Baltimore to Philadelphia, or no?

Dana Wilson:  Yes I did.

Seth Adler:  [00:03:00] You did.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  So, it's those two cities.

Dana Wilson:  Those two cities.

Seth Adler:  How do they compare?

Dana Wilson:  They're very similar.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  They're sister cities.

Seth Adler:  Oh, they are?

Dana Wilson:  They are.

Seth Adler:  Do they know that they are sister cities?

Dana Wilson:  Yes. They do. Most people do.

Seth Adler:  Oh, sure. But, I'm from New York.

Dana Wilson:  Oh, that's totally different.

Seth Adler:  I'm ignorant is the point, blissfully ignorant.

Dana Wilson:  Totally. You're in your own world.

Seth Adler:  Absolutely.

Dana Wilson:  You're out there on your own island.

Seth Adler:  Literally. I live on Manhattan. It's ridiculous. Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  So, [00:03:30] they're sister cities.

Dana Wilson:  They're very similar.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  Neighborhoods. It's a city of neighborhoods, similar to Philadelphia.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  I grew up in a neighborhood in West Baltimore.

Seth Adler:  West Baltimore. I'm trying to think. The Preakness. Right?

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  Is outside of the city.

Dana Wilson:  No it's not.

Seth Adler:  It is inside of the city?

Dana Wilson:  It is inside of the city in the west part of the city.

Seth Adler:  In the west part of the city. And I didn't go to the Preakness. My brother-in-law was doing, he was getting his doctorate at John's [00:04:00] Hopkins.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  In neuroscience.

Dana Wilson:  Wow.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  He's smart.

Seth Adler:  Sure.

Dana Wilson:  Brilliant.

Seth Adler:  Well, I mean, you've got to meet the guy. I'm kidding. Of course he's very, very smart. We're very, very happy to have him in the family. But, I remember, he transferred. The whole idea was that we were going to go to the Preakness and then the guy that he was in his lab, he moved out to Irvine.

Dana Wilson:  Oh.

Seth Adler:  So, we [00:04:30] never got a chance to go to the Preakness.

Dana Wilson:  Yes, the Preakness is the event.

Seth Adler:  It is. So, for folks listening, they're probably thinking of mint juleps and hats and the Kentucky Derby. For me, I'm thinking about the Belmont Stakes, cause I've been there.

Dana Wilson:  Right.

Seth Adler:  In New York city.

Dana Wilson:  Right.

Seth Adler:  Sure. But, the Preakness is the one in the middle.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  This is the lynch pin, right?

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  Of the, what do they call it?

Dana Wilson:  What is it?

Seth Adler:  Why are we blanking? The Triple Crown. The lynch pin of the Triple Crown.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  Right? Yes. [00:05:00] So, describe the scene here at the Preakness.

Dana Wilson:  Well, the Preakness, I remember as a child.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  I remember as a child, so, it was just a big event. People would almost tailgate around the stadium. It's crowds and crowds of people. It's kind of like a fair. My parents weren't necessarily into horse racing like that.

Seth Adler:  Sure.

Dana Wilson:  It would be more of the event outside of the Preakness, rather than ... I heard the inside, everybody [00:05:30] had a great time just like any other horse race or thing like that.

Seth Adler:  Or, thing with thousands of people at it. With tens of thousands of people, right?

Dana Wilson:  Yeah, with lots of money, betting on horses.

Seth Adler:  It sounds like a fun experience.

Dana Wilson:  Yeah.

Seth Adler:  But, there are very few people really that are in to horse racing. But, every year we do this whole same thing again.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  Yeah. Okay, fantastic. When did you decide that you weren't going to be a jockey? Kidding. What were you into when you were a kid? So, you weren't into horse [00:06:00] racing. What were you into?

Dana Wilson:  I was into math, science, and engineering. I was in Baltimore, and went to the City of Baltimore Polytechnic. That was a school. I guess they call them magnet schools now.

Seth Adler:  Like a Bronx Science?

Dana Wilson:  Yeah, I guess so. But it's totally Baltimore. Baltimore Polytechnic.

Seth Adler:  I was poking fun right there. I'm poking the bear, is what I'm doing. By continually making New York references.

Dana Wilson:  Oh, absolutely. I will bring you back down south, below the Mason Dixon, [00:06:30] each time.

Seth Adler:  Alright.

Dana Wilson:  I went there and I had a love for science, and then engineering. I left and graduated Poly and went to Drexel University in chemical engineering.

Seth Adler:  That's Philadelphia?

Dana Wilson:  That's Philadelphia. That's how I got there.

Seth Adler:  Okay, so wait a second. When did science occur to you? Are your parents into that? No. How is that possible, right?

Dana Wilson:  Yeah, well, [00:07:00] when you are inquisitive I would call it, and you decide that you want to tinker and take things apart and want to know how things work, or when you like to cook and you try to recreate your own Reese's Cups cause you really wanted them and your mom wouldn't by any and you have peanut butter and you had some Nestle chocolate chips you learn the science behind making Reese's cups. So, you enjoy that as well. They probably were the most disgusting things but that peaked my interest. Really, how things [00:07:30] are made.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  Yes, Barbie is out there, but I used to take my Barbie apart so I could see how it worked. That is how I got into the whole engineering.

Seth Adler:  How thrilled were your parents when they saw this person trying to put stuff together, quite literally. You know what I mean?

Dana Wilson:  My dad was totally thrilled because he was a contractor and a builder, right?

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  My mother, on the other hand, wasn't so thrilled, because they were the things that we should keep nice, [00:08:00] like toys and I would destroy them and be very destructive. Or, go in the kitchen and burn chocolate, and then it smells up the whole house and has a fire alarm going off and all that good stuff.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  Yeah.

Seth Adler:  So, my girlfriend used to play with little matchbox cars because her dad used to literally build cars and is so inclined. I am seeing the same type of interaction between the mother who was [00:08:30] like, uh, I can't believe that this is what we're doing, and the father who is thrilled, right?

Dana Wilson:  Yes, totally. So I never got in trouble with him.

Seth Adler:  No, not at all. Well, you would have never anyway cause you're going to be princess. That's going to be what it is with him, right?

Dana Wilson:  Yes, totally.

Seth Adler:  Only child?

Dana Wilson:  No, I have a sister.

Seth Adler:  But she's older.

Dana Wilson:  She's older. I'm the baby.

Seth Adler:  See. How did I know that?

Dana Wilson:  I don't know.

Seth Adler:  That's weird. So you went to Drexel for chemical engineering did you say?

Dana Wilson:  Chemical engineering.

Seth Adler:  What was the thought there? What [00:09:00] was the job going to be?

Dana Wilson:  I wanted to essentially just make things and see how they're made. For me, it wasn't like civil or more traditional engineering disciplines, I wanted the chemistry part. But, I wanted to be an engineer. Back then, I was in tenth grade and I didn't know that a chemical engineer existed until my chemistry teacher actually told me.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  I said, oh that's cool.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  Then I looked up all the things and jobs that they could do and I was super interested because [00:09:30] you're in pharmaceutical industries. Every industry you can think of ... If you're building a product, you can leverage a chemical engineer just about for anything.

Seth Adler:  I can do what I want to, plus, it seems like I am going to be able to be paid well.

Dana Wilson:  Yes, there is the money.

Seth Adler:  There you go. Right? So, you get the degree. You graduated.

Dana Wilson:  Yes I did.

Seth Adler:  And then did you go keep going, or did you get out and get a job?

Dana Wilson:  No, I got out and got a job.

Seth Adler:  Alright.

Dana Wilson:  I am Hansel and I love to work. [00:10:00] I love money.

Seth Adler:  Sure.

Dana Wilson:  So, I think it was time to get a job and not be a career student.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  No offense to those that choose that path.

Seth Adler:  No, exactly.

Dana Wilson:  It was just my time to get out there and actually practice.

Seth Adler:  Who chose you? Or, who did you choose?

Dana Wilson:  My first job was at Philadelphia Gas Works. I was a process engineer in a gas plant, doing gas distributions.

Seth Adler:  And so, you are loving life, right?

Dana Wilson:  Totally.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  [00:10:30] I'm in hard hat, steel-toed shoes, nomex. Totally.

Seth Adler:  And they are watching you come in, and they're turning around and being like, are we serious about this, right?

Dana Wilson:  Right. Right. Because the average tenure was 18 years at the company.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  Here comes little old me.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  I have all these great ideas about how we can improve plant process.

Seth Adler:  So, when you realized that you were in a corporate structure that wasn't necessarily interested in everyone's feedback ...

Dana Wilson:  Right.

Seth Adler:  How did you kind of [00:11:00] learn new behavior? How did you learn new communication tactics to get what you wanted done?

Dana Wilson:  You have to be a student.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  First and foremost. While I say I didn't want to be a career student, I have been a career student.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  In any situation, I've gone from industry to industry. Each time you have to humble yourself and learn from the people that are actually doing the job every single day.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  That's a lot of frontline folks, plant folks. Wherever I go I am talking to the experts to educate [00:11:30] myself first. That relationship is what has carried the change that I had to evoke in whatever position that I'm in, or whatever we are trying to do as a company to actually ignite it and actually implement it.

Seth Adler:  Seek first to change yourself, essentially.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  Right. So, that's early days. We'll move onto the next position. What was it?

Dana Wilson:  That was a product engineer for adhesives and sealants for, what [00:12:00] was then Roman House Company, which is now Daux Chemical.

Seth Adler:  Alright, and so you were making stuff so you were more thrilled.

Dana Wilson:  I was making stuff, and I was in a lab too because I was a scale up engineer. What I was doing is that I was taking essentially what our chemists were making in their small batch and actually scaling it to commercial. I got bench top synthesis experience and leveraging my plan experience to actually partner and build products. I worked on painter's tape. That was really cool because then you can [00:12:30] see your product.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  We made by-product. Essentially intermediate products. We'd partner with the actual tape client and then we made the adhesive for the tape.

Seth Adler:  I got you.

Dana Wilson:  I get to see the tape on the shelves.

Seth Adler:  That's interesting, the part that matters is what you would give them?

Dana Wilson:  Yes. And they had to pay for all the stuff.

Seth Adler:  Sure. That's wonderful. Thanks. You're welcome.

Dana Wilson:  All the pretty colors.

Seth Adler:  Blue for some reason comes to mind as far as painter's tape.

Dana Wilson:  Blue. Purple now. It's all [00:13:00] there.

Seth Adler:  It's all there. Alright, and then?

Dana Wilson:  And then, I decided ... Let's see, what happened? I was married. I met a boy. Got married. Had a baby. Then I went back because I was traveling ...My husband at the time actually had a job where he was a regional vice president. He was gone a lot and we had a very small child. I went back to the gas company.

Seth Adler:  Oh, you did?

Dana Wilson:  For a second stint.

Seth Adler:  Because that was easy.

Dana Wilson:  Because it was easy to go back to the [00:13:30] purposes of family.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  I had to balance the work life, right?

Seth Adler:  Right, yes.

Dana Wilson:  But, still maintain a career. That's where, when I returned, I actually really got into Lean Six Sigma. They were going through a business transformation.

Seth Adler:  Perfect.

Dana Wilson:  I was in the first group that got trained ... First group of black belts for the company that got trained. I was the first to finish my project.

Seth Adler:  Of course you were.

Dana Wilson:  Woohoo. And return a $200,000 cost savings back to them, [00:14:00] as well. In that first project.

Seth Adler:  Okay.

Dana Wilson:  That was exciting and fun.

Seth Adler:  And then you realized that that's what you were doing for the rest of the time.

Dana Wilson:  Yes. For the rest of the time.

Seth Adler:  Right?

Dana Wilson:  I totally loved it.

Seth Adler:  Now, how lucky are you that you had to be taken off of the front lines of doing stuff to make sure that you could improve process as you are doing now, right?

Dana Wilson:  Yes. And at the ... Ideally, for my career, I always knew that that's what I wanted to do. I didn't want to be a principal engineer where [00:14:30] I was always this me. But, I knew I wanted to get into management and actually leadership. Finding the way to bridge the technical acumen that I had and also develop leadership skills.

Seth Adler:  200 grad, just quickly. What did we find? What did we do?

Dana Wilson:  It was a logistics project.

Seth Adler:  Okay.

Dana Wilson:  On how we got our tools and equipment out to our field operators to just install gas main. People would literally stand in line. It was [00:15:00] a pure efficiency value chain project.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  Because they are standing in line for X number of minutes a day. Then you have multiple trucks, multiple teams of people just standing in line waiting for materials and tools for the day. We were easily able to get at least 200K just in savings for actually kitting and packaging and loading the trucks the night before with the overnight shift that you had. It's not rocket science, but when you look at it and it's a hundred year old utility [00:15:30] and things were done a certain way, and policies and process and it's unionized.

We had a lot ahead of us to do the behavioral change.

Seth Adler:  How about, it's not rocket science, but it is manually launching a rocket.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  It's that hard to literally push a rocket off the ground.

Dana Wilson:  Yeah.

Seth Adler:  If you're talking about 200 year old utility.

Dana Wilson:  Yeah.

Seth Adler:  This is a boy or girl the child?

Dana Wilson:  That's a girl.

Seth Adler:  That's a girl. Okay. And she was what age when you left the gas company?

Dana Wilson:  When I left [00:16:00] the gas company she was about six ish.

Seth Adler:  So, my niece is six now.

Dana Wilson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Seth Adler:  She is way smarter than me. Also, very interested in a lot of things and really able to hold a conversation. Like, my male friends who are 41.

Dana Wilson:  Right.

Seth Adler:  She can run circles around us.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  Is that what you were dealing with at the time?

Dana Wilson:  That was what [00:16:30] I was dealing with at the time. I also decided, at that time, that I wanted to give back.

Seth Adler:  Okay.

Dana Wilson:  I actually went into a position as an appointed official for the city of Philadelphia under Mayor Nutter his first term.

Seth Adler:  Get out of here.

Dana Wilson:  Its a previous mayor, in his first term.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  Doing process improvement for the city.

Seth Adler:  What was he like to work for?

Dana Wilson:  Great.

Seth Adler:  Okay. And what was the process that we were improving.

Dana Wilson:  A number of city process. [00:17:00] Cycle time. For hire. For fire. Prison. And police.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  The inefficiency around ... Looking at inefficiencies around things like health checks and screenings, and things like that. You literally had to go to our health centers and not go to your primary care doctor and things like that. Policies, process, procedures that can actually save money. That was millions of dollars of savings just in that one project, but there were many more. [00:17:30] In addition to building, I would call it similar to a balance score card, where you actually have a forum.

Philly Stat was what it was called. New York actually had that previous mayor.

Seth Adler:  Bloomberg.

Dana Wilson:  Yeah. You actually evaluate the efficiency and productivity, and also metrics against the city services that are being delivered to it's constituents in a forum.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  It was very public, very [00:18:00] open. Philadelphia adopted the same thing so I worked on that as well.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  It was a great run.

Seth Adler:  Is that why ... I've got family that is in south Jersey and so we are in Philadelphia because of that.

Dana Wilson:  Yeah.

Seth Adler:  I've noticed just a change. How much of what you did there is the change that I'm seeing in the city itself?

Dana Wilson:  It's a lot. In that administration, it was heavily based on performance.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  He ran on a performance platform. You can [00:18:30] run the city like a business. He did that. I think, despite the fact that it's government, it's local government, they have all the same issues as any other city. Actually looking at how you render service, and your constituency is your customer and how you treat your customer was at the core of that administration. I think you're seeing the fruits of that labor.

Seth Adler:  And thank you.

Dana Wilson:  You're welcome.

Seth Adler:  Low hanging and otherwise, as far as the fruit?

Dana Wilson:  Oh, absolutely. [00:19:00] Some of it was a little smoothie.

Seth Adler:  Where ... You gave back. Thanks. Okay, fantastic.

Dana Wilson:  Yep.

Seth Adler:  When did we get back into corporate America?

Dana Wilson:  Then I went back in corporate America via Ex center. I actually worked as a consultant.

Seth Adler:  Of course you did. And you did ... We're not going to talk about that because you probably did that very well and you probably got a lot of promotions.

Dana Wilson:  I actually ... It was just a stint. Not even a year.

Seth Adler:  Oh, that's it?

Dana Wilson:  Then I went to Comcast.

Seth Adler:  Oh, wait a second. I just feel [00:19:30] like you would have been so good as a consultant.

Dana Wilson:  I was so good that Comcast hired me.

Seth Adler:  They're like, no you don't do that anymore. You do this. So, what did they hire you to do?

Dana Wilson:   I worked in Comcast interactive media.

Seth Adler:  Okay, doing?

Dana Wilson:  Doing web, and back then it was our entertainment web and mobile.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  Development. Doing the actual PML. All of the project and roadmap deployment and delivery.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  That's where I started.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). And then?

Dana Wilson:  I got to work on [00:20:00] the London Olympics.

Seth Adler:  Oh you did?

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  Oh.

Dana Wilson:  So, across NBC back then is when we first acquire NBC.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  We had our first Olympics ever for the company and being able to execute a product offering for our customers across all of our properties that we had digitally.

Seth Adler:  I'm listening to your tone and it's not telling me that we went from one size company to a gargantuan, very different size company delivering [00:20:30] very different services than we were delivering before. Why am I hearing that tone of, yeah well, you know it was this little Philadelphia company and then we got gargantuan and then we did the London Olympics. Why are you brushing over this as though it's not a big deal?

Dana Wilson:  Because every business you have the same or similar business problems to solve. Even with scale, it just makes it that more fun.

Seth Adler:  Okay.

Dana Wilson:  But, I think, at it's core it's the work.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  It's [00:21:00] the process. It is the improvements that you're making at scale that are really ... I guess I sound like I'm kind of brushing it over and smoothing it over. I think it's all the same type of problems that I'm solving each time. It's always, maybe it's a new problem, yes it's a different industry, but at it's core its about changing process, changing culture, changing behaviors to have business results.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  I [00:21:30] love it. It's fun. It's what I'm passionate about.

Seth Adler:  Yeah. And I know in process excellence, the brand doesn't matter.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  The scale, your point is, also doesn't matter.

Dana Wilson:  No. It doesn't. Because, if you solve the problem, you apply it, you implement it. It goes to, if it's one customer, one person, to millions.

Seth Adler:  Alright. What do they have you doing now? What are we got going on?

Dana Wilson:  Customer experience.

Seth Adler:  Alright, so now let's talk about this.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  Why does that matter and [00:22:00] why was it ever uncoupled from process excellence? Why are these two things? Aren't they really one thing?

Dana Wilson:  They are really one thing. So, for us, we've done great at innovating. I spent a lot of my seven years, a good portion of it, in our technology and product development group.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  Delivering innovative experiences.

Seth Adler:  Such as? We said the London Olympics, but what else?

Dana Wilson:  Sochi Lids. So, for the first time ever we live stream content from Sochi onto our X1 [00:22:30] Sat Top Box. I was a part of the team that actually delivered that in addition to running the war room operations across our experience as well.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  After that, moved into customer experience.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  With my leader today.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  Same guy I've been with since I was at Comcast and started there. He got appointed to be our chief customer experience officer. In that, it comes full circle because [00:23:00] I owned Process Excellence.

Seth Adler:  Look at that.

Dana Wilson:  We are looking at customer centricity. We were doing that in product development and building products with customers at the core. Now, we are really holistically, as a company, really, really going after changing our experience. We have innovated ... Numbers will say we are top of the market for our X1 product and all the innovation that we've put into that.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  With our voice remote and things like that. However, we also [00:23:30] are innovating on the experience for our customers as well.

Seth Adler:  Without asking you to kind of give away the farm here, as far as what you're working on, focusing back then on the Olympics. What I noticed this last Olympics was that, Olympic coverage ... The whole thing had changed. I feel like I'm maybe not a customer, so I didn't know about the X1 streaming offering. I think most people [00:24:00] that I saw commenting on the delivery, also didn't know that you guys were doing that. How much, as we go into a next Olympics, is this whole thing going to be completely different in your thoughts?

Dana Wilson:  I think it will be even more robust than it has been.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  So, when we first started we had two properties. We had the, you know, the Moap, and we had a website. Now we have this platform that's all IP based that actually you can DVR your recordings. We actually curate [00:24:30] the content. We also now have our voice remote. You can actually use that to get to the things you want to see as quickly as possible. So, all of that is kind of coming together and also in live streaming video as well. Content that isn't even broadcasted.

I think when you couple all of the things that we have, and all the innovations that have occurred, you will see a much bigger push and a lot of people talking about all of the ways you can watch the Olympics.

Seth Adler:  Hmm.

Dana Wilson:  [00:25:00] And get it wherever they are. Whatever platform they want it on.

Seth Adler:  So, we gotcha.

Dana Wilson:  Yep.

Seth Adler:  Dana is like, we've got you covered. Don't worry about it.

Dana Wilson:  We got you covered. Totally got you covered.

Seth Adler:  I feel like we should talk again.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  But, at this point, I want to ask you three final questions.

Dana Wilson:  Sure.

Seth Adler:  I'll tell you want they are, and then I'll ask you them in order. What has most surprised you at work along the way? What has most surprised you in life? And on the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's got to be on there. Which, I kind of can't [00:25:30] wait for. But, first things first, what has most surprised you at work?

Dana Wilson:  I think in a short period of time how our entire company has really galvanized around the customer experience. It's ... You're talking a company that ... Now we're talking scale. We have 80 + thousand employees and each one of the employees that work for us actually knows and embraces the fact that we are here to build a better customer experience [00:26:00] three years in. We've made such great strides in our experience that you know, to move a big ship like that has been amazing.

Seth Adler:  How do you know that it's not just lip service?

Dana Wilson:  Because we've invested.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). I'm saying from them. From the internal stakeholders. How do you know it's not just them kind of ...

Dana Wilson:  No, everybody's presentation is about the customer experience.

Seth Adler:  Got it.

Dana Wilson:  So, this is not lip service. [00:26:30] Investments are being made, but people are talking differently. They are talking process, which when we first started, people thought well maybe we'll use our innovation and leverage tools and technology. But, everyone is saying, where's the process. We need to match this process. I think, for me, hearing people talk differently about attacking the problem. They're being more creative.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  They are going gung ho and to move fast and quickly. I think it's really, [00:27:00] really been surprising, but also invigorating.

Seth Adler:  So, if I'm a CX executive, I should hire a bunch of black belts. That's obvious. Beyond that, how did you kind of move this boulder of a rock from sitting still to rolling?

Dana Wilson:  It's creative problem solving. It's definitely some of the things we talked about earlier. It's year round, building relationships. Understanding the process as it [00:27:30] stands today. Sitting with the people that do it everyday. Plopping myself down next to a call center agent. Riding out on a truck roll with a technician. Understanding what the customer experience is, as well as our employees, which is paramount.

Seth Adler:  Yeah.

Dana Wilson:  Then, being able to document that in a way that's compelling so that others that have functional responsibility to help me move that boulder are also engaged in getting in the movement with me. Really having that level of influence [00:28:00] because I can't own ... I'm not Mr. Roberts and own the entire company.

Seth Adler:  Right.

Dana Wilson:  As important to me.

Seth Adler:  Right. What that hyperbole though? Did you actually go on the truck?

Dana Wilson:  Yeah. Yes. Absolutely. You can't do this work without doing that. You have to be out there. You have to actually experience. Tough the people that tough the people.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dana Wilson:  Right? And actually listen and learn. I don't understand anyone who doesn't do that. You can't do this work well, to me.

Seth Adler:  You can't just [00:28:30] see the truck leave. You've got to be on the truck.

Dana Wilson:  Yeah. You can't just see the metrics. We can sit behind our desks and look at all the metrics and look at all the insights.

Seth Adler:  Sure.

Dana Wilson:  But not really experience what our customers experience, and what our employees experience more importantly.

Seth Adler:  Mm-hmm (affirmative). Cause, if they're happy, the customer is happy.

Dana Wilson:  Pretty much. And also, they need the right tools and the empowerment. You get to see that as well.

Seth Adler:  What's most surprised you in life?

Dana Wilson:  [00:29:00] How quickly things have moved for me. I think that has just been surprising, you know? You think you ... When I sit here and have this conversation with you, and I talk about all of the things that I've done, and places I've worked, and moved here and there from job to job industry to industry.

Seth Adler:  Yes.

Dana Wilson:  I think that's pretty surprising to me because I'm a creature of habit, believe it or not.

Seth Adler:  I don't believe that. That I don't believe.

Dana Wilson:  I like new and exciting things, however, [00:29:30] I like a steady state. My steady state hasn't been quite steady.

Seth Adler:  No, it hasn't. And, I'll tell you, I feel like you have a youthful face. When I was asking about those initial jobs, I was watching your eyes go back trying to find wherever that information was.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  So, it's been a while is what we're saying.

Dana Wilson:  It's been a while.

Seth Adler:  Yes.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  On the soundtrack of your life, one track, one song that's got to be on there?

Dana Wilson:  Oh my goodness.

Seth Adler:  Now, if you know, songs are [00:30:00] rolling ... If you're going through the Rolodex and things come up, let the come out. It doesn't have to be the perfect song. You can certainly list more than one.

Dana Wilson:  I don't know. It's been a while. One that pops in my mind, I think because you know actually being a minority and actually being a woman, I think one of the songs that I do listen to is To Be Young, Gifted, [00:30:30] and Black. That's originally by Nina Simone, but then by Donny Hathaway. I think that one is the first one that pops to my head. Given our current environment, not to be political but, I think that one would be definitely one of the tracks in my theme song.

Seth Adler:  That's an amazing song. Nina Simone is ridiculous.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  As far as emotion. She's got such a deep [00:31:00] voice.

Dana Wilson:  Yes she does.

Seth Adler:  You would think to yourself, with that deep voice, she's not going to be able to explain to you the emotions that she is experiencing.

Dana Wilson:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Seth Adler:  That is certainly not the case. It is unbelievable how she's able to emote through that very, very deep voice.

Dana Wilson:  Yes.

Seth Adler:  She's a fascinating artist.

Dana Wilson:  She totally is, and one of my favorites.

Seth Adler:  Dana, this is a pleasure.

Dana Wilson:  Thank you. It's a pleasure.

Seth Adler:  And there you have Dana Wilson. At it's core it's changing process, changing culture, changing behavior [00:31:30] for business results. And, we're innovating on the experience for our customers. Very much appreciate Dana Wilson and her time. Very much appreciate you and yours. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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Posted: 12/04/2017