The Wave

The Wave

Notes, observations and findings exploring the intersection of customer experience, behavioral science, and servant leadership, and how they contribute to personal and business value. We delve into the challenges posed by a V.U.C.A. (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world and rapid technological advancements. Our focus is on harnessing the potential of both employees and customers to achieve concrete business outcomes.


The Experience of Scarcity: creating urgency and exclusivity

A couple of weeks ago one of my neighbors bought a brand new car - Kia Stinger. As is customary with guys I congratulated him on the new acquisition and exchanged a few words about the car. It was a very brief conversation as we were just coming home with the two kids. What was [...]

Starbucks meta nft

Perspectives on the Starbucks beta-experience with Web3 and NFTs

Starbucks closed its Odyssey beta platform— a pioneering NFT-based rewards program, on March 31, 2024.  Odyssey was launched as an innovative extension of the traditional Starbucks Rewards in to the dynamic Web3 space. It promised unique experiences and rewards, such as NFT stamps and exclusive tours, emphasizing deeper engagement and community building.  However, its conclusion [...]

Scop3 indirect

Sustainability Scope 3 – an opportunity for CX

CX professionals and sustainability experts should work together to improve the focus on Scope 3 emissions of their products and services. Scope 3 emissions are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by the business, but that the business indirectly affects in its value chain. But Scope 3 emissions are a contested [...]

cover systems

Rational vs Intuitive Systems: Which system are your customers using?

Think about the times you’ve been “of two minds” about something, whether it was about having a cake for dessert when you said to yourself that you’ll go on a diet or your gut was telling you not to trust that sales agent but the offer seemed of really good value? In all these cases [...]

purpose (1)

Purpose, Values and Employee Engagement

How does a business ensure that its people  are happy and willing to make that sacrifice for the greater good of the business?  It helps and perhaps is even necessary that they all share a common purpose. John Kotter and James Heskett, “Corporate Culture and Performance“, found that companies operating with a shared sense of [...]

Why do people hate losing much more than they like winning

Winning by Losing: Loss Aversion and the Endowment Effect

People hate losing much more than they like to win and like to keep to what they already have. Learn how to use these. Imagine that you are a sales agent selling home insulation. You can talk to people about the benefits of insulation and that they can save 50 cents a day by insulating [...]

H2O team main photo small winner

Human2outcome: “Educational Services Company of the Year” by Entrepreneur Magazine Middle East

Human2outcome (H2O) has been recognised as the "Educational Services Company of the Year" by Entrepreneur Magazine Middle East!  See it here. Why This Matters: This award is a testament to our unique approach in transforming mindsets, behaviors and journeys, essential for successful corporate transformation. Our philosophy at H2O is straightforward yet impactful: ·       Enlighten, Engage, Educate, [...]


Human2outcome has 3 Independent Advisors of NPSx by Bain & Co.

Human2outcome now has 3 authorized Independent Advisors of NPSx℠, by Bain & Company: Jihane Tehini, Kuldeep Chouhan and Qaalfa Dibeehi.  They are also now official Bain Certified CX and NPS Practitioners (CCX). NPSx℠ has world-class tools, technologies, and training bringing together the best of Bain's customer-first thinking, packaged in a simple and accessible way. These [...]

sustain (1)

The Sustainability Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Are we experiencing sustainability as a revolution?  In his book “Revolutions: a very short introduction”, Jack Goldstone points out that revolutions arise from a combination of structural and transient factors. Structural causes represent enduring, overarching trends that gradually weaken established social institutions and relationships over the long term. In contrast, transient causes involve specific events [...]


Deepfakes and Synthetic Media: the need to understand how we interpret our new reality

In the famous intro to the 1960s TV show, Twilight Zone, Rod Serling says “You are about to enter another dimension. A dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop—The Twilight Zone."   We have entered the twilight zone via the possibilities of AI.  [...]


Sustainable experience design: linking values & fashion

Sustainability encompasses both institutional responsibilities and personal choices, intertwining to shape a more eco-conscious society. The importance of individual actions in driving broader societal change cannot be overstated. This principle is evident in various aspects of our lives, including the fashion industry, which serves as a powerful lens through which to examine the interplay between [...]


Unveiling the Power of Behavior Science: Why You Should Dive into its Principles

As a freshman at university, one of my favorite classes was microeconomics. To this date, I remember learning about the price elasticity of demand. The basic premise is that if you decrease the price you increase the demand and vice versa. It makes perfect logical sense and it works … sometimes. Then, some 15 years [...]

firing cust

Firing Customers? Yes!

The concept of firing a customer for the right reasons is not new.  Fred Reichheld, Bain fellow and  creator of the Net Promoter System, suggested that firing customers would be the big CX idea of 2015.   Companies have little trouble firing customers who engage in criminal activity against the company.  However, the waters become murky [...]

digi butterfly

Moving to Net Zero: Lessons from digital transformation

Digital Transformation has taught me an important lesson for approaching the new challenge at the intersection of digital and net-zero. A critical aspect of navigating any transformation involves making strategic decisions about your organization's direction. What's your move? Do you stick with your core business, branch out into new territories, or go big and transform [...]


The Importance of Influence for CX Leaders

CX Leaders often have a leadership challenge.   They are asked to make widespread impact on an organisation noticeable by its customers in a way that drives increased short term ROI and lifetime value.  However,  most often they do not given the authority to match the accountability.  As a result, influence is the main mechanism for [...]

pb innovate

AI can help innovation in financial services

There's an elephant in the bank's vault, and it's not asking for a loan! It's our rather 'quaint' approach to innovation - or lack thereof. In the Financial Services Industry (FSI), genuine foresight and creativity are exceedingly rare. Misusing Generative AI can exacerbate this. As it is becoming increasingly clear, the abuse of AI without [...]

biz mic (1)

Business Mic Podcast w/ Qaalfa Dibeehi: CX, sustainability and technology

As part of the Business Mic podcast, Daudi Mugabi spoke with Qaalfa Dibeehi, former Dean of the Majid Al Futtaim Leadership Institute and member of the Board of Directors the  Customer Institute and current Partner at Human2outcome, which was recently recognized as the "Educational Services Company of the Year" by Entrepreneur Middle East. Qaalfa emphasized the significance [...]


Leader as coach

"Leadership is about being lonely". This is what a CEO once told me. Unlike less individualistic cultures like Asia, this Wagnerian ideology of the leader alone at the helm of an organization is so entrenched in the Western command-and-control corporate culture. A leader should reflect this in their mindset showing endurance and self determination in [...]

CI badge 2 (1)

Customer Institute: a CX organisation that gives back

The Customer Institute is a not-for-profit, global organization whose mission is to be the go-to source for B2B, B2C, and public-sector organizations to excel through customer centricity. The Customer Institute searches, develops, and promotes best practices to prove the value of customer centricity to help organizations expedite corporate growth. Its leadership includes some of the best thought leaders, [...]


Innovation should start from the customer (case in point)

We owe it to Marvin Bower (former longtime Managing Director of McKinsey & Co.).  Things seemed to change in management consulting (McKinsey in particular) after his leadership.  Strategic consultancies stopped hiring seasoned executives with long-lasting careers in different industries, and started sourcing talents among the best graduates from STEM universities and MBAs. In the early [...]

customer time

Treasure customer time

This principle is at the core of any sustainable experience. This applies to all industries from transportation to financial services to retail or government for that matter. Regardless of whether you are serving an end customer or an employee, their time matters more than their money. Treasuring customer time is a way to start with [...]


GITEX 2023 Dubai – last day thoughts

It's the last day of GITEX here in Dubai, one of the largest tech trade shows in the world. Of course, it's humongous and too much to take in at one go. You get exposed to a lot, some not so interesting, some pushing the envelope a bit too far. All of the big players [...]

Carrot reward stick

Forget the carrot and the stick. Think onion

In the last few years, new organizational models emerged to cope with a business environment that has become increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Geopolitical seismic shifts, technology, regulatory, and new customer and employee behaviour and expectations are the main theme of change. Led by some of the big techs like Amazon and Netflix, this change [...]

CEM Africa QD stage (1)

AI and CX transformation and leadership in Africa (CEM Africa Conference)

A meaty panel discussion on how AI will/ should impact CX in Africa.  This is worth a listen if you are interested in hearing an African orientation on CX and AI. The panel discussion is with: Anton De Wet, Chief Client Officer, Nedbank Qaalfa Dibeehi, Partner, Human2outcome Simon Broadbent, SVP, NICE EMEA Helen Bywater-Smith, Head [...]

AI Nice webinar2

3 Ways AI and Humans Can Create Better Customer Experience (Webinar)

Like it or not, we are all now living in the world of AI. Generative AI and its related machine learning capabilities are here to stay. Contact centers are already applying the power of AI to transform how they deliver customer experiences via data driven CX that enables seamless, personalized, and often predictive levels of [...]

cx design thinking banking

Sustainability, Design Thinking and Customer Experience in Banking: Challenging

When I joined a bank in Dubai in 2018, I actually thought to get a Smart for my commute. Many colleagues frowned in disappointment, suggesting instead I bought a car that reflected my (little) status in the bank’s leadership. They were right: my peers had Porsches, Mercedes, or full-size desert friendly SUVs like Mitsubishi’s Pajero. [...]

life meaning

Human Doing vs Human Being: Finding Meaning and Balance in Life

Have you ever experienced a moment that shook you to your core and made you question the meaning of life? I certainly have. In 2008, while driving my children home, I suddenly felt heart palpitations, chest pains, and struggled to breathe. For a few terrifying moments, I believed my life was coming to an end. [...]

PB innovation bad ideas

Innovation, bad ideas and behavioral economics

Life is too short for bad ideas.  But why do we hang onto them? If you work in the innovation space you have two main problems. First, how do you generate new ideas with the requisite variety that will allow innovation to surface? Or to put it differently, how do you diverge from your usual [...]


Empathy Unmasked: Exploring Empathy’s Three Dimensions

Empathy plays a crucial role in establishing deep and meaningful connections with others. This is true for both your personal and business life. It is therefore no wonder that in leadership programs, the development of this skill is being emphasized and even seen as fundamental for effective leadership. Around empathy a common mistake is often [...]

7 mindsets mirror

Seven Mindsets to Awaken Your Innate State of Aliveness (free guidebook)

Too often we try and achieve happiness thinking that it is the key to everything in life. But this isn’t what we should be striving towards. Happiness can be transient and quickly upturned when something we perceive as negative occurs in our lives. There are things we think we want in life, but when we [...]

ZD Tui Webinar

Webinar with Frans Leenaars, CMO, TUI on the Science and Heart of Customer Connections

Zhecho Dobrev of Human2outcome will be talking with Frans Leenaars, CMO,  TUI (the about the Science and Heart of Customer Connections. Tui has long worked on improving their CX to achieve a  high level of emotional engagement with their customers. So this should prove an interesting exchange of ideas between the C-level practitioner and the [...]

QD CEM africa cover

CX in Africa (CEM Africa)

Qaalfa Dibeehi talks about AI, influence, and empathy in CX at CEM Africa 2023 in Cape Town. (short video)

DACH judge

DACH Customer Excellence Awards & Summit 2023

Our global tentacles in CX... we are judging the German CX standard at the DACH Customer Excellence Awards & Summit  which will take place on October 13, 2023 in Wiesbaden. Companies present their initiatives in a congress-like setting in Wiesbaden the the DACH region's leading CX professionals network. Feiern Sie mit uns Ihre Kundenerlebnisinitiativen. Der [...]

Jihane judge club 0923

CX culture through CX stories – how to celebrate CX champions (webinar)

What is a CX culture, what does it mean to be truly customer-centric? How do you usually recognize frontlines? Join Jihane Srour - Tehini (Thu, Sept 28 @6pm GST) for an insightful discussion full of practical tips on how to celebrate CX champions through powerful, memorable CX stories that boost employee experience and impact the overall [...]

dare to unlead dubai live session 0923

Dare to Un-Lead: An authors’ leadership conversation (Sept 23 in Dubai)

If you are in #Dubai on Sept. 23, join Qaalfa Dibeehi and Céline Schillinger for a stimulating in-person conversation around #leadership...   and un-leadership, of course! Qaalfa is a Partner with Human2Outcome, a firm dedicated to leadership transformation. He is a former Dean of the Customer Experience Leadership Institute at Majid Al Futtaim.  He is also [...]

Z italian interview poster 0923

AdvMediaLAb (Italy) interview of Zhecho Dobrev on the “The Big Miss”

We are active globally...   The interview is in English. See below   Le persone non dicono quello che pensano, non sanno quello che pensano e soprattutto non fanno quello che dicono: punto. Si parte da qui, con questo libro di Zhecho Dobrev, e ci si tuffa nel grande omissis delle strategie (di marketing, di CRM, di [...]

puzzle Ashraf pexels-diva-plavalaguna-6147363

Customer eXperience… the subtlest wild creature there is!

During the past decades, I've repeatedly seen businesses that deteriorate, while management is enjoying a nice view on slides of their super satisfaction scores! Want an example?, I'm sure you'll find one or two, in your memory; brands that you recently stopped doing business with, or decreased your spend at, even if you looked satisfied, [...]

Collaborate M pexels-christina-morillo-1181472 (1)

Is it time to rethink the way you collaborate, engage and reward?

Are your ways of working outdated? We regularly measure and monitor performance of individuals and teams through scorecards and dashboards. At the end of a project, the team schedules a debrief, or in agile, a retrospective meeting. The team usually asks questions like, what worked, what didn’t work and what can be done differently next [...]

skip meeting wave

The positive impact of “skip meetings” on company culture

Horrible bosses' power tactic: Place the webcam so low from their faces to seem like a large shadow haunting the employees. Sadly, I witnessed this in the past. And I had to live with that boss breathing down our necks and making employees feel like nothing. It’s not to me to say whether he transformed [...]

Kurly 5 reasons trust

5 Reasons Your Team Doesn’t Trust You

It takes a lot to build trust. In preparation for my birthday, my husband searched for hotels and other places we could consider for our family’s celebration. He carefully read through their websites and checked online forums for reviews of other customers. He wanted to make sure that we spend our time and money wisely. [...]

2023 CX strategy checklist

2023 CX strategy checklist: Seven priorities for your CX plan

Many of us are happy to see the back of 2022. But are you ready to deal with the scars that the aftermath of the pandemic, the disrupted logistic lines, the ongoing war, and the cost of living crisis have left on customers? Are you ready to face the challenges of 2023 and the transition [...]

Innovation never sleeps

Innovation Never Sleeps

As an innovation expert, I once had a conversation with a Human Resources professional about the typical profile considered for innovation roles in his organization. Amazon has established a unique approach to identifying top innovation talent through its 'bar raiser', which removes bias from the hiring process and screens candidates with strong hard skills against [...]

The biggest Miss cover pic

The Biggest Miss on Business Radars

Hands up, if you think relationships are essential in business? A forest of hands go up in the air every time this question is asked. But exactly how important are relationships when you compare them to product quality, price, ease of use, customer service, digital self-service capabilities, and so on? I conducted a several-month-long research [...]

4 Mindset Shifts to Make You a Better Leader

4 Mindset Shifts to Make You a Better Leader

Being a leader is hard. More than a decade ago, at a very young age, I became a manager. I was used to getting great results as an individual contributor, by myself, through my own good work. So when I became a manager it was a major struggle for me, a Type A employee, to [...]

Can banks innovate like amazon cover pic

Can banks innovate like Amazon?

Many grand old companies are facing growing uncertainty because of changing demand and new technology. Some felt that this can be solved by becoming more efficient in the way they deliver and reducing the risk of not meeting delivery targets in time and quality. That explains why agile has turned into a popular way of [...]

AI & emotions as connectors 1 of 3

AI; emotions as the connectors between us and the AI engines (1/3)

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” Deming Since its beginnings in the 1950s, artificial intelligence has been a favourite matter of scientific discipline literature. Yet today, AI has entered the region of fact: several studies underline that intelligent machines will change the way we work, we move and even how wars [...]

Ai & emotion 3 of 3

AI; emotions as the connectors between us and the AI engines (2/3)

AI tries to be something completely different from what we have experienced until today. Larry Page, the CEO of Alphabet, the mother company of Google, said some weeks ago that “Artificial intelligence will be the ultimate version of Google. The ultimate search engine that will understand everything on the web. It will understand exactly what [...]

AI; emotions as the connectors between us and the AI engines (3/3)

AI; emotions as the connectors between us and the AI engines (3/3)

One of the most important eras where personalisation is about to be redefined is fashion. There’s been a significant move and effort from companies like Amazon to understand how fashion is developed in the world,” Kavita Bala, a professor at Cornell said. Yet Amazon appears to be pushing that algorithmic approach even further. For example, [...]

Let’s have a conversation…