When it’s time to reinvent yourself, how do you make sure your employees are along for the ride?


One of Canada’s most beloved and most awarded financial institutions was ready for a change. Never ones to leave good enough alone, they realized that their industry’s future wasn’t flashier marketing or more financial products, but a better customer experience. They already had the pieces and parts of a new customer experience (CX) strategy, drawing on lessons from innovators in other fields like Amazon, Zappos, and Google. But getting the whole company on board needed a major clarification and communication effort.

XPLANE began with a deep review of the new strategy, followed by an in-person workshop with leadership. Based on this, the team went to work visually explaining the CX strategy, first through a print map outlining key principles and shifts, and then a three-minute animation shown at an all-company event. The client saw themselves evolving from a simple background utility to an active financial catalyst; the map and animation explained exactly what that would look like.

Reaction was swift and positive. The client’s collaborative culture had primed them for this sort of change. By communicating it clearly and enthusiastically, the client  earned strong buy-in early in the process, letting them focus on implementation rather than a long slog of consensus-seeking. The map proved so popular that the XPLANE team had it made into a large scale woodcut, which hangs in the client’s headquarters to this day.

Over the following months, the XPLANE team turned to activating the strategy, first by mapping out a detailed gap assessment to show where the organization needed to align, and then holding a multi-day ideation workshop with key stakeholders to come up with specific implementation tools. To test out this new vision of the experience, XPLANE and a team of executives ran a series of customer workshops with 17 key clients to verify many ideas and fine-tune others. The final result was a detailed roadmap for implementation that continues to guide the client’s efforts to this day.