Transformation: Walking the Walk at AmerisourceBergen

As we approached Philly Tech Week, I found myself trying to decide which version of the song “Walk This Way” I preferred: Aerosmith or Run DMC? Our Introduced session focused on driving meaningful business transformation through human-centered design and featured our partner, Devetta James, SVP of Customer Operations at AmerisourceBergen. Devetta led a foundational shift within the organization by “walking the walk,” and so the song was locked in my brain. A #walkthewalk expert, she wholeheartedly convinced me that the answer was simple – Run DMC – and she then told us “how to walk this way.”

Profitable Transformation Using a Human-Centered Approach

Devetta is a truly transformational leader for her business and her industry, and she is continually rethinking and redefining integrated service and support for AmerisourceBergen’s customers and employees.

As a long-standing strategy and delivery partner of AmerisourceBergen, Navigate has been shoulder-to-shoulder with the Customer Operations Team, defining and launching programs and services that are transforming how customers and employees experience the business, and driving improved financial performance through faster revenue recognition and increased member retention.

Transformation at AmerisourceBergen

A few actionable takeaways from our discussion included:

– Change minds THEN change behaviors – The status quo won’t work, yet many people default to the status quo. To have success in driving digital and business transformation, you must first appeal to your people’s hearts and minds. If they understand and believe in the vision for change, they will be active, engaged participants in the transformation journey.
– Define customer experience (CX) for your organization
 – You must invest in the development of a common language that everyone can speak. If you poll 100 people on the meaning of CX, you will likely get 100 different answers. When you create anchors that all people and functions can relate to, you have a better chance of changing the expectations of your brand, products, people, and services.
– Listen, listen, listen, act
 – Always put the customer first, knowing that it might fly in the face of historic standards or expectations of others in the firm. Remove your own assumptions or biases by learning effective interview and empathy techniques that better elevate the voice of the customer and clearly articulate their needs. This will yield more meaningful and valuable outcomes for the people that rely on your brand.
– Leadership through change is tough
 – You have to get out of the four walls of your organization. It is important to think bigger than your own company and industry to find new, creative, breakthrough solutions to the biggest challenges that you want to address.
– Storytelling is key
 – Transformation can be tough for people to understand. Find new ways to elevate the story of your transformation, as well as the impact and value being driven from these efforts. Change can be difficult, but creative storytelling can help to drive understanding, engagement, and advocacy for individuals and teams, alike.

Throughout the course of the session, I was energized by Devetta’s passion, vision, and leadership. Although transformation is not always simple, it can have significant operational and financial impacts to your brand and business when you put your customers and employees first. If you are talking the talk and want to #walkthewalk to true transformation that drives exceptional customer and employee experiences, get in touch.

Kip Wetzel, Principal 

Kip Wetzel



Change Management Done Right
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