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Making Customers the Focus of Your Company and its Culture

Shep Hyken interviews Karen Jaw-Madson. They discuss her company, Design for Work Experience; her book, Culture Your Culture; and the most effective work cultures for customer service.

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The Interview with Karen Jaw-Madson:

  • Karen’s book, Culture Your Culture, is intended as a step-by-step how-to guide for organizations looking to design, customize, and sustain their company culture.
  • It’s important to plan your culture with intention rather than letting it happen by accident. Customization also needs to happen instead of copying what other companies have done; culture is nothing without contextual framework. Culture must be intentional and relevant to its intended context.
  • Companies must do three things to hone their culture. First, they must practice organizational mindfulness—i.e., pay honest attention to what’s in front of them at all points of the process. They must have a willingness to follow through on processes. Finally, and most importantly, they must actually change.
  • Changes need to be implemented consistently for companies to get “good”. Organizations need to commit to ongoing behaviors, mindsets, and processes in order to see results.
  • Organizational leaders must demonstrate the changes they wish to see implemented. Culture starts at the top and is felt throughout the whole company and then by the customers.
  • Treat customers as a part of the company, an internal force. The best customer service cultures are flexible, people-centered, and consistent. Remember: we’re all
  • Think about your company’s top goal and priority for culture, and imagine potential consequences if nothing were to change in one year’s time. Let that drive your commitment to change and develop your company-wide culture.


“Don’t allow your culture to be a potential liability as opposed to a differentiating asset” – Karen Jaw-Madson

“To the leaders: how do you expect employees to get behind what you’re trying to do if you’re not modeling it yourself?” – Karen Jaw-Madson

“Give your customers a seat at the table and treat them as an important component of the process. Go to where they are and embed yourself in their daily lives.” – Karen Jaw-Madson

“See customers as co-designers of the mission of your company.” – Karen Jaw-Madson


Karen Jaw-Madson is an organizational expert and versatile leader across multiple fields. She is principal of Co.-Design of Work Experience and the author of Culture Your Culture: Innovating Experiences at Work.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:

  1. How can I turn a repeat customer into a loyal customer?
  2. How can I earn my customers’ loyalty?
  3. How can I change my company’s culture?
  4. How is the employee experience related to the customer experience?


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