about the book

SHIFT ­- Transform motion into progress in business

Almost every business today is trying to deliver the best and most inclusive customer experience for their customers because it is seen as being a source of sustainable competitive advantage for the businesses that can achieve it. However, every business approaches this in a different way, and very few achieve the optimum results from their investments. They do a lot of things, motion, but they don’t maximise the effect of that action and so fail to turn it into progress.

The real reason that businesses want to deliver an excellent customer experience is to differentiate their business from the competition and drive long term customer engagement. When you measure your actions through the eyes of the technology and other investments the business makes, all you can measure are small outcomes. When you measure it through the eyes of the customer, and the measures that matter to customers are improving, that is real Progress towards these business goals. Action will have translated into progress.

This book will help you make the right business decisions for customer experience and deliver progress as a result.

Excerpt of the book.
Helping business decisions for customer experience.

Picture a child sitting on a rocking horse. They are laughing as they sway back and forth. Maybe they are pushing the rocking horse to go faster, encouraging it by shouting phrases like, “Giddy up!” As you watch the child enjoying their ride on the rocking horse you smile. They are safe, they are happy and you know that regardless of what their imagination is telling them, they are going nowhere (in the physical sense). You leave them to their game, confident that you won’t look out of the window to see them galloping across the garden on their rocking horse in half an hour.

You would certainly think it odd if you walked into a boardroom to see the CEO, CMO, CTO or any of the other directors sitting on a rocking horse. However, all too often businesses have boardrooms filled with metaphorical rocking horses, they just don’t realise it. They don’t distinguish between motion and progress, or know how to turn the motion they are generating into progress, and therein lies the greatest challenge to becoming an adaptive organisation.
Charting progress in a modern business world
The business world today, especially after black swan events like the 2008 financial crisis or the global Covid-19 pandemic, is characterised by an increasingly big number of known unknowns. It seems clear that the past is probably no longer a safe basis for predicting the future and much of what we have learned and been taught may well have limited relevance to our future decision making.

The competition feels like it can come from anywhere, and time is definitely no longer on your side. As Rupert Murdoch said (in 1999!), “The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.”

To not only survive, but to thrive in the new world is a constant challenge that requires businesses to fast become the masters of many things. Agility (speed) and adaptability (ability to change) have become strategic differentiators, giving those businesses that can rapidly adapt and build a muscle to respond to change a massive advantage by making faster and smarter business decisions for customer experience.

Planned Reading Events

Scroll up Drag View


Register your interest to get exclusive content around Shift and how to transform motion into progress in business. This will include videos, podcasts, blogs and white papers from us and our partners.

    I agree to the Merkle US or EMEA privacy policies as appropriate*

    Rich’s take on Az

    Az is from that rare group of people who excel at everything they do, accumulating learnings and experiences along the way, making him one of the most engaging storytellers I have had the pleasure of working with. He has an insatiable curiosity, fuelling a unique ability to balance art and science, and on top of all of this, still be a family man, putting the people in his life first.
    “Dreams are born in our heads, but they are forged in the fire of experience” – Carol Tice
    We have combined our respective strengths on this project, and given Az the freedom to use his superpower – simplifying the complex, which in trying to synthesise ideas and content across such a multifaceted topic has been essential.
    One of my favourite quotes has always been “it’s never crowded on the extra mile” and I have found through this process that Az lives right out there! Never was a hurdle too high, or a time Az wasn’t totally focused on our goal.
    “Together” would be my simple summary of what the journey has been like. We have learned and grown through what has been a fun and fulfilling process, and I hope this is only the first edition!


    Growing up in South Africa and moving to the UK, Rich had a diverse lifestyle which started as a curious young boy who would burn leaves through a magnifying glass at school, to learning discipline and structure through his mandatory service in the army, through to having his supportive family around him today. All of which contribute to the way that Rich thinks, acts and draws on his experiences.
    Rich has some unique talents including an amazing ability to draw (and write) upside down whilst simultaneously explaining something, but I’ve had visibility of his superpower in full flight through our time working on “Shift”: his brain. It works like lightning in a bottle; one spark can set off a series of thoughts that are processed at the speed of light. It’s incredible to watch.
    If I were to reference our pyramid approach in this book and try to describe Rich in three words, they would be (super) smart, humble and empathetic. Individually they are all great traits, but pulling them together, I can only describe as the intersection of genius; and Rich, in my view, is one of the best thought leaders in our industry with an unparalleled passion for helping businesses to turn motion into progress.
    At a time when everyone has had their fair share of ups and downs, writing “Shift” has been one of my favourite memories, and I’ve genuinely enjoyed and feel incredibly honoured to have worked with Rich on this book.