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The P.A.I.I model

The key to becoming truly people-focused and outperforming your industry.

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Recently we’ve worked with.

The challenges facing boards, CEOs, and Executive teams across all industries are remarkably similar:

1 / Their market is more competitive than ever

2 / They're facing increasing pressure on company culture, from above and below

3 / There's constant demand for immediate results

However, people-focused companies are consistently able to overcome these challenges and:

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1 / Attract the right customers

2 / Attract the best talent

3 / Out perform their industry

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Companies that outperform their competition in any industry share four critical characteristics – we call this the P.A.I.I Model.



Have a clear Purpose that provides a compelling bigger picture story for people to connect with

Having a clear purpose beyond profit is more important than ever. A recent global study by Zeno Group found that customers were 4x more likely to buy from a company, and 4.5x more likely to recommend it if they felt it had a strong purpose.

This is even more pronounced in millennials. Similarly, millennial employees have been found to be over 5x more likely to stay at a company, if they feel connected to its purpose. It’s not surprising then, that Deloitte found Purpose-driven companies to outperform their competitors by more than 3x.

More likely to buy from
More likely to recommend
More likely to remain working at
Higher market share gains and growth

We believe a purpose should be clarified, not created. It often exists within a company, and requires engagement with stakeholders throughout, before careful refinement and articulation of the purpose statements. This process requires a framework to provide a common language for all involved, as well as structure for synthesis of contributions and creation of a shareable asset.

Oraganisational Function
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We believe in...
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So we aspire to a future where...
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To get there, we will...
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And we agree that along the way we will...
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Download the Ne-Lo Purpose
Framework ebook

Download ebook


Have aligned priorities, clear roles, and defined targets across the company

The topic of Executive Alignment is often talked about in the context of transformation programs or change efforts. However, in a business landscape where change is happening faster than ever (read, constantly), alignment also must be a constant.

In our experience, we have found that it’s critical for companies to have both; horizontal alignment - the leaders of each department or business unit need to be clear on its impact on customers, employees, and other stakeholders, and vertical alignment - employees, from executive team to front line need to understand how their role impacts customer experience and employee experience, whether they directly interact with them or not.

We believe that the foundations of creating alignment is establishing a shared cross-departmental system for goal setting, accountability and investment of time and resources across departments.

Shared goals

Organisation-wide EX and CX metrics and targets
Employee Experience
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Customer Experience

Shared investment

Investnment of time and resources from all areas of the business towards improvement of CX and EX

Shared accountability

Collective accountability for hitting those targets

Shared goals

Organisation-wide EX and CX metrics and targets


Establish methods for regularly gaining the perspective of customers and employees

Our advice is simple - discover what matters most to those who matter most to your company. This obviously requires identifying who, in fact, matters most to your company; who is your ideal customer? Who is the ideal type of person to work here? Then finding a way of gaining their perspective on a regular basis.

A traditional approach to customer and employee research tends to give a view of good or bad over a number of items, based on whatever likert scale is deployed. We recommend going deeper than that, to understand two things; first - how aligned is the experience to how you want to be perceived (your Purpose)? and two - how impactful is the experience? There are many ways to gather this information, from primary research with customers and/or employees, to human-centred design workshops. However you go about it, it is valuable to be able to map your company’s experience across those two axes.

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Traditional experience map

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Diagram B

Ne-Lo experience map

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Alignment to Purpose


Develop a structured process for turning insights into Customer Experience and Employee Experience strategy, and implementing across the business

Knowing what matters most to focus on is only part of the challenge - to become truly people-focused also requires developing and implementing a successful strategy to act upon it. In our experience, some insights never inform strategy, some do but never drive change that impacts results, and others have initial impact which then fades. Effective, sustained implementation is hard. We find that the following principles continue to hold true even in the face of an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous business landscape:

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Implementation of the people-focus strategy needs full commitment from the business. This requires incorporating initiatives into KPIs and incentive programs, and investing in the resources and attention required for success.

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When developing the people strategy, engage the key stakeholders who will be involved in implementation. Including them in the strategic planning process will not only make the strategy itself more considered and relevant, it will also build buy-in from those who are being asked to deliver on it.

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A clear metric and target for success should be articulated and connected to the insight or focus area that the initiative is targeting. In order to maintain momentum and motivation, this overall target should be broken down into smaller chunks, each with their own metrics and targets that are aligned to the overall goal. For a multi-year initiative, this can mean breaking the goal into annual, quarterly, and monthly measures. For a shorter initiative, it could mean chunking to a monthly, weekly, and even daily level.

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Communication between the various people and teams involved in the initiative, and communication between the project teams and the rest of the business are both critical. In both cases, we find that any effective communication requires both the necessary channels, and the necessary psychological safety for all parties to share ideas, concerns, and new information.

Not sure where to start?

Take our people-focus diagnostic and get a custom report that will focus your efforts. In just 5 minutes, it benchmarks your company against the 4 characteristics of people-focused companies.
This diagnostic has been developed to support CEOs and Execs to become highly focused on what matters most to those who matter most to them, with actionable steps on how to improve.
5 min diagnostic

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