Pathways to Customer Centricity

cus-centric-1In a recent article, How IBM, Intuit, and Rich Products Became More Customer Centric, published by Harvard Business Review, Brad Power and Steve Stanton share their research into different pathways companies are taking to become more customer centric.

“…wanting to be closer with customers, and knowing what actual, operational pathways to take in order to achieve this are two very different things.”

IBM “assembled teams for each product or service that combined designers with engineers and created a new development process.” IBM “came up with a hybrid method for product development that combined elements” of both Continuous Delivery and Design Thinking.

Rich Products replaced their “old, functional “silo-based” process, [where] a marketing person with a new customer opportunity would contact his or her favorite R&D associate, the regulatory and quality assurance departments, packaging, and the plant. This ad hoc, sequential approach was replaced by a cross-functional team, which simultaneously accelerated its time to market and created a much more “intimate” relationship between Rich’s associates and its customers.”

Using the principles of Deep Customer Empathy, Go Broad to Go Narrow and Rapid Experiments with Customers, “Intuit began driving design thinking deep into its culture and operations. To do this they trained and deployed a cadre of 200 Innovation Catalysts who were embedded into the business units, created and held a large number of immersive experiential workshops, and added design thinking into their leadership training programs.”

The full article is well worth a read.

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