The previous three articles in this four part theme we reviewed ‘Understand and applying Process diagnostics‘, the ‘Successful Customer Outcome‘ and ‘Reframing Process for an Outside-In world‘. Now finally we move our attention to the fourth way we can rethink process forever.
Rethinking the Business you are in.
In the Southwest airlines example reviewed earlier we referred to the different viewpoints of the ‘business’ you are in. The two views – one the organisations, regarded as inside-out reflect the activities and functions undertaken. So British Airways see themselves in the business of flying airplanes and approach the customer with that product/service in mind. They set about marketing and selling the flights and hope to pull the customers to the product through pricing, availability and placement. In a slowly changing world where customers have little choice this strategy can provide a route to success.
As we have already seen the tables have turned and the enlightened customer demands so much more.
Southwest and other Outside-In companies understand this challenge and take a customer viewpoint.
What business would you say these six companies are in: Hallmark Cards, Disney, Zara, AOL, OTIS elevators, China Mobile? Try it from the customers perspective and you’ll arrive at a very different answer – try these, expression, joy, style and comfort, community, moving people, connectivity. Yes they are very different and will reframe the way you think of the service and products you provide. Go further and look inside your existing company.
Are you still separated into functional specialist areas providing specific outputs to other departments in the so called ‘value chain’? Do you have internal ‘service level agreements’ that specify what you’ll deliver and when? How much of our internal interaction adds ultimate value for the customer? This way of organising work imposes limitations on our ability to truly deliver successful customer outcomes. The Inside-out viewpoint is inefficient, prone to red tape, is extremely risk adverse (checkers checking checkers) and slow in delivering product and service.
Many inside-out organisations actually regard customers as an inconvenience rather than the reason why they exist.
What business are you in? Past, present, future?