From the desk of James Dodkins
We can probably reasonably observe, without fear of understatement, that the
customer has changed forever. The reason our organisations exist, the people
who pay our wages, the cause of all the work we do has evolved beyond
And yet has your organisation changed in response to this evolution?
Do we do our work in a different way from the last century?
Is work still flowing top to bottom and left to right?
Are we thinking about how our processes connect with customer success?
In the BP Groups research and experience with the leading companies of the
21st century the answer is … YES, some in fact do understand and act on
this new imperative. However the majority, including some previously
prestigious names are not getting it. Look at the troubles of Nokia, Kodak,
Sony, British Airways, Air India, United… the list is extensive and
For our examples of successful transformation and realignment we can include
Emirates, Zappos, Zara, Apple, Indigo, Hallmark and BMW. A wide selection
from different industries, cultures and operating models. We will get to
specifics later, for now let’s review the reason for their successful
adoption of Advanced BPM, otherwise known as Outside-In. The customer!
If things are changing faster Outside than in you will fail
The accepted business wisdom until the end of the last century was the
adoption and exploration of ideas originally described by Adam Smith in theWealth of Nations, published in 1776. This seminal work introduced the world to the concept of the sub division of labour.
Written during the advent of the industrial revolution the ‘Wealth of Nations’ created a framework for organising manufactories and people into similar skills and disciplines. In fact the original work in a Scottish pin factory demonstrated 20 fold improvements to productivity and as such became a template for achieving industrial and commercial success.
Two and a half centuries later the model is still taught in business schools and academia as the way to structure and organise work. After all it worked for 200+ years?
We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we
created them (Einstein)
And there is the rub. The challenges we face in the 21st century are very different to those being addressed by Adam Smith and the industrialists of the Napoleonic era.
Let’s get to grips with some of the shifts…
Chief Customer Officer
Twitter – @JDodkins