Dr. Gary Fisher

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Innovation Fellow,The Business Partnership Unit, Aston University

Introduction to Section Five: Re-Create

The key differentiator in the 21st-century marketplace for organisations in thedeveloped world is innovative value creation. Indeed, cost-reduction strategies supported by mass-production methodologies will only pay dividends to those organisations that either automate or relocate to low labour cost economies. The question is, therefore, how do organisations aspiring to employ people across the developed world evolve and move up the value chain? Are Customer Value Principles viable? The authors demonstrate not only viability but a pathway to creating highly responsive organisations.

The cost-efficiency mind-set merely processes customers through a limited number of predetermined channels designed either to pacify or to remedy the disappointed at the lowest cost. Through sensing and responding to customer needs, it is recognised that the vast majority of service work is the result of organisational shortcomings.

Customer intelligence is used both to eliminate waste and to inform future organisational strategy. Customer demand-based innovation must become common practice. The practical application of this approach establishes highly skilled, highly autonomous employees capable of capturing customer intelligence and activities but also engendered a transformation in management style.

Control and compliance is systematically replaced in favour of support and facilitation. Whilst customer-centric, customer relationship management and ‘employees are our most valued asset’ rhetoric is common, it is rare to find a workplace reality where customer value and human intelligence instigate the reduction of costs and increase revenue.

The macro-economic imperative to adapt or decline is knocking on the door of the business world. Soon the door will be forced wide open. The question is, do we have the sense to respond?