Most companies want to put the customer at the center of their business strategy and implementation. They want to be more innovative in identifying and meeting customer needs. And they want to be better at putting that innovation into action.

But in practice companies find it hard to do.

Companies view the world inside out

It’s hard for anyone inside a company to see the world through its customers’ eyes: the organization looms too large in the foreground. Think how differently a manager and a customer, even standing together, would see the same store.

And fragmentation inside the organization makes it hard to achieve a unified response: the people making the promises are often disconnected from the people delivering or reporting. If a great insight or a bright idea emerges in one part of the organization, the people with the inspiration often have limited ability to make it real.

The result: the company comes up with experiences that leave the customer underwhelmed. Or it makes promises which in the execution, it can’t deliver. Or it simply misses the boat, while a competitor launches the Next Big Thing. What’s needed is a more balanced view.

next: Seeing the whole picture →

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