Innovation Management Wisdom

Posts with the tag 'research'

Do You Know the Way to Customer CentriCity?

“We’re becoming more customer centric”.

Many managers speak these words with the vacant demeanor of a politician regurgitating their party’s least credible talking points. They haven’t bought in, but not because they don’t want to.

Privately, they all express doubts. If you too are harboring doubts, you’re in abundant company.

Here are the two things that managers say most often undermine the journey to Customer CentriCity and what to do about them…

1. The way to Customer CentriCity is through your boss.  There are a plethora of excellent writings about the influences of leadership on employee behavior and innovativeness. Your boss determines your job stability, promotability and income, not the customer. So, when the boss starts talking about moving to Customer CentriCity, subordinates quickly begin calculating the vectors between what their boss wants and what the customer wants.

Enlightened leaders create an innovation space where subordinates can gain an unimpeded view of the customer.  Subordinates can collaborate, research, ideate, prioritize and design (click on each link to learn more) freely in this space. If you’ve got a good relationship with your boss, then you should mutually define this space.  If not, then strap on your hip waders and wait for your boss to come up with the next great customer centric idea.

2.  No firm can be exclusively customer-centric. That’s because the customer’s job is to demand the greatest value for the lowest price. Your company’s ROI has to be factored into any new products, services or customer experience that you innovate and commercialize. The optimal location for innovation is between Customer CentriCity and ROI land.  Finding that location is part of the prioritization process.

We welcome your reactions, points of view and criticisms.

Jason M. Sherman is president of Cleveland-based, Whyze Group. Whyze Group provides qualitative, customer- and user-experience research and innovation workshops to Global 2000 clients. The company has been recognized by the Baldrige National Quality Program, business associations and numerous business media as a leader in research and innovation.

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Email Jason here.

Jason direct: (440) 785-0547.

January 8th, 2009

Whyze Group Opens Office in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, OH, October 28, 2005–Whyze Group, the leading customer experience research and innovation firm in the U.S., has opened an office in Cleveland, Ohio. The firm serves clients throughout North America. It will continue to maintain a correspondence office in Atlanta.

Whyze Group president, Jason M. Sherman, cites several reasons for choosing Cleveland as a new location for the firm. He says that high quality of life, low costs, proximity to top universities and easy airline access to clients nationally figured into the decision.

“Cleveland is an undiscovered gem for most people in this country”, Sherman explains. “Cleveland offers everything that most larger metro areas offer, but without the hassles or the costs. There are four-season recreational opportunities, a vibrant multi-cultural community, a world-class orchestra and some of the nation’s finest hospitals all right here.”

Sherman also embraces Northeastern Ohioans, who he describes as hard-working, earnest and embodying Midwest sensibilities.

Whyze Group facilitates management teams’ discoveries and innovations of new customer experiences. Whyze Group applies a reliable and powerful approach, integrating deep customer experience insight, strategic innovation frameworks and executive alignment workshops to guide managers toward innovation breakthroughs. Clients include Rubbermaid, Zales, Nationwide Insurance, Grainger, ING, Humana, Dominion Power, Key Bank and nGenera.

October 28th, 2005

Whyze Group Diagnoses CRM Failures

Atlanta, GA, December 10, 2004—Jason M. Sherman will share his perspectives on why half of all CRM systems fail to meet company objectives at a meeting of the Association of Information Technology Professionals on January 20 in Atlanta.

Sherman is president of Whyze Group, a customer experience research and design firm in Atlanta. He has worked closely with CRM consultants and sees some potential blindspots among CRM providers and clients.

“Customer relationship management has come to mean technology to most companies, but it’s really about fostering authentic relationships between buyers and sellers,” Sherman explains. In his view, CRM technology is an enabler of the policies and practices companies follow to manage customer relationships. Without continually assessing and updating these policies to assure that customers’ needs are met, some CRM systems do little more than streamline the delivery of mediocre customer experiences.

Whyze Group facilitates management teams’ discoveries and innovations of new customer experiences. Whyze Group applies a reliable and powerful approach, integrating deep customer experience insight, strategic innovation frameworks and executive alignment workshops to guide managers toward innovation breakthroughs. Clients include Rubbermaid, Zales, Nationwide Insurance, Grainger, ING, Humana, Dominion Power, Key Bank and nGenera.

December 10th, 2004


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