Dick Lee

It Took Five Techs Four Hours to Network Two Computers: Why does Microsoft allow...

My LAN connecting my XP laptop to my Windows 7 workstation was working perfectly. But I had to go mess it up by wiping clean my Laptop hard drive and installing Windows 7. My software all installed more or less smoothly, and I was...

Can Traditionally Structured Airlines Become Customer-Centric, or Do They Have to “Break the Model...

Southwest Airlines broke the model while organizing and has stayed customer-focused ever since. Tellingly, however, when Southwest initiated service in several congested major airports (instead of secondary airports), its vaunted on-time arrival numbers took a whack. Is that because operating out of major airports...

Customer-centricity is irrevocably changing IT. What other disciplines are being reshaped?

Used to be enterprise technology was designed for finance and/or manufacturing first – and all other functions, especially those directly affecting customer experience, as an afterthought. Still today finance and manufacturing technology needs are typically taken more seriously than other functions requirements. But that's...

Can Sales Turn the Corner and Meet Customer Expectations? Quite a Change Management Challenge

Will sales be able to switch from proactive to reactive? A good friend, colleague and long-time client – Joe Lethert, founder of Performark – recently wrote an eye opening piece about the role of sales in the organization, especially in B2B. Joe described how customer...

The 10 Most Disreputable Companies in the U.S.? (and how about globally?)

Research House Harris Interactive just released a ranking of U.S. companies by reputation. The ten worst? From worst to next worst: AIG, BP; Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Chrysler, Bank of America, GM, Exon-Mobile, J.P. Morgan Chase, Delta Airlines (do you regret buying Northwest…now?). For the...

Aren’t We Just Kicking the Customer Can Down the Road?

Every time I hear someone say customer-service is where customer-centricity starts, I get a splitting headache. Customer service is the last stop on the customer-centricity train, not the first. But it's oh so convenient to kick the can down the road to service and...

Should customer-centric strategy development be a separate function within an organization or shared knowledge?

Should strategy development stand alone in a company? If so, from where would this function draw its "authority?" Recently, I asked a similar question regarding organizational design – a critical component of the transition to customer-centricity – and received an unequivocal response: effective change management...

Does the phrase “You can’t boil the ocean” pertain to customer-centric process?

Back in my CRM days, we had this phrase thrown at us repeatedly by CRM software sellers. Frankly, it's left me with "rabbit ears." Our approach back then was to align strategy with customers, process with strategy, and technology with process (which together create...

Between Customer-Centric Business Process & Change Management, Which is the Cart & Which is...

No doubt about it, customer-centric process design creates work that's not supported by existing organizational structures. Should organizational design take the lead and define a customer-friendly organizational structure process can work within – or should process design the work first, with organizational design following? With...

While Marketing’s Becoming More Left-Brained, Is Process Becoming More Right-Brained?

I just read an interesting article titled, "The Service Dominant Mindset," describing the demands and risks faced by marketing professionals because their industry is evolving from "product logic" towards "service logic." I wasn't far along before realizing the same story fits process professionals facing...

Reverse Engineering the Organization, Starting from Customer Process

What customers want from companies is becoming a common "conditioner" of organizational design and change management – but rarely a driver. That's unfortunate, because empirical evidence shows the best way to build customer-centricity AND streamline companies is by starting with customer experience and redesigning...

Breaking the Mold: What might happen if customers elected CEOs?

Much that we term "out-of-the-box" thinking is pretty tame stuff – too tame to generate much learning other than how to better the current state. That's why I'm asking this question. Thinking through the answer might move us to a new frame of...

Is the Process Industry Pigeonholing Itself Out of Existence – or are We Taking...

Let's examine an historic process breakdown – Sprint's intent to "fire" unprofitable customers – that nearly put Sprint under after news of the plan went viral. It took all five primary, customer-centric process elements being badly out of whack to allow Sprint to assume...

Does becoming customer-centric mitigate resistance to change?

I realize I may be setting myself up for some backlash here, but many articles, presentations and dialogues about resistance to change go deep into the weeds in human psychology and behavioral theory – at the expense of acknowledging field-tested, common sense solutions for...

Can Customer-Centricity Cure Runaway Healthcare Costs?

If you've had surgery in the U.S. lately, you already realize hospitals are hell-bent on improving internal process. Mitigating risk—not doing the right procedure on the wrong patient or the wrong procedure on the right patient—has become a near obsession. So has sanitizing everything...

Business Software: Lots of upgrades, little improvement, even less service

Yeah, we're all bombarded with arresting tales of how this new application or that will either double your productivity – or save your network or personal computer from threats lurking around every corner. Plus, we're all bombarded with ceaseless upgrades, most of which require...

How would you change an organization from internally-focused to customer-focused?

For organizations of all types, adapting to continually higher customer expectations is becoming much more than a "smart thing to do." It's becoming a prerequisite for staying competitive. And that's the problem. Many organizations don't really want to become customer-driven. They want to stay in...

Does redesigning process to cut waste produce similar outcomes to redesigning process to improve...

Before you protest, I do understand that waste-cutting process approaches can be applied for the benefit of customers. But here's the difference I'd like to highlight. Waste-eliminating approaches change internal operations – albeit increasingly to benefit customers. In contrast, customer-experience focused approaches changes what happens...

Which contributes more to improving customer experience: Process that changes company behavior? Or promotion...

Most in the business community agree that adding and retaining customers is becoming harder by the year. And economic conditions will continue growing the gap between potential supply and trailing customer demand – even after the recession eases. That's forcing more and more companies...

Is Customer-Driven Process Cyclical?or a Lasting Change?

I've read some comments recently on Linkedin saying, in effect, "Okay, we've gone through the "giving customers what they want," phase, now it's time to return to normal business." Five years from now, are customers going to be as or more empowered – and why?...

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