Customer-Centric Process Design is Clashing with Organizational Design: Which is more likely to “give?”

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Most organizations are designed from the top down: determining the management structure first, typically using traditional silo roles; divvying up among silos responsibility for classes of activities next; then letting silos determine specific activities (processes). Things have worked this way seemingly forever.

Today, however, competitive pressures are driving more and more companies towards more customer-centered business models. And the most successful approach to implementing the change from “inside-out” (company-centric) to “outside-in” (customer-centric) has been redesigning processes around customer needs and preferences. Sounds innocuous from an O.D. standpoint, except outside-in process redesign relies on determining who best should do what activities from the customer perspective, which usually clashes with current-state organizational structures and responsibilities. Plus, implementing outside-in process requires heavy and unaccustomed collaboration among functions – and potentially placing an enterprise-wide customer advocate above the silo tops. Two more conflict points.

These clashes are only starting to occur, but will grow in number and intensity as pressures to conduct business “the customer’s way” mount. Do you think your organization, for example, or your clients’, are willing to reorganize to better support customer-driven process? Or are we about to see “irresistible force meets immovable object?”

Republished with author's permission from original post.

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