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

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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 “win-lose” mode with themselves on top. So even if morphing into a customer-focused organization was “easy,” these organizations would struggle.

But making this migration is anything but easy for even companies eager to make the transition. In addition to adopting customer-centric business strategies and training employees to put customer interests first, getting there requires infrastructure change – organizational design, business processes and enabling technology. Not change but CHANGE.

If you were thrust into leadership of a company under market pressure to become seriously customer-driven – or handed a senior consulting role to lead change – where would you start building the customer-centric organization? Where’s the end of the tangled ball of string?

IMHO all three elements are equally important, but they have to happen in proper sequence. Process comes first. Without knowing what work the organization needs to do how to meet customer expectations, how can you create organizational structures appropriate for delivering the work? You can’t. And likewise, how can technology enable process that’s yet to be designed?

Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Then let me ask another question? Why do so few companies get it right?

Please visit HYM’s newly-formed Linkedin group, Building the Customer-Centric Organization.

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