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Customer Focused Process Innovation

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Customer Focused Process Innovation

Linking Strategic Intent to Everyday Execution


15 minutes de lecture
10 points à retenir
Texte disponible


If you want to delight your customers, re-engineer your business processes.

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Why do so many established companies fail to adapt to changing markets? Consultant David Hamme blames the conventional corporate structure. In a hierarchical organization, he argues, staff members strive to satisfy management rather than customers. This structure partitions processes among departments, leaving the workflow vulnerable to miscommunication, conflicting priorities and turf wars. Hamme calls for upending the entire structure, organizing around processes not positions, and allowing customers, not executives, to set the company’s direction. Rather than using an assembly-line approach to operations, appoint managers to each take ownership of a process and guide it from design to delivery. Hamme offers many fascinating ideas, but like other management-theory authors, he can obscure his most trenchant points with convoluted language. Readers may also wish for more concrete examples of how a manager should shepherd a process across departments. Nevertheless, given the great merit of his concepts, getAbstract recommends Hamme’s useful guide to leaders of established companies, investors and entrepreneurs seeking to encourage their organizations’ agility and responsiveness.


Perpetual Innovation

Staying competitive is hard. Just ask companies like Circuit City, Lehman Brothers, the bookseller Borders or Continental Airlines. These once-venerated businesses failed because they couldn’t adapt to market changes, technological breakthroughs or evolving customer preferences.

To keep on top, organizations must innovate constantly. However, once the majority of companies leave the entrepreneurial phase behind, they harden into hierarchical bureaucracies that stifle innovation and competitiveness. Senior executives lose touch with customers and day-to-day operations. Departments segment into silos that may settle down into conflicting motivations and goals. As a result, most improvement initiatives have little impact.

The most efficient solution is to completely jettison the military-style chain of command and adopt a “process-based approach.” In this structure, organize your employees according to their relationship to a process, not by their positions or departments. Instead of using an assembly-line approach, under which each unit works on a discrete part of the process, a manager working as a “process owner” guides the entire...

About the Author

Former management consultant at Ernst & Young and The North Highland Company, David Hamme founded Ephesus Consulting in North Carolina.

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