Starting the Journey

Post by
Krista White

[ Editor's Note:? The following post is an excerpt from the Preface of our recent publication:? The COO Revolution:? Reinventing Customer-Facing Processes for Moments of Truth.? The first chapter of the book may be downloaded by clicking here. ]

Problem Statement for the Modern Executive: Like it or not, your customer knows more about your product than you do. If this is not already true, it will be in just one more tap on the tablet or click of a mouse.

As if that were not alarming enough, your customer also knows more about your competitor than you do. Your competitor?s information was just pulled up on a smartphone while entering the shopping mall, including pricing, peer reviews, local and Internet specials, and even videos on You Tube that may or may not be flattering.

There is also likely a new competitor about to enter the market who can collapse the supply chain dramatically, provide an intimate customer experience, package related products as if they were reading the customer?s mind, then ship the product overnight at no cost. And when we thought they were about to enter the market, they probably already have, spring-boarding off a recent infusion of tech-based capital.

Back to your customers. They want to know the details of your fulfillment status, they want updates when something changes, they don?t care about your regulatory problems, and they couldn?t care less that your margins are getting hammered.

Anyone else wonder how this got so out of control? More importantly, does anyone have any ideas on how to get back on top of this craziness?

The speed of modern business has moved from faster to immediate. The asymmetry of information power has flipped overnight from being corporate controlled to customer dominated. And the durability of your customer relationship has moved from mildly tolerant to single-click defection. There are countless interaction points with your customers every day, each of which represents an opportunity for strengthening the relationship or risking defection. We refer to these as ?moments of truth.? Win at these points and you will win in the market.

While many executives might react to this tumultuous set of circumstances by grabbing last year?s strategic plan and attempting to turn up the dial a few notches, the step function in business environment volatility calls for a new paradigm in how to compete. Quoting Albert Einstein, ?We cannot solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.?

This book addresses the challenges and opportunities of modern business head on by framing the environment, articulating emerging solutions that capitalize on this environment and prescribing a practical ?how to? for making it happen. It also specifically calls out the role of the 21st century COO in architecting the front office of the business to produce a real-time, customer-centric operating model that produces differential customer value through systemic process management.

The flywheel of modern business is spinning at a rate that can break the fingers of those who simply want to reach out from the sidelines, lacking the commitment and passion to transform their businesses. Disruptive change creates block-buster opportunities for those willing to venture across the dis-continuity. But, like all transformations, adoption of new business models requires strong leadership, perseverance to see the journey through and an iterative approach that compounds learning along the way.

This book strives to provide insights and outline strategies for transforming front-office operations by harnessing the revolutionary business platform, the Cloud, and the disruptive technologies of mobile, social, big data and predictive analytics.

Our goal is to provide a starting point that will help you know what is coming, how to think about addressing it and suggest some places to get started.

We wish you great success in your journey ahead, doing the work of operational innovation. After all, it?s how you do what you do that matters in the current world of unpredictable change.


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