Author Ken Blanchard is famous for saying, “Feedback is the Breakfast of Champions.” When businesses apply this sage advice to customers, it can improve customer experience across the entire value chain from product development to marketing effectiveness. Customer feedback gathered through surveys and two-way mirrors were once the best method for learning what customer’s value, but the time and costs associated with holding focus groups is no longer an efficient process for many businesses. They want feedback, and they want it real-time. Here’s a process serial entrepreneur Joel Appel created that is fast, effective and pure genius in simplicity. This is a process any business can apply to create or improve their own system for customer feedback.
In my soon-to-be-published book The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business, (to be published June 4th) I argue that many of the strategic and management processes we inherited from a more stable strategic time simply don't work as environments become more volatile and uncertain. What I'm starting to look at now is how other institutions, beyond business, have made the assumption that businesses will be around for long periods of time and therefore are to be relied upon to tackle certain societal tasks. As advantages become short and companies struggle to cope, they are renegotiating many of these tasks in ways that I'm not sure we are paying enough attention to.
An effective innovation strategy doesn’t hinge on adopting the newest technologies. And the most sought-after new service or tool doesn’t guarantee long-term value to a company or its customers. The key is making sure your company’s culture fully embraces innovative thinking.
This is especially true for an organization’s IT department and its role in driving organizational enhancements that lead to increased growth and productivity. The following are five important ways to support your most important innovation asset – your associates: