Tag Archives: Blue Ocean

Jack Welch got it Right…even for Customers

Jack WelchThere is a famous quote I always loved from Jack Welch, famous CEO from General Electric. He said, “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, then the end is near.”

Today the rate of change is eclipsing most organizations and they can’t keep up. Competition is coming in from everywhere around the world and there aren’t any solid plans on how to deal with it. Competition is coming from places we never expected…primarily because someone else sees the inefficiencies in this particular industry. Product/Service competition is accelerating faster than we have ever seen in history. Commoditization is moving full speed ahead.

Step back from thinking about your product or service for a moment…despite all these competitive pressures. Step back and think about your Customers. Are your customers changing? Absolutely. Are the experiences they expect changing? Absolutely. Are you changing the experience you give to your customers? Most are not.

The one area you have complete and absolute control over is the experience you deliver to your customer. Complete control. You can choose what the experience should look like, feel like, smell like, and be to your customer…every day. And if your customers love your experience, the majority will forgo the latest and greatest advancements in product/service just to enjoy the experience they have with your company. This is the antithesis to commoditization…it is what customers want.

I turned Jack Welch’s quote in a slightly different direction focused on the customer, “If your customers are expecting a better customer experience than you are delivering, then the end is near.”

You have no control over the rate of change on the outside…it is just going to happen and accelerate. You do have control over what you change on the inside. I have always believed in the phrase, “Change what you have control to change and let others focus on what they can’t change.” Your customers aren’t a bad place to start. They are also probably worth the investment of time and innovation to create a totally awesome experience. The end doesn’t have to be near…it’s in your control.

How Blue (Ocean) Are You?

No I am not asking about your politics!  I am referring to the Blue Ocean Strategy that presents a theory, tools, and frameworks to allow your company to break away from the competition and create a new market space.

As part of our Innovation Team session last week participating CEOs collaborated on how to create value by simultaneously pursue differentiation and low costs.  We used the Four Actions Framework + Eliminate/Reduce/Raise/Create Grid.  Answer these four key questions to challenge your industry’s strategic logic and business model:

1.  Which of the factors that the industry takes for granted should be eliminated?

2.  Which factors should be reduced well below the industry’s standard?

3.  Which factors should be raised well above the industry’s standard?

4.  Which factors should be created that the industry has never offered?

One CEO in the group realized by reducing manpower with a new technology his company is now able to pursue a brand new customer base.  Another business owner realized they could eliminate a documentation report that required valuable time to produce.

Your answers to these questions will provide new insight on how you can differentiate your value proposition in a way that will benefit you and your customers.