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The global economy is currently producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, Half of these is for single use. With the population CSR Circular Economy pic2agrowing at a fast rate, we are requiring more resources than ever before. Yet, our finite resources are diminishing

Our economy has been built on the concept of a Linear Economy. This is Extract, Manufacture, Distribute, Use, and Dispose of. However, over the past few decades, we have transitioned to a disposable society as we generate waste at an unmanageable rate.

Today’s Business Transformation calls for a shift to a Reuse Economy or the Circular Economy.  Moving towards a more Circular Economic activity could deliver benefits such as reducing pressure on the environment, improving the security of the supply of raw materials, increasing competitiveness, stimulating innovation, and others. Moving into a Circular Economy also means that companies are considering sustainable approaches to balance out opportunities for business and the preservation of the environment.

The Shift to a Circular Economy

The Circular Economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. It employs recycling, reuse, remanufacturing, and refurbishing to create a close system. With Circular Economy, it minimizes the use of resource input and the creation of waste.

A Circular Economy has a great impact on sustainability. It maximizes the conservation of resources and the reduction of environmental pollution.

In a Circular Economy, industries can increase profitability while reducing dependence on natural resources.

Discovering the 6 Core Activities of a Circular Economy

The 6 Core Activities of a Circular Economy are stepping stones towards increasing productivity, cost savings, and generating greater economic benefits.

A Purview of Circular Economy in Action

Taking the 6-step journey to achieve greater sustainability can lead organizations to draw on the power of the Circular Economy to achieve greater value. Let us take a purview of a Circular Economy in action: The Waste Management Case Study

The Waste Management Case evolves in a scenario where the economic growth in emerging markets has raised living standards resulting in massive waste. As such, municipalities in these markets are spending up to half of the budget on solid waste management.

As a result of economic growth, there is massive consumer and industrial waste generated. In fact, metals extracted from tires in open backyard fires can cause great harm to human health and the environment.

We are in this dilemma right now. With the application of the Circular Economy, we can better address these problems by creating infrastructures to organize and manage waste supply chains. This can include digital transformation.

What is the underlying Circular Economy Principle? It is AGGREGATION. With this principle, we can aggregate volumes substantial enough to justify the business investment. We can enable companies to build the business from waste.

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Many large corporations depend on M&A for growth and executives can boost the value that deals create. But poorly executed M&A can saddle pic 2 Board Excellence M&Ainvestors with weak returns on capital for details. In fact, the margin between success and failure is slim.

Many Boards are reluctant to cross the line between governance and management. The level of engagement is often outside the comfort zone for some executives and directors. As such, they miss opportunities to help senior executives win at M&A.

There is a need to modernize the Board’s role in M&A. Modernizing the role of the Board in M&A can result in the alignment of the Board and management on the need for bolder transactions with more upside potential. Further, this is essential in achieving a competitive advantage.

The 3 Core Opportunities in M&A

There are 3 core opportunities for the Board to play an impactful role in M&A.

  1. Potential for Value Creation. The first core opportunity, potential for Value Creation enables the Board to challenge the executive’s thinking on potential transactions. This is an opportunity for the Board to maintain constant touch with the company’s M&A strategy, the pipeline of potential targets, and emerging deals.
  1. PMI Plans. This is an essential core opportunity that enables the Board to boost value creation to as much as 2-3x the net value. Post-merger Integration (PMI) Plans representat an opportunity to pressure test against stretch growth and cost goals before and after a deal. Greater variation in the quality of post-merger plans exist compared to financial analysis and pricing of transactions.
  1. Competitive Advantage in M&A. Competitive Advantage is a core opportunity that is unrelated to a transaction’s deadline. This is an opportunity to create a competitive advantage through M&A skills. These are corporate assets that can be difficult to copy. Making that decision to create a competitive advantage through M&A can lead to bolder decisions with more upside results.

The 3 core opportunities can promote greater Board engagement. When this happens, discrete deals can be converted into ongoing deal processes and dialogues that can deliver greater value from M&A.

Maximizing Core Opportunities to Attain the Greatest Deal

The potential of the 3 Core Opportunities to embolden the role of the Board in M&A is great. Organizations just need to have a good understanding of each core opportunity and the underlying key areas or dimensions of each key area. Let us take a look at the 1st Core Opportunity: Potential for Value Creation.

The Potential for Value Creation has 3 critical key areas that can challenge that lead opportunistic transaction to succeed. One critical key area is Strategic Fit.

Strategic Fit is key to determining why a company is a better owner than competing buyers. Deals driven by strategy succeed more often when they are part of a stream of similar transactions that support that strategy. This is a key element in Strategy Development.

How can we enhance the role of the Board relative to this key area? The Board can play a vital role in clarifying the relationship between a potential transaction and strategic planning. They are also in the best position to define how the deal will support organic-growth efforts in target markets and provide complementary sources of value creation.

The other key areas under the Potential for Value Creation are Financial Statements and Risks vs. Rewards. The Financial Statements is a key area that can correct the Board’s tendency to put emphasis on price-to-earnings multiples which can be limiting. The Risks vs. Rewards, on the other hand, is a key area that challenges the Board to acknowledge uncertainties in pro forma.

The other 2 Core Opportunities also have their own essential points or dimensions the Board must focus on. Only then can these core opportunities be of the maximum potential of modernizing the Board’s role in M&A and gaining the greatest value.

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When things go wrong on a grand scale, often we direct our attention to the role of the Board. Debate exudes and often gets heated up and pic 1 Long-term Mindsetintensifies. This often happens when the Board spends more time looking in the rearview mirror and not enough scanning the road ahead. When this happens, governance suffers.

Often, the Board of Directors spend a bulk of its time on quarterly reports, audit reviews, budgets, and compliance.  However, with the change in the business environment, there is a greater need to redirect the Board’s attention on matters crucial to the future prosperity and direction of the business. One of this is Strategy Development.  Achieving this requires the development of a dynamic Board with a long-term mindset capable of creating forward-looking agenda and activities that get sufficient time over a 12-month period.

The Changing Board Agenda

The Board Agenda is changing. It is becoming more dynamic and it has increasingly highlighted forward-looking activities.  Long-term economic, technological, and demographic trends are radically shaping the global economy. The second Industrial Revolution now requires the Board to shift focus. The Board is now challenged to focus on matters crucial to achieving Operational Excellence and the future direction of the organization. Directors must devote more time to strategic and forward-looking aspects of the agenda. They must cease seeing the job as supporting the CEO, but instead, be strategic in making sure long-term goals are formulated and met.

Having a forward-looking Board has now become every organization’s imperative.  However, this can only be achieved if there is a solid foundation that is anchored on three guiding principles. Organizations must have the right Board Member, a clear definition of the Board’s role, and greater time commitment from members. At this time when a long-term mindset has come to a fore, these have become essential.

Developing a Long-term Mindset: The 4 Essential Tactics

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

Organizations can undertake 4 essential tactics to encourage the Board to have a long-term mindset.

pic 2 LOng term MIndset

  1. Study the External Landscape. This is the starting point of creating a forward-looking mindset. The primary purpose of this tactic is to expose the Board to new technologies and market developments relevant to the company’s strategy. Studying the external landscape will challenge management with critical questions.
  1. Participate in Strategy Development. This tactic focuses on making strategy a vital part of the Board’s DNA. Participating in the Strategy Planning process will strengthen the Board’s role in co-creating and ultimately agreeing on the company’s strategy.
  1. Focus on Long-term Talent Development. The third tactic, this tactic focuses on unleashing the full power of the people. It will effectively reallocate skills and experience to a business with more potential.  To achieve its expected result, the key is the Board must agree with management on a sensible approach to reviewing executive talent.
  1. Identify Existential Risks. This is the tactic that focused on the Risk Management of existential risks. Because of accelerating technological progress, existential risks have become a recent phenomenon. Existential risks have a great detrimental impact not only on business but also on mankind. The Boards have the duty to ensure that management teams pursue bottom-up investigations, identify key risk areas, and act on the results.

The 4 tactics are essentially effective in creating long-term mindsets.  When this is achieved, Board Excellence is never far behind.

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The pressure on Boards and Directors to raise their game has remained acute. A survey of more than 770 directors from public and private expert panel piccompanies across the industries around the world suggested that some are responding more energetically than others.

There is a dramatic difference between how directors allocate their time among boardroom activities and the effectiveness of the Boards. One in four directors assessed their impact as moderate or lower, while others reported as having a high impact across Board functions.

Today, the call to become more forward-looking and achieving Board Excellence is further highlighted. This is further emphasized when the Board and Management are pressured to find the best answers to global business concerns and issues. In Strategy Development, this becomes invaluable. It does not only lead to clearer strategies but also the creation of alignment essential in making bolder moves.

While these are essential, there is a need to raise the quality of engagement on strategy between the Board and Management for each group to achieve smarter options. This is possible only if organizations have high impact, strategic Boards in place.

High impact, strategic Boards have a greater impact as they move beyond the basics and face increasing challenges.

The Challenges that Today’s Board Face

Business is fast-changing and rapidly transforming. The global economy is increasingly pushing businesses, as well as the Board to face a gamut of challenges.

What are the 2 main challenges facing Boards today?

First is Time Commitment. Working at a high level takes discipline – and time. In fact, the greater time commitment is expected on high impact activities. The Board often have 6 to 8 meetings a year. As a result, they are often hard-pressed to get beyond the compliance-related topics to secure the breathing space needed for developing a strategy.

Often, it is the very high impact Directors who invest more time compared to moderate or lower average Directors.

Who are your very high impact Directors? They are those spend a total of 40 days a year working for the Board compared to 19 days of low impact Directors. An extra 8 workdays a year is invested in strategy and an extra 3 workdays a year are spent on Performance Management, M&A, Organizational Health, and Risk Management.

High impact Directors who believe that their activities have greater impact spend significantly more time on these activities compared to low impact Boards.

Second is Strategy Understanding. Why is Strategy Understanding a challenge for the Board? Limited understanding of the organization’s strategy can result in the Board’s limited engagement with the organization. Based on the survey made, only 21% of the Directors have a complete understanding of the current strategy. Often, Board members have a better understanding of the company’s financial position rather than its risks or industry dynamics.

If we look at high impact Directors, they invest more time in dealing with strategic issues. In fact, they invest 8 extra workdays a year on Strategic Planning and discussing strategy compared to low impact Directors. High impact Directors center on Strategy Focus Areas which can, in turn, spur high-quality engagement from the Board on strategy development. The quality of Board engagement on strategy is enhanced, both when the engagement is deep and during the regular course of business.

The Board just needs to focus on 3 areas of discussion for the Board to enhance Strategy Development. One of them is Industry and Competitive Dynamics.

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“The only thing that is constant is Change.” – Heraclituspic1 Leavitt's Diamond

An epidemic of change is happening globally–reengineering, restructuring, and revamping! Workplaces seem to be launching one change initiative after another.  Digital Transformation is happening everywhere. Yet, the hard truth is that many change initiatives fail.

Change Management initiatives fail because of the way organizations view change. Often, change is seen as an isolated process. Organizations tend to focus on only one part of the organization in isolation. This can be a fatal error.

Everything in an organization is connected, and changing one piece can impact another. Hence change can only be successful if all interconnected pieces are considered. In 1965, Harold J. Leavitt designed an integrated approach to change, the Leavitt’s Diamond.

What is Leavitt’s Diamond?

Leavitt’s Diamond is a framework for understanding the connection between the key factors in an organization, and building an integrated change strategy. This is an essential element in Strategy Development.

The Structure, Tasks, People, and Technology are the 4 essential components of the Leavitt’s Diamond.

pic 2 Leavitt's Diamond

  1. Structure – The Structure refers to the organization’s hierarchical buildup and the layout of the various departments. However, this is not limited to its hierarchical buildup. It can also refer to the mutual relations that exist between departments and employees, the coordination between various levels of management, and the communication patterns.
  1. Tasks – The Tasks refers to the functions individual employees are assigned within their jobs. This relates closely to the organization’s goals on the strategic, tactical, and operational levels.
  1.  People – These are your people – your staff, your employees. Beyond its physical countdown, this component also refers to all skills, competence, knowledge, and efficiency that employees bring to the organization.
  1. Technology – Technology refers to the upgraded machines and devices, as well as systems and software applications that build up the performance of tasks within an organization.

Between these 4 components, there must be the right balance. Only then can change be successfully implemented.

From the Drawing Board to the Ground Running

Having a good understanding of the Leavitt’s Diamond is important for organizations. However, the most critical is having it on the ground running. Each of the components must be identified, defined, and determined–your main tasks, your people, your tasks, and structure.

This is critical because you are building a basic framework for starting the change model. Without the right balance of Structure, People, Tasks, and Technology, the Business Transformation necessary will never occur.

Organizations must also take note that a primary change will always have an impact on each of the 4 components. A change in one component comes with changes in other components of the Leavitt’s Diamond. When this happens, there is a need for necessary adjustments.

Taking The Impact of Change on Tasks As an Example

  • Change in People Component: Training or specific hiring policy can change staff and employees’ knowledge and expertise.
    • What is the impact on Tasks? There is a change in individual tasks within the employees’ job.
  • Change in Structure Component: Restructuring of departments, change in the arrangement of job positions, or even reorganization.
    • What is the impact on Tasks? A different way of working is expected from employees to include different ad/or additional tasks.

This is also expected when there is a change in Technology and a corresponding impact on Tasks. Organizations must need to take note that changes in any component must be aligned with changes in other components. Again, there must be a balance for Leavitt’s Diamond Change Model to succeed.

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Companies often know where they want to go when it comes to Strategy Development. Companies want to be more agile, quicker to react, and pic 1 Next-gen Operating Modelmore effective. They want to deliver great customer experience, take advantage of new technologies to cut costs, improve quality and transparency, and build value.

Yet, while most companies are trying to get better, the results tend to fall short. One-off initiatives in separate units do not deliver big enterprise-wide impact. Improvement methods that were adopted almost invariably yield disappointing results.

Senior leaders have a crucial role to take in making things happen. Business Transformation cannot be a siloed effort. A Next-generation Operating Model is essential to break through organizational inertia and trigger step-change improvements.

Understanding the Next-gen Operating Model

Companies need to commit to a Next-gen Operating Model if they want to build value and provide compelling customer experiences at a lower cost.

pic 2 Next-gen Operating Model

  1. Integrated, Organization-wide Operational Improvement Program. This approach is focused on Customer Journeys and distinctive customer experience. The Integrated, Organization-wide Operational Improvement Program is a holistic approach towards how operations can contribute to delivering distinctive customer experience. It cuts across organizational siloes in both customer-facing and end-to-end processes. This approach is a preferred organizing principle. Having multiple independent initiatives within separate organizational groups can deliver incremental gains. However, the overall impact can be underwhelming.
  1. Holistic Customer Journey. This is an approach that makes use of multiple capabilities instead of individual capabilities to achieve greater impact.

The holistic Customer Journey is achieved when the 5 core capabilities are utilized.

Discovering the 5 Core Capabilities

There are 5 core capabilities essential in unlocking the most value in the shortest possible time. Two of the 5 capabilities are Digitization and Advanced Analytics.

Digitization is the process of using tools and technology to improve journeys. It has the capacity to transform customer-facing journeys by creating the potential for self-service. It has the power to reshape time-consuming transactional and manual tasks that are part of internal journeys more so when multiple systems are involved.

Another core capability worth knowing is Advanced Analytics. This is the autonomous processing of data using sophisticated tools to discover insights and make recommendations. It provides intelligence to improve decision making and enhance journeys when nonlinear thinking is required. This is very useful in claims triage, fraud management, and pricing.

There are 3 other core capabilities that are essentially important in these days of Digital Transformation. These are Intelligent Process Automation, Business Process Outsourcing, and Lean Process Design.

Intelligent Process Automation is an emerging set of new technologies that combine fundamental process redesign with process automation and machine learning. It can replace human effort in processes that involve aggregating data from multiple systems taking a piece of information from a written document and entering it as standardized data input.

Business Process Outsourcing works best for processes that are manual. It uses resources outside the main business to complete specific tasks or functions. Back-office processing of documents and correspondence is an example of BPO.

The Lean process Design is one capability that helps companies streamline processes, eliminate waste, and foster a culture of Continuous Improvement. It is considered a versatile methodology as it can be applied in multiple processes.

Organizations can use these capabilities to achieve the greatest impact. The maximum effect, however, can be achieved when specific implementation guiding principles are followed.

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Lean Management plays a significant role in putting in place processes, capabilities, and tools to improve how businesses operate. But, the pic 1 Digital TransformationDigital Age has increased both the opportunities for businesses who know how to react and the difficulty of getting it right.

Tasks performed by humans are now more complex be it accessing information in multiple formats from multiple sources or responding to changing market and customer dynamics at an ever-increasing speed. As an increasing number of tasks become automated or taken over by cognitive-intelligence capabilities, companies need to learn from lean management. Like a sprinter who needs all her muscles to be finely tuned and working in concert to reach top speeds, fast-moving institutions must have a system to continually synchronize strategies, activities, performance, and health.

Many organizations understand the need to change how they work and have embarked on numerous initiatives, yet few have been able to get beyond isolated success cases or marginal benefits. Most companies recognize the need for a Next-gen Operating Model to drive their business forward their Digital Transformation initiatives. But, how they develop it makes a big difference.

The Next-gen Operating Model

There are 4 core pillars of a Next-gen Operating Model. Putting these in place will ensure its successful implementation.

pic 2 Digital Transformation

  1. Autonomous, Cross-functional Teams. The first pillar is focused on empowering the team to own products, services, or journeys. Having autonomous, cross-functional teams, organizations can become nimble in building skills across their teams. They make anchor hires for key roles, set up rotational and train the trainer programs, and commit to ongoing capability building and training for key roles.
  1. Flexible, Modular Platform. The second pillar is focused o supporting a faster deployment of products and services. Having Flexible, Modular Platforms will enable technology teams to better collaborate with business leaders in assessing which systems need to move faster.
  1. Connected Management System. The third pillar focuses on driving a culture of continuous improvement that cemented on customer needs. A Connected Management System will ensure that Management systems are evolving to create feedback mechanisms with and between various operations and teams.
  1. Agile, Customer-centric Culture. The fourth pillar is focused on speed and execution over perfection. Having an Agile, Customer-centric Culture is critical to success. It leads the change from the top and builds new ways of working across organizational boundaries. When functions and teams collaborate, effective time to market to reduced as well as operational risk.

The path to building up the Next-gen Operating Model follows well-defined approaches to guide organizations. These approaches will be every organization’s guide to operating model transformation during the first 12 months.

Following the 4 Critical Approaches to Operating Model Transformation

The 4 critical Approaches to Operating Model Transformation works well when there is a broad and top-down organizational mandate for change. Before anything else, organizations must make sure that the change mandate is in place so that the entire organization is aligned with the proposed change.

One of the 4 Critical Approaches is the Innovation Lab. The Innovation Lab is a dedicated unit set up to be entirely separate from the historical culture, decision-making bureaucracy, and technical infrastructure of the main business. It hatches new business models in an informal setting. It is best used when there is a need to move very quickly in response to market pressures.

Mastering these various approaches will enable organizations to better go through the Operating Model Transformation in the most effective way to achieve Operational Excellence.

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A company can have a team of skilled, talented, and educated professionals where each team member has relevant training and experience, a pic 1 Workplace Productivitygood attitude, and a solid work ethic. Members of the team get along well with each other.  When you put all these together, you get to achieve results. The team gets to deliver high-quality projects on time and to spec.

However, the problem is the pieces do not always fall into place.

One teammate promises to deliver and then doesn’t. Deadlines are forgotten, meetings are being missed, and important communications being misplaced. We even lose track of our to-dos. As a result, when one person fumbles, the whole team scrambles. This leads to failed projects, frustrated teammates, and financial losses.

A total of 1,160 professionals were interviewed on how individual performance can affect team productivity within the organization. Ninety-four percent of those interviewed revealed that at least one teammate frequently misses deadlines, 85% said that at least one teammate appears busy but fails to complete tasks on time, and 91% said that at least one teammate spends too much time on unimportant tasks. Significantly, the study showed that 9 out of 10 professionals interviewed revealed that when one team commits any of these blunders, the team and organization suffer.

People come to the workplace with various skill sets and backgrounds. They know how to navigate the application, develop programs, oversee communications, manage resources, devise strategies, or lead people. Yet, only a few are well versed in workflow management or even had formal training on it. Yet, nobody gets a degree in Workplace Productivity.

Expertise vs. Effectiveness

Results of a McKinsey Research showed that knowledge and skills cannot make up for low poor productivity practices that can affect morale and results. Expertise is how people work. Effectiveness is what they can do. There is a key difference between the two.

Expertise can refer to people who have good intentions and rich technical backgrounds while effectiveness is the inability to manage workload. Based on the research, as a person’s roles and responsibilities increase, productivity begins to fall. To thrive in a world of endless tasks and inputs, it is essential that key productivity practices are developed.

Mastering Key Productivity Practices

In how work is done, even small fumbles have a huge impact. With key Workplace Productivity practices, organizations can move to be smart and strategic.

Taking on each of the productivity practices can deliver a great impact on organizations.

  1. End with Next Steps. Undertaking this first productivity practice can result in projects moving forward seamlessly. This can also reduce the need for future meetings.
  1. Capture Commitments. When commitments are captured, team members are more apt to get work done on time and foster trust. A sense of care is communicated to teammates resulting in increased confidence.
  1. Dedicate Time to Each Work Mode. Critical projects and tasks are completed when time is allocated to each work mode. Team members become more effective if time is demarcated.
  1. Saying “No” When Needed is the fourth productivity practice. This will foster a culture where teammates seek real solutions, rather than agree to every request out of a sense of obligation. This behavior will spur focus and engagement. In an organization, it is okay to say “No.” A YES mentality will backfire the minute men have too much on their plate.

Organizations will always have top performers as well as average performers. What is important is the ability of organizations to develop their people into top performers. Having a good mastery of the key productivity practices can boost productivity to a high level despite multiple roles and responsibilities. This is also essential in Leadership Development.

Beyond these practices to improve personal productivity, a company can also adopt some Lean Workplace Productivity methodologies, such as Visual Management and 5S for the Office.

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Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is a practice of rethinking and redesigning the way work is done to better support an organization’s mission and reduce costs. In all too many companies, reengineering has been not only a great success but also a great failure. After months, even years, of a careful redesign, these companies achieve dramatic improvements in individual processes only to watch overall results decline.

The promise of reengineering is not empty. It can actually deliver revolutionary process improvements, and major reengineering efforts are being conducted around the world. It can even lead organizations to achieve a successful Business Transformation.

Yet, companies cannot convey these results to the bottom line.

The Strategy that is BPR

Business Process Reengineering (BPR) is a Business Management strategy focused on the analysis and design of workflows and business processes within an organization. Often, companies direct Process Reengineering initiative on 2 key areas of business. One is in the use of modern technology to enhance data dissemination and the decision- making process. The second key area is the alteration of functional organizations to form functional teams.

As a strategy, Business Process Reengineering can greatly impact on the organization. It can help organizations fundamentally rethink how work must be done to improve customer service, cut operational costs, and become world-class competitors. It can help companies radically restructure their organizations by focusing on the ground-up design of their business process. BPR, as a strategy, can direct organizations to achieve Operational Excellence.

In the process, there are 2 dimensions that are critical in translating these short-term narrow-focus process improvements into long-term profits.

Understanding the 2 Dimensions of BPR

  1. Breadth. Breadth is a dimension of BPR that focuses on the range of activity types within a process. It includes the identification of activities includes in the process being redesigned that are critical for value creation in the overall business unit. Breadth can reduce overall business unit costs and can even reveal unexpected opportunities for a redesign.
  1. Depth. This is the dimension of BPR that focuses on the abstraction levels of process logic within a process. It refers to how many and how much of the depth levers change as a result of reengineering. Depth provides the most dramatic process cost reduction and avoids the classic reengineering pitfall of focusing on fixing the status quo.

Having a good understanding of the 2 Dimensions of BPR will open a range of opportunities for organizations to achieve innovative performance and enhancements.

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The use of the Internet and other online tools have turned consumers to be more empowered and are now shopping differently. Customers are customer centric culture 1becoming more demanding and accustomed to getting what they want.

With greater access to reviews and online rating, customers are better equipped to switch to new products and services. Consumers now want to buy products and services when, where, and however they like. They expect companies to interact with them seamlessly, in an easy, integrated fashion with very little friction across channels.

As customer expectation continues to evolve–accelerated by the amplifying forces of interconnectivity and technology–markets are becoming increasingly fragmented with demand for greater product variety, more price points, and numerous purchasing and distribution channels.

Companies should be able to adapt to these increasingly disparate demands quickly and at scale. Staying close to the Customer Experience across an increasingly diverse customer base changing over time is no longer a matter of choice. It is a business imperative and a matter of corporate survival.

The Age of the Customer now calls for companies to be a Customer-centric Organization. Successful ones have discovered that driving customer-centricity depends, first and foremost, on building a Customer-centric Culture.

The Case for Customer-centricity

In the Age of the Customer, business as usual is not enough. Customers expect companies to interact with them seamlessly. Customers want companies to anticipate their needs and technology must have lowered barriers to entry to allow unorthodox competitors to disrupt markets.

The Age of the Customer has made it imperative for companies to have a customer-centric culture. A Customer-centric Culture can empower and control employee behavior. It is a culture that prioritizes the common understanding, sense of purpose, emotional commitment, and resilience. It is a culture where leaders and employees understand the company’s brand promise. Finally, and most importantly, a customer-centric culture is a culture that is committed to delivering exceptional customer experience.

Companies with a Customer-centric Design must integrate, within its core, primary and secondary cultural attributes essential to complete its customer-centric culture framework.

The Corporate Culture Framework: Its Primary and Secondary Cultural Attributes

In a customer-centric Corporate Culture framework, the primary cultural attributes are critical in building a customer-centric culture. It also has 4 Secondary Cultural Attributes to complete that transformation.

The 4 Primary Cultural Attributes

  1. Collective Focus
    This is a shared vision articulated on what it means to deliver great customer service. Significant resources are devoted to communicating the customer value and all employees understand their role in delivering value.
  1. External Orientation
    External Orientation is having a full understanding of the company through the customer’s eyes. Outside-in perspectives are taken, seeing themselves as customers see them.
  1. Change and Innovation
    In Organizational Change and Innovation, the corporate value system is in place that values failing fast and learning quickly. The notion that mistakes are learning opportunities is embedded in the organization.
  1. Shared Beliefs
    Shared Beliefs is an attribute where employees share a common ideology and commitment to core values. The company strongly encourage strong service mentality and the desire to help others.

The 4 Secondary Cultural Attributes

  1. Risk and Governance
    In Risk Management and Governance, the company must have a strong collective focus and shared beliefs about the boundaries of acceptable risk and appropriate behavior.
  1. Courage
    A Customer-centric Culture with this secondary attribute has the resilience to bounce back when things don’t go as planned.
  1. Commitment
    Commitment is the third secondary attribute where employees show dedication to the customer-centric ethos.
  1. Inclusion
    Inclusion, the fourth secondary attribute, is one attribute that reinforces values diversity, authenticity, and uniqueness.

Inculcating these attributes has become imperative to achieve a successful transformation towards a Customer-centric Culture. Strategy Development now requires organizations to master the necessary practices to instill these attributes and the essential reinforcement to ensure that it is sustained.

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