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Customer preeminence: the lodestar for continuous innovation in the business ecosystem

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Purpose

– The author analyzes why the transformation of customers from passive consumers to their new role as, in effect, the determining partners in corporate strategy has produced the need for a fundamental rethinking of how a corporation must be led and managed.”

Design/methodology/approach

– The author links the modern day preeminence of the customer to the rise of globalization, the failures of hierarchical management, the omnipresence of the Internet, Agile methodology, continuous focused innovation and the advent of the ecosystem platform.

Findings

– The author sees the emergence of the customer as the lodestar for guiding corporate value-chain decisions as a transformational feature of the 21st Century business landscape.”

Practical implications

– By having an ecosystem platform, rather than an individual or coach seeing to the needs of the customer, Apple is able to achieve massive scale, with hundreds of thousands of developers devising every conceivable App to meet the infinitely variable needs of hundreds of millions of customers.”

Originality/value

– The author’s insight is that this shift from vertical to horizontal management is a truly new core idea. It’s not just a new process or methodology, but a different ideology – a different way of viewing and acting in the world. And management will likely never be the same.
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Keywords: Continuous innovation; Customer preeminence; Customer value innovation; Horizontal management; Threats to hierarchical management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 20, 2015

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