NIT MOT Letter
No.6 / 水澤 直哉（専任教授）
The world has entered a new economic era of transformative innovation, where success can be a major cause of failure and convention should courageously be challenged. Innovation moves at a breakneck pace. Old values derived from your organizational inertia could become clear constraints on your sustainable growth. The name of the new game is Digital Transformation, in which Big Bang Disruption might happen at any time, totally undermining conventional values, beliefs and assumptions. Those who aptly figure out what is coming and quickly adapt could upend the market and make something new truly happen.
In this dramatically changing marketplace, therefore, it has become increasingly important for you, as a transformational business leader, to stick solidly to a customer focus and innovate new values, at all times, for customers without staying comfortably with your previously successful business model and conventional ways of doing things. This will evidently enable you to “continue to be chosen by customers.” You may need to reflect occasionally on whether your current business practices have already become obsolete and invalid.
But, the fact is that even excellent companies may fall into a dangerous internal focus, viewing the world from the inside-out, without knowing it even if they think that they embrace a customer focus. And, they begin to focus gradually on daily operations and efficiencies, and become the slave to the immediate without being able to stick to a customer focus. An inside-out thinking distracts companies from the core purpose of a business: to create and serve customers. Fulfilling this particular purpose can be done only by approaching strategies from the ”outside-in.”
In order to continue to be chosen by, and grow with, customers, therefore, you need to drive “customer perspective” and “innovative spirit” throughout the entire organization and call upon every stakeholder in the organization to share a common mindset for maximizing customer value. It is imperative for everyone in your enterprise from top management to each and every member to constantly embrace a customer focus and always create new values for customers by challenging convention. This shared insight in itself will turn out to be a decisive point of differentiation over competitors, making it a basis for a durable competitive advantage.
By integrating the inside-out (innovation) and the outside-in (marketing), you can make a difference as a successful transformational business leader!
Graduate School of Management of Technology
Nippon Institute of Technology
August 1, 2016