Joe Batista Keynote: The Last Three Feet

Joe Batista, Chief Creatologist at Hewlett Packard, gave the second keynote. He spoke about creating new markets based on what your company has as resources or assets.

His Key Principles:

  • Inventory of Assets: Discover, unleash and reorient everything!
  • Dialogue −Open dialogue creates opportunities to channel company assets, resources and energy around client’s business challenge
  • Alignment of business interests −Example: Personalized Medicine project HP has with Harvard (Mayo Clinic has something similar with IBM)
  • Synchronizing business assets −Example: Memory Spot (HP) is RFID technology that can be used to validate pharmaceuticals to prevent import of counterfeits.

To Summarize, he emphasized:

  • Creating business conversations for results− Create forums for dialogue
  • Aligning talent & company franchises with client business objectives− Focus on projects not products, develop team of value added agents, build “net new”value streams
  • Synchronizing assets− Discover, Unleash and Reorient suite of hidden assets within your organization for client success
  • Intersection of Marketing & Sales− Look to build upon your products and services you currently offer, look at your ecosystem, IP portfolios, business processes, business policy and practices and create new value streams to be marketed.

Joe says, “Seeing growth is not a matter of selling more of what you produce, but expanding the domain in which you can respond to your clients.”

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Customer-Centric Organizations Keynote

Liveblogging the first Frost & Sullivan keynote by Pamela T. Miller, Esq. She is Vice President, Market Strategy and Development, Medco Health Solutions, Inc. Her presentation is entitled “Creating a Consistent Customer Experience and Driving Customer-centric Thinking throughout the Organization.”

Pamela defines customer-centrism as “Focusing a company’s strategies and operations around customers rather than products, services, markets or internal structure.” She says customer-centric strategies can increase customer satisfaction, loyalty, retention and ultimately, the bottom line. (This is in keeping with Dr. William Mayo’s dictum that “The best interest of the patient is the only interest to be considered.”)

In a study of 2,500 telecom customers, a 10 point increase in satisfaction increase retention by 2 percent. In a study of 200 Fortune 500 firms, one percent increase in customer satisfaction was associated with a similar increase in market value. This seems pretty intuitive and common sense, but it’s nice to have hard data to confirm.

Pamela says a differentiated customer experience is an essential strategy for attracting and retaining customers, and people are willing to pay more for it. She told the story of Starbucks and how someone did a blind taste test with Dunkin Donuts and other coffees, and people couldn’t tell the difference. But the Starbucks atmosphere with quick service, comfortable seating, music, wireless internet and other customer experience differentiators has led to slaes growth and EPS growth that is double the industry average.

Key factors to her holistic approach to creating customer-centric organizations are (and I’m going to relate these to Mayo Clinic as a patient-centric organization):

Leadership – Commitment at the top. See the quote from Dr. William Mayo above. That quote has been boiled down over the years to: “The needs of the patient come first.” Pamela says leaders need to share financials and map them back to customer-centered goals.

Infrastructure – Need customer research and development, to make marketing and branding strategies customer focused. Mayo Clinic’s mission is to give the best care to every patient, every day. Hiring and training are hugely important; that’s why she recommends behavioral interviews in the hiring process (which is something Mayo does.) Other elements include reward and recognition (not necessarily financial), measurement and continuous improvement of key business processes, and analysis of competition and the market. “Once a customer is lost, it’s hard to get him or her back.” Starbucks believes in paying front-line employees well because they are the first line of exper

Process – Design processes to provide consistent branded customer experienceacross the organization.

Culture – This is, she says, the hardest part. People either have the basic behavior of liking to serve others, or they don’t. You have to hire the right kind of people, or as Jim Collins says in Good to Great, get the right people on the bus. Again, this is a Mayo Clinic focus through our behavioral interview process. We also work to “imbue” our vendors and consultants with our culture so they understand how seriously we take patient centricity.
Other companies Pamela used as examples include Commerce Bancorp, Nordstrom, Lexus, and Berkshire Hathaway.

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Frost & Sullivan Sales & Marketing Conference

The Frost & Sullivan Sales & Marketing 2007, East Executive MindXChange starts today in Alexandria, Virginia. Here’s the agenda for what looks to be a highly interactive learning experience. I’m looking forward to participating in a Tuesday afternoon panel moderated by Grier Graham of TechDirt, Inc. Other panelist include Peter S. Mahoney, Nuance Communications, Inc.; David Doucette, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; Rick Short, Indium Corporation; and Jeremiah Owyang,

I’ll be sharing highlights and insights from the conference here over the next few days.

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