April 24, 2006
Stranova Strategic Edge, Vol. 8, Published April 24, 2006. For most of the modern era, business innovation has been a closely-guarded trust, conducted by an elite group of innovators within the corporation. In the past thirty years, we’ve seen this expand to include cross-company product or service development teams, incorporating individuals from sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, and service as active participants in the design process. Even that, however, is a fairly narrow focus, and in the past few years a major trend has evolved where customers are now actively engaged not just in providing feedback on product strategy – but also contributing both to the strategy and to the actual design elements themselves. This week’s episode illustrates how this trend has come about, provides real-world examples of how it works from industries as diverse as video games, healthcare, and the automotive industries, and suggests what you can do to turn your customers (and others in your business universe) into active participants in the strategic innovation process.