Innovation is the lifeblood of an organization, and a critical component of any organization’s strategy. Remember, strategy is anchored in the future—what will your future organization look like. Most likely, your organization’s future vision involves a different set of products and services than what’s in place today—but what about relationships? This is something I often see overlooked in a strategy, and it can make all the difference.
To be sure, let’s define relationship, in the context of your strategy. Relationships are basically free services. They belong on the same dimension as products and services—they are part of your basic offering which is matrixed with markets to determine and develop your offer/market mix (more commonly known as product/market mix, except I don’t like this terminology as there’s too much emphasis on physical products). Most likely relationships are either non-existent or very nuanced in your current strategy; if so, they need to be exposed.
When building the vision of your strategy, ask yourself what kind of relationships (i.e. free services) will be offered to your customers, then intentionally innovate in that direction.
When building the vision of your strategy, ask yourself what kind of relationships (i.e. free services) will be offered to your customers, then intentionally innovate in that direction. Information development is an area that’s attractive for relationships, as the operational costs should be relatively low. What would otherwise be strategic information services—in the literal sense of the phrase—can be easily recast as strategic information relationships. For instance, when I was at Visa, one of the questions we asked was, “what kind of information and analysis can we provide to our partners (gratis), that will build and fortify our relationship with them.”
Breakthrough relationships create loyal customers. So, if your customers mean anything to you, develop relationships with the same focus and diligence used to develop the products and services that support your business today. Contact us today if you’d like to chat more about your organization’s innovation or product development.