27 mars 2010

End to End External Engagement : 4 E's for your sustainable competitiveness

The concept of "End to End External Engagement originated in my partner's creative mind. Alexandre Vandemeersch, loyal to the years spent at McKinsey, came with the idea that  engagement with people external to a company might allow cost reduction and value creation on each part of that company's value chain. I was so excited when he told me that. In my last book I tried to convince managers that the development of their sustainable competitiveness  would require more eccentricity. By eccentricity, I meant more than just thinking out of the box. This has been told so much by so many gurus that we all ended up knowing that the box was the problem. I was thinking about what the co-founder of Sun Microsystems once said: "there are always more smart people outside your company than within it". We all want to believe that we have the best talent in house. Fine but we can't have all of them any more. And statistically, Bill Joy is and will remain right. Some companies in some industries know that very well. They are committed to "user generated innovation". A concept developed By professor Von Himpel. He claims that such innovation happens and pays of in categories where the user is highly involved and if the improvement will benefit him in his daily life. Surgeons are inventing/improving the surgery tools. Bikers did invent VTT. Surfers did invent Kite surfing, and so on...
Today, the average consumers gets access to so much information that he starts doubting abouts what advertisers tells him. He double-checks with his peers or on forums the more that he worries about his own comfort, his health ans his ecosystem. Doubts and worries in a society where all info's are made accessible creates involvment. Hence user generated creativity. In Belgium alone, there are more than 1milllion people who claim having often an idea to improve their daily consumption. The lady who created the speculaas spread is one of them. So you can limit the conversation about business inside the walls of your company  but you'll lose a lot of opportunities.
I started my career working on P&G. At that time you could be fired by P&G for talking about the business at lunch in a restaurant. To day they've open their R&D department to the outside. Results ? R&D had a productivity gain of 60% while reducing cost by almost 40%. Watch them. They often show the way.

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Welcome on Patrick Willemarck's blog

I'm the founder of Dialog Solutions.
On this blog I want to share views and opinions about business and more specifically about Brands, Consumers, Marketing, market research, innovation, loyalty, etc., all those business aspects that are deeply affected by social media.
Every company shouldn't be present on every social media network. but every company is becoming porous to the outside world and has therefore to become both social and media.