My hubby and I took a cruise the week after the American Thanksgiving holiday. It was a lot of fun, snorkeling with stingrays in Grand Cayman and going horseback riding in Mexico. We also had several days at sea. Laying by the pool in the beautiful tropical sun, I read some great books.
- “The Origins of the Financial Crisis: Central Banks, Credit Bubbles and the Efficient Market Fallacy,” by George Cooper;
- “Strategy from the Outside In: Profiting from Customer Value,” by George Day and Christine Moorman;
- “iLearning: How to Create an Innovative Learning Organization,” by Mark Salisbury;
- And a cruise-required diversionary, humorous novel, “The Late, Lamented Molly Marx,” by Sally Koslow.
For anyone trying to understand the global financial meltdown of 2008-2009 or the role that fiat currency and central banks play in our daily business lives, I highly recommend Cooper’s book. I found the book easy to read and a great complement to a recent course I’ve taken on the subject of International Finance. First published in December 2008, the book has a timely look at the housing market collapse and government debt, both of which continue to be daily topics in my local newspaper!
Day and Moorman’s book was also very interesting. Divided into three sections, a more appropriate title may have been “Never, Ever Forget Your Customer”. Much of the information presented in the book is data most companies already know: understanding your customer wants and needs through Market Research allows you to address them with the right product at the right time.
“Strategy from the Outside In” presents four customer value imperatives:
- Be a Customer Value Leader,
- Innovate New Value for Customers,
- Capitalize on the Customer as an Asset, and
- Capitalize on the Brand as an Asset.
Loaded with examples of firms that are leaders, as well as those that have had failures, by employing these strategic thrusts, this book clearly communicates that the Customer shall always be at the forefront of any new product development effort. Instead, many organizations will spend an inordinate amount of resources seeking efficiency and improved internal processes.
While the latter can deliver bottom-line results, most firms require top-line growth to succeed in today’s globally competitive marketplace. “Cruising” with the customer, following their wants and needs, and evaluating success with the customer via satisfaction surveys and other metrics, will ensure strategic alignment of the new product portfolio with customers.
To learn more about the customer, market research and new product development, join us for an NPDP (New Product Development Professional) workshop in 2011.
Image of cruise ship courtesy of Flickr.
Images of book covers courtesy of Borders.
© 2010 Global NP Solutions, LLC