What is the center of your universe?
Updated: Feb 28, 2019
Customer-centric. Goods-centric. X-centric (perhaps). What's with all this centricity? What does it even mean? And what does it have to do with you, what does it do for/to your organization, your operations and the customer experience?
In astronomy, the geocentric model is a superseded description of the universe with Earth at the center. In the geocentric model, the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets all orbited Earth. In Europe the geocentric model served as the predominant description of the cosmos until the 16th century.
The geocentric model was superseded by the works of Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler and their heliocentric model or system. This model positioned the Sun near the center of the Universe, motionless, with Earth and the other planets orbiting around it in circular paths modified by epicycles and at uniform speeds. The model takes name from Helios (the God and personification of the Sun in Greek mythology). Hence, the "solar system".
IMPLICATIONS IN ORGANIZATIONS
The two models – or systems if you like – can be used to describe other systems like e.g. organizations.
For instance, an organization characterized by heavy departmentalization – silos – can be described as a geocentric system. In such systems, each department tend to view itself as the center of its own universe.
On average, geocentric system will have an atomized approach to process/solutions design, to decision making and customer support. Cross-organizational collaboration, communication and knowledge sharing will be limited or non-existing. Data and other resources will be monopolized. Consequently, they deliver a customer experience which is below par. The organizational culture will be characterized by competition and sub-optimization.
In contrast, heliocentric systems and organizations will be characterized by collaboration; by a holistic approach to operations; by the sharing of data, resources and knowledge; by the provision of joint processes, solutions and decision-making. Helio-centric systems puts the needs of customer first and handles the coordination of service off-stage as they work continuously on optimizing and coordinating departmental or systemic interfaces. Heliocentric systems deliver one-stop, customer-centric service.
Extending the systemic approach, the difference is between open and closed systems. In open systems, focus is on mutual benefits; stakeholders engage in partnerships; transactions are transparent; data is shared and flows openly in a structured manner. Conversely, closed systems view most transactions as zero-sum games. For this reason, other stakeholders are treated with suspicion or at least apprehension; processes are kept intentionally opaque and data is kept secret if possible or are shared only with the outmost caution.
COLLABORATION = HIGH PERFORMANCE + GREATER IMPACT
All high-performance teams are characterized by collaboration. Strangely though, the most predominant system culture is still (internal) competition. Supposedly because competition is good for you. Competition is enhanced by governance structures like budgets and head-counts. Things that can be easily converted (personal) power. This in turn increases the incentive for sub optimization and resource monopolization.
No matter the object, you can invest three finite resources: Attention, time and money. In most organizations, the least finite resource is in fact money.
Not only can collaborative teams obtain greater resources, recognition, and reward when facing competition for finite resources. They also provide more EFFECT – or IMPACT if you will: Greater output//better outcome for a less investment of resources. Thus, collaboration also provides the means for a re-investment of – freed – resources. In customer relations, stakeholder management, projects, proactive sales etc.
Basic convictions are always connected to strategies. If you have a basic conviction about competition, you act in a specific way. Zero-sum mentality is king. If you have the opposite conviction of collaboration, you have a set of completely opposite strategies. So really, it all comes down to mindset. And shifting your mindset is hard.
At Acumex, we believe firmly in the superiority of collaborative solutions.
Hence, the Acumex TMS is NOT "just another IT system". Nor is it "just another trading platform". More accurately it is an approach. An enabler. A mindset. A helio-centric mindset allowing for a customer-centric approach to service and product-centric approach to trading.
It is an enabler for real, (digital) transformation: From "scarcity" to "abundance" of internal resources; from "complex" to "manageable" data structures; from "fragmented" to "structured" interaction; from "opaque" to "transparent" processes and from focus on "efficiency" to focus on "effect".
If you have aspirations for greater IMPACT in your market, reach out and see how we can be of assistance.