Why do organisations find it so hard to act in a way that reflects what their customers want?
At the crux of the issue are three factors, which mean companies are rarely successful at responding to their customers’ needs through marketing and innovation:
The cultures and perspectives of those who engage with customers most closely are very different from those with a more operational, financial or broadly internal emphasis.
In order to respond, organisations need to join up their capabilities to present a seamless picture to the customer. Yet wide-ranging but connected activities are the most difficult to manage effectively.
What is lacking is not creativity in the idea-creating sense, but innovation in putting the ideas to work, to paraphrase an observation made by Theodore Levitt nearly 40 years ago.