Creating a human centred organisation is about aligning three things:
- Customer value & desire
- Employees personal goals & growth
- Business mission
A successful company exists when customer value is created and met on an ongoing basis: indeed, supply and demand.
In the diagrams below, on the left side we can see value & demand as concepts, and on the right, we can see work done / supply. When this relationship exists, we have a business and — in macro — economy.
We can achieve a successful company by creating an environment in which the employees of that company are enabled to develop existing and new value for customers through achieving personal goals.
In hierarchical, static organisations the ‘distance’ between executives and workers is greater. Workers may have little knowledge of why they’re doing the job they do.
When this relationship is tight, workers can empathise with customers. Customer value is not “owned” by an executive, and it doesn’t have to filter down through a hierarchy.
- Customer value is a problem to solve, rather than an edict to deliver. Leaders are also employees, and vice-versa.
- The organisation is more responsive. Time isn’t wasted filtering customer value through a hierarchy.
We now have two concepts.
- One is a triangle outlining the three aspects of a successful organisation.
- The other is a basic diagram of supply and demand with visual metaphors.
These diagrams relate as follows (though these are not exhaustive).
Personal growth allows an organisation to tighten the relationship between supply and demand.
The business mission is to create an exchange of value between customer and business. This includes creating new value through innovation.
The diagram above suggests the inverse of the personal growth relationship. This is restrictive: in this image, the business mission is to push demand toward supply. It is also to align supply to personal goals of employees.
A business does not exist without customer value.
Customer value is demand by definition.
But customers are not always aware of their demands, and their demands are not static. If customers could articulate everything they wanted the economy would stop: we could meet all demands.
- They identify better ways to achieve their goals and then make business aware of them.
- Business makes customers aware of a better way of doing something.
This dynamism results in a reciprocal demand on business to keep up, to be better.
Given that a business is comprised of people who have their own goals to meet, aligning customer value with employee goals means the business can become more dynamic, resulting in value & demand creation for it’s customers, and responding better to existing demand.
The diagrams above use a conceit for the sake of clarity. Executives handle customer demand and employees handle supply, which implies that executives = business. This is not the case. Executives are also employees, because they’re people. All employees are responsible for better understanding and creating customer demand.