Monthly Research
& Market Commentary

Why Co-creation Matters – Are you Experienced?

Reimagining the Portfolio / 24 Feb 2015 / By Lewis Richards

With outside-in becoming established as a core theme of today’s marketplace dynamics, we are routinely observing innovation happening at the edge rather than at the centre. As we now enter a new age of co-creation, we can take advantage of what it really means to be digital.

Co-creation is not a new concept, but is becoming more important at a time when many industries are facing disruption either by new products that are substitutes for existing products (DSUB) or commoditized versions of existing products (DCOM), that enable many new, higher order systems to be created. To cope with DSUB disruptions, we need to be agile. You will likely not see it coming, so the premium is on speed of response. DCOM changes, on the other hand, are more predictable as they are built by combining existing systems whose properties are known.

In this new disruptive world, we need all the help we can get. Increasingly, it will make sense to:

1. Identify all the stakeholders in your business.

2. Establish what they want and value.

3. Determine how they can contribute value to your efforts.

4. Investigate how IT can help.

Businesses have been steadily increasing their reliance on capabilities and resources outside the walls of their firm, as illustrated in the figure below, adapted from the work of University of Michigan Professor, Venkat Ramaswamy, a leading, co-creation thinker and co-author with the LEF:

Figure 1 – Co-creation is fast becoming an essential part of the future business operating model

This means that everything from cloud computing, to social media, to the nascent internet of things are either being exploited or are ready to be exploited by corporations, who will work in new, more leveraged and extended ways.

As we extrapolate these trends in the co-creation era, we envisage an even more inter-dependent future. To succeed in this increasingly outside-in and consumerized world, firms will need to leverage the knowledge, skills, tools and enthusiasms of their customers, employees (and other gatekeepers). This will require a deeply embedded culture of co-creation. Plus, with the exponential rise of new digital devices, services and platforms, experience with these capabilities will be vitally important. Our research seeks to understand how all of these aspects coalesce, offering opportunities for ecosystem evolution, value creation and customer engagement.

Co-creation is also an important step to working with gatekeepers within the business. Gatekeepers are tasked with protecting the reputation of the firm and keeping the organization safe and secure. To do this requires a broad review of the entire firm. Today, gatekeeper focus is mostly on problems. Going forward it is essential that the gates that they protect swing both ways, to identify and support good ideas, not just stop bad ones. Our latest Guide to Co-creating Value with Your Customers can help to provide an experience framework and context to engage these communities.

As co-creation fast becomes an essential part of the future business operating model, our guide,providing examples of co-creation and emerging techniques,has been designed to help clients on what will be a long and transformative journey ahead. Take a quick Readiness Assessment on page 19 to see where you are and where you might want to be moving forward, and/or take part in one of our new Xperience Lab workshops to accelerate a more hands-on co-creation experience.


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21st Century
Adaptive Execution
Proactive, Haptic Sensing
Reimagining the Portfolio
Value Centric Leadership


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