The Power of Co-Creation: Build It with Them to Boost Growth, Productivity, and Profits

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9781439181041: The Power of Co-Creation: Build It with Them to Boost Growth, Productivity, and Profits

Apple embraced co-creation to enhance the speed and scope of its innovation, generat­ing over $1 billion for its App-Store partner-developers in two years, even as it overtook Microsoft in market value. Starbucks launched its online platform MyStarbucksIdea.com to tap into ideas from customers and turbocharged a turnaround. Unilever turned to co-creation for redesigning prod­uct lines such as Sunsilk shampoo and revitalized growth. Nike achieved remarkable success with its Nike+ co-creation initiative, which enables a com­munity of over a million runners to interact with one another and the company, increasing its market share by 10 percent in the first year.

Co-creation involves redefining the way organizations engage individuals—customers, employees, suppliers, partners, and other stake­holders—bringing them into the process of value creation and engaging them in enriched experi­ences, in order to

—formulate new breakthrough strategies

—design compelling new products and services

—transform management processes

—lower risks and costs

—increase market share, loyalty, and returns

In this pathbreaking book, Venkat Ramaswamy (who coined the term co-creation with C. K. Prahalad) and Francis Gouillart, pioneers in working with com­panies to develop co-creation practices, show how every organization—from large corporation to small firm, and government agency to not-for-profit—can achieve “win more–win more” results with these methods. Based on extraordinary research and the authors’ hands-on experiences with successful projects in co-creation at dozens of the world’s most exciting organizations, The Power of Co-Creation illustrates with detailed examples from leading firms such as those above, as well as from Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Ama­zon, Jabil, Predica, Wacoal, Caja Navarra, and many others, how enterprises have used a wide range of “engagement platforms”—and how they have even restructured internal management processes—in order to harness the power of co-creation.

As the authors’ wealth of examples make vividly clear, enterprises can no longer afford to view custom­ers and other stakeholders as passive recipients of their products and services but must learn to engage them in defining and delivering enhanced value. Co-creation goes beyond the conventional “process view” of qual­ity, re-engineering, and lean thinking, and is the essential new mind-set and practice for boosting sus­tainable growth, productivity, and profits in the future.

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About the Author:

Venkat Ramaswamy is Hallman Fellow of Electronic Business and professor of marketing at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He speaks, teaches, and consults globally about co-creation, mentoring many organizations in their quest to become a co-creative enterprise. He is a coauthor of the award-winning book The Future of Competition. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and blogs at venkatramaswamy.com
Francis Gouillart is president and founder of the Experience Co-Creation Partnership. He is a consultant and teacher who helps many organizations implement co-creation around the world, and coauthor of the acclaimed book Transforming the Organization. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts, and blogs at francisgouillart.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The Power of Co-Creation Chapter 1
Becoming a Co-Creative Enterprise


All around the globe, the expectations of informed and connected people have dramatically changed in recent years. Whether as customers, employees, or citizens, people demand more engagement with providers of goods and services, with their employers, and with their governments. People today are highly connected and networked, sharing their experiences of using products and services. They want to help design the value of the products and services they use; they want an ongoing conversation with the organizations they do business with and with each other; and they want their voices heard. Yet, in spite of their best efforts, many organizations are locked into a firm-centric paradigm of value and its creation. They fail to engage people in generating better products and services that the organization can deliver. Technology gives innovators and marketers more and more options in designing and delivering products and services, yet they struggle to connect with what people value, and this further frustrates people. As a result, satisfaction ratings are declining or flat across many industries, and loyalty is increasingly a thing of the past.

During 2000 to 2004, Venkat Ramaswamy (together with C. K. Prahalad) wrote a series of articles on the implications for business and society of the more connected and empowered customer. They detailed the shifting of competencies toward a network of customer communities and global talent outside the firm on one hand, and the emergence of global resource networks of firms on the other. The authors suggested that customer experience is central to enterprise value creation, innovation, strategy, and executive leadership.1 These broad changes in business and society, they argued, called for co-creation—the practice of developing systems, products, or services through collaboration with customers, managers, employees, and other company stakeholders. Their book, The Future of Competition (Harvard Business School Press, 2004), offered a series of compelling examples showing that value is being increasingly created jointly by the firm and the customer, rather than created entirely inside the firm. The authors held that customers seek the freedom of choice to interact with firms through a range of experiences. Customers want to define choices in a manner that reflects their view of value, and they want to interact and transact in their preferred language and style. The Future of Competition provided a new frame of reference for jointly creating value through experiences.2 Just three years after its publication, a number of businesses had capitalized on opportunities anticipated by the book—whether start-ups such as Crushpad, which made winemaking a more democratic process using Web 2.0 technologies, or established businesses such as Brother, which breathed new life into a century-old product, the sewing machine, by networking the product and nurturing active user communities.

In many ways The Future of Competition portrayed the digital and consumer universe we know today. It also commenced an ongoing journey for Venkat Ramaswamy. In 2005 Francis Gouillart joined the journey, and the authors started developing a transformational framework for co-creation. Through their interactions with thousands of managers globally who had begun experimenting with co-creation, they discovered that enterprises were building platforms that engaged not only the firm and its customers, but also the entire network of suppliers, partners, and employees in a continuous development of new experiences with individuals. In some cases, they found that organizations had gone further in extending their resource base through practices such as crowdsourcing, mass collaboration, and open innovation. In other cases, they were tapping into user communities and social networking among customers. Some organizations had also begun allowing their customers to personalize products. Others were engaging suppliers in new forms of vendor relationships. Still others had developed new ways of interacting with their employees and were able to mobilize their workforce to unheard-of levels of performance through co-creation. In all these cases, companies were succeeding by paying attention to how they engaged people. Managers had to make the fundamental shift to go beyond their conventional goods-services mind-set to an experience mind-set—defining value based on human experiences rather than features and processes, whether downstream or upstream, in the value chain. They further observed that success lies in using people’s engagement experiences to generate insights to improve the nature of interactions as a result, including inside the enterprise. Interactions among people inside and outside the firm became the connective tissue where new insights, learning, and innovation were generated.

As shown in Figure 1-1, the activity chain of the enterprise no longer solely creates value, nor is its value proposition unilaterally defined by the organization. The activity chain remains key in creating goods and services, but customers, suppliers, partners, and employees are no longer limiting their experience to just “receiving” what is being offered by the enterprise’s activity chain. They increasingly want to insert themselves into that activity chain, and also open up to the possibility of enhancing value in their own activities. In other words, people want to be personally engaged in co-creating value through human experiences. In doing so, the traditional distinction between production and consumption gets blurred.

Figure 1-1: Becoming a Co-Creative Enterprise



Although the co-creation principle applies equally for suppliers, partners, and employees, let us start by illustrating how value co-creation works with customers. In the conventional enterprise, customers are largely passive in the process of value creation. They are researched, observed, segmented, targeted, marketed at, and sold to by people in the organization, but they are not engaged in any meaningful interaction with the organization, on their terms. To use common business terminology, the organization has established “touch points” for them, but these touch points are scarce and brief, and they are all staged from the perspective of the organization. The organization decides what those touch points are and how the relationship with the individual is defined. Individuals do not get to decide what they are to share with the enterprise, but instead answer the questions asked of them at the focus group. They do not participate in the design of the product or service or program, but are only presented with an offering designed for them by the organization. They do not participate in the marketing of the offering, but only get to see the campaign aimed at them. They do not sell the offering to each other; the organization sells it to them. They are left with a yes-or-no decision, a modern capitalistic equivalent of Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “to buy or not to buy.” Throughout, the organization views value as a function of its activities, ignoring the role of individuals and their activities in the shaping of value. This firm-centric paradigm of the conventional enterprise has served us well for many years, but it is rapidly becoming obsolete.

As we will see in this book, the future belongs to the co-creative enterprise. Co-creation involves both a profound democratization and decentralization of value creation, moving it from concentration inside the firm to interactions with its customers, customer communities, suppliers, partners, and employees, and interactions among individuals. Once an organization accepts this premise, it starts on a journey that will require it to develop new capabilities. First, the organization needs to use the experience of individuals as the starting point, rather than its own products and services. In addition, the development of compelling experiences with individuals requires that they be allowed to engage in interactions of their own choosing. In co-creative enterprises, individuals participate in the design of value through their own experiences, which leads to a recasting of the conventional role of strategy, innovation, marketing, supply chain management, human resources management, and information technology.

The co-creative enterprise is also a formidable productivity engine that can pay for itself many times over, in the same way that the quality movement and Six Sigma process-based practices have increased productivity by increasing worker engagement. In addition to cutting costs and improving efficiency, co-creation reduces business risk. Most important, the co-creative enterprise is a growth engine. It enhances strategic capital, increases returns, and expands market opportunities. Co-creation draws innovative ideas from customers, employees, and stakeholders at large. It increases the capacity of firms to generate insights and take advantage of opportunities they might not have identified, while reducing risk and capital needs by using global networks and communities. To illustrate a co-creative enterprise in action and the power of value co-creation, consider Nike.
Nike as a Co-Creative Enterprise


After Apple introduced the iPod in 2001, employees on the Nike campus started to notice many runners sporting ubiquitous white earbuds. As Nike’s senior managers traveled globally, they came back seeing the connection between running and music in a different light. In the words of Nike’s president and CEO Mark Parker, “Most runners were running with music already. We thought the real opportunity would come if we could combine music and data.”3

In 2006, Nike launched Nike+ (pronounced NikePlus), an initiative in partnership with Apple to engage more deeply with runners and the running community at large. Nike+ consists of a smart sensor on the shoe that can communicate with a built-in wireless receiver on the iPod Touch or iPhone. As you listen to music and run, the sensor electronically logs the time and distance of the run, keeping track of any records being set. When a new record is set, a voice-over recorded by Lance Armstrong offers congratulations and provides encouragement. And once you are done running, you can go online to the Nike+ website (www.nikeplus.com), upload data from your run, chart it, analyze it, and share it with other runners. Runners can set individual goals, track their progress, and challenge other runners.4

Nike+ goes beyond an agglomeration of devices and websites, however. To appreciate the co-creativity of Nike+, let us see how a runner actually engages with this platform and with other runners. Meet our protagonist runner, “Youtou,” as she is affectionately called. She has had a passion for running from a young age and takes running seriously. She works with a global firm and enjoys watching soccer and sports in general. Youtou is not just a statistic in a company database or someone to be “targeted,” but a living, breathing human being who cares about the quality of her running experience.

Youtou is training for a half-marathon in London in five months. She has set a goal of finishing in less than an hour and a half, a highly ambitious time given where she is today. It is an opportunity to prove her competitiveness to herself and others. Let us identify the various interactions Youtou can engage in through Nike+. Her experience is ultimately the result of all those interactions. First, using the Run Tracking feature, she can now automatically plot distance, time, pace, and calories burned. She can display a friendly, colorful histogram of any set of data over time, assessing whether she is making progress. No need to log her runs into spreadsheets on her laptop manually every day as she used to, serious runner that she is. She can also issue running challenges to others through the Challenge Others feature. Here, she may let her competitive streak run free and dare the kids at her office to beat the time she recorded yesterday on their favorite “run around the Park Plaza” course. She may issue her challenge as an individual or as part of a team. The challenge may be, for example, about the total number of miles that her team can run over a set period of time—say, 30 days—thereby fostering motivation within each team. “Hey buddy, how about logging a couple of miles for the team this evening?” Youtou can also put herself out there and publish a Running Resolution, whereby she intends to run at least 1,000 miles over the next five months. She can already hear the electronic cheering coming from friends and relatives as she accumulates a few more miles every day, not to mention the emotional lift she receives from congratulatory messages from Lance Armstrong as she passes certain milestones.

Youtou can now Map and Share Her Runs. Every time she establishes a new course, she can view it on a Google map, through a partnership between Nike and Google. She can also make that map available to others, annotating it with detailed data such as the nature of the road terrain and whether the course is well lit or not. When Youtou is sent to London on business, she can now download local data and find the popular running places around the hotel where she is staying. Of course, Youtou can Listen to Music on her iPod Touch. In the words of the Nike+ website, she can “hear how she runs.” Many athletes will tell you that there is a unique symbiosis between sports and music rhythms, which Nike+ capitalizes on. Youtou can also Publish Her Running Playlists. And who knows? Her iTunes iMix playlist tuned to the running rhythm of people like her may become a hit. She might become a contributor to popular iMixes and stoke the teenage aspiration she once had to become a music producer.

Through Nike+, Youtou can also join local Nike Running Clubs. There, she will be able to attend running clinics and participate in runner reward programs. She can also sign up for Nike-Sponsored Events such as a five-kilometer run on Valentine’s Day in the streets of New York. Youtou can engage in virtual Training with a Running Coach or Interact with Running Stars. There, she can get into a personal discussion on how quickly she should start running again after her pregnancy, or why her running pace seems to be hitting a wall after steadily improving for the last year. More broadly, she can join a variety of Blog and Discussion Board interactions with the larger running community, covering topics as diverse as running shoes, clothing, personal stories, and, as the Nike+ website indicates, “everything running.”

Notice how active Youtou can be throughout in defining her running experience. She can create her own running courses, potentially building on what others have devised before her. She can decide whether to engage with training specialists or professional runners, based on the specific issues she faces. She can share her wisdom and running tips, based on what works for her. She can decide to seek encouragement and support in training for the half-marathon in London in five months. In all those cases, she initiates the contact, rather than passively wait for someone to reach out to her. She can share feelings or data about herself. She can be creative and exhibit her personality. She can be imaginative and whimsical and have fun in a way that suits her mood at any one time.

Thus, for Youtou as a runner, value is now a function of her running experience. This is created partly by...

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Descripción SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2010. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Apple embraced co-creation to enhance the speed and scope of its innovation, generat-ing over $1 billion for its App-Store partner-developers in two years, even as it overtook Microsoft in market value. Starbucks launched its online platform to tap into ideas from customers and turbocharged a turnaround. Unilever turned to co-creation for redesigning prod-uct lines such as Sunsilk shampoo and revitalized growth. Nike achieved remarkable success with its Nike+ co-creation initiative, which enables a com-munity of over a million runners to interact with one another and the company, increasing its market share by 10 percent in the first year. Co-creation involves redefining the way organizations engage individuals-customers, employees, suppliers, partners, and other stake-holders-bringing them into the process of value creation and engaging them in enriched experi-ences, in order to -formulate new breakthrough strategies -design compelling new products and services -transform management processes -lower risks and costs -increase market share, loyalty, and returns In this pathbreaking book, Venkat Ramaswamy (who coined the term co-creation with C. K. Prahalad) and Francis Gouillart, pioneers in working with com-panies to develop co-creation practices, show how every organization-from large corporation to small firm, and government agency to not-for-profit-can achieve win more-win more results with these methods. Based on extraordinary research and the authors hands-on experiences with successful projects in co-creation at dozens of the world s most exciting organizations, The Power of Co-Creation illustrates with detailed examples from leading firms such as those above, as well as from Cisco, GlaxoSmithKline, Ama-zon, Jabil, Predica, Wacoal, Caja Navarra, and many others, how enterprises have used a wide range of engagement platforms -and how they have even restructured internal management processes-in order to harness the power of co-creation. As the authors wealth of examples make vividly clear, enterprises can no longer afford to view custom-ers and other stakeholders as passive recipients of their products and services but must learn to engage them in defining and delivering enhanced value. Co-creation goes beyond the conventional process view of qual-ity, re-engineering, and lean thinking, and is the essential new mind-set and practice for boosting sus-tainable growth, productivity, and profits in the future. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9781439181041

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