Janet Kosloff, Co-founder and CEO at InCrowd
We believe we are living in a period of unprecedented change.
Janet Kosloff says every era since the Renaissance has believed this. Consider how WWI was viewed -- The War to End All Wars?
Consider, she says, the period between 1986 and 1991 -- stock market crashes, first Gulf War, Wall Street corruption (Milken version). 2000 to 2003 -- more crashes, more corruption (Enron/Anderson version) and the second Gulf War. 2008 to 2011 -- another major crash, another corruption scandal (Madoff) and another war (Libya)
What is happening is that some kinds of changes happen faster -- it's not that there is more change, she says. It's a velocity issue. And it is hard for any single person to keep up.
Kosloff says the solution is to listen to your customers. An old saying, the customer is always right, is still relevant. She references an article from HBR in 1992: Staple Yourself to an Order, which recommends following a single order through an entire process to figure out how to reinvent it.
Successful companies gather customer feedback early and often. They are very attentive to customer detail. She sees that large B2B companies are going to start thinking the same way about customers as Apple, Zappos, Amazon do now. They will do this in order to develop distinct advantages.
What to do to obtain fast, pervasive feedback, and encourage rapid adaptation:
- Different communities -- eg patients, nurses, doctors, administrators, scientists
- Distinct mechanisms -- different ways to collect, such as mobile, etc.
- Dashboards -- visualize and co-ordinate the information
- Decisions makers willing to listen and act on the information presented to them
Change is constant, it is how we react to it that is different.