A customer-centric approach can add value to a company by enabling it to differentiate itself from competitors who do not offer the same experience.
Here are 6 of Walking the Talk's recommended market driven reads.
"Eric Ries defines a startup as an organization dedicated to creating something new under conditions of extreme uncertainty. This is just as true for one person in a garage or a group of seasoned professionals in a Fortune 500 boardroom. What they have in common is a mission to penetrate that fog of uncertainty to discover a successful path to a sustainable business. The Lean Startup approach fosters companies that are both more capital efficient and that leverage human creativity more effectively. Inspired by lessons from lean manufacturing, it relies on “validated learning,” rapid scientific experimentation, as well as a number of counter-intuitive practices that shorten product development cycles, measure actual progress without resorting to vanity metrics, and learn what customers really want. It enables a company to shift directions with agility, altering plans inch by inch, minute by minute. Rather than wasting time creating elaborate business plans, The Lean Startup offers entrepreneurs - in companies of all sizes - a way to test their vision continuously, to adapt and adjust before it’s too late. Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups in a age when companies need to innovate more than ever."
“The complex business problems we face today can’t be solved with the same thinking that created them,” says author Marty Neumeier in this entertaining and original read. Instead, he says, we need to start from a place outside traditional business thinking. In an era of fast-moving markets and leap-frogging innovations, we can no longer “decide” the way forward. Today we have to “design” the way forward—or risk ending up in the fossil layers of business history. This is the third in the author’s bestselling series of “whiteboard overviews.” In his first, THE BRAND GAP, he addressed the gulf between business strategy and customer experience. In his second, ZAG, he explored the number-one strategy of high-performance brands. In the third, THE DESIGNFUL COMPANY, he shows how design thinking can build a culture of nonstop innovation. “If you wanna innovate,” he says, “you gotta design.”Get the book. . .
"How to use Strategic Learning to rapidly respond to change and gain a sustainable advantage over your competitors What's even harder than creating a breakthrough strategy? Making it stick. As companies are fighting to survive in a tough economy, this new book by Willie Pietersen demonstrates the power of the Strategic Learning process, a four-step dynamic cycle guaranteed to create and sustain winning performance. Adopted by a wide range of corporations and not-for-profit organizations, the Strategic Learning process builds on eight years of practicing, adapting and honing the original concepts Pietersen first introduced in Reinventing Strategy to explain how organizations can generate superior insights about their customers and competitors, craft a Winning Proposition, focus on a vital few key priorities, create buy-in throughout the organization and achieve success – again and again. Strategic Learning shows you how your business or nonprofit organization can develop better, more effective strategies for long-term competitive advantage. "