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.
With the Internet sparking a cultural shift towards collaboration and participatory commerce, and customers demanding engagement in products at unprecedented levels, corporations and institutions are scrambling to figure out the new rules of business. Likewise, employees are demanding involvement in determining company direction, and executives are discovering that accepting it brings success. In their first book together, Ramaswamy (The Future of Competition) and Gouillart (Transforming the Organization) highlight several examples, ranging from Starbucks to Summerset Houseboats, of companies moving from a top-down to a bottom-up approach and establishing cost-effective measures like crowd-sourcing to meet local needs. The authors make an excellent case by examining the successful integration of these strategies, but they never quite make the leap beyond their single-line strategy and urge for implementation. For general readers this will suffice, but it would have been helpful had the authors included implementation strategies for organizations with more limited resources as well. Still, their advice is timely and should prove beneficial to people looking for a fresh take on business strategies.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Power of Co-Creation
This book changed the way I think about business processes, customer satisfaction and loyalty, supplier collaboration, and employee empowerment.
It's not another book about open innovation but it helps explain how to make open innovation more powerful. It's not another book about generating new product ideas with customers but it explains the underlying forces that make that a powerful practice and shows how to tap into that force for innovating business operations with employees, suppliers, customers, partners, regulators, and other stakeholders.
The book's concepts and examples challenged the way I thought about business value creation. Here are a few key insights that I came away with:
- Value is not produced by companies for customers or suppliers or employees. Instead it is experienced by them through the interactions the company has with them and enables for them
- Most business processes that are optimized to create value reliably and cost effectively are blind to the increased value that could result from broader and more interactive engagement
- Harnessing these new sources of value means creating platforms that engender interaction and engagement in ways it was not happening before to produce less risk, more valued experiences, and better economics
- Orchestrating better and better engagement and experience on the part of all the players in your business ecosystem will lead to growth and sustainable competitive differentiation
- Companies can apply these concepts in nearly any aspect of their business operations the same way quality concepts have been applied for the past 30 years but it will require a different mindset about value and a recognition that not all value can be engineered to a predetermined outcome (it's the experience, dummy!)
- Learning how to apply these concepts needs to start inside, with those that interact with customers, suppliers, employees, and partners -- make theirs a fabulous experience and you're on the right track (and since it came from inside, it won't take some kind of "change management" program to get it to spread)
In my opinion, we're only at the beginning of understanding the vision laid out in this book. It's fresh thinking and a worthwhile read.