Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: A book review by Bob Morris

Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: How Decoupling Drives Consumer Disruption
Thales S. Teixeira with Greg Piechota
Currency/An Imprint of Crown Publishing Group (February 2019)

Like other chains, this one is only as strong as its weakest link.

With the assistance of Greg Piechota, Thales Teixeira wrote this book in order to explain how and why”digital disruption affects every industry, geography, and market, and it isn’t going away.  Rather than a single, pivotal event, disruption has become a permanent condition of modern markets. New entrants. New technologies. New investors. New business models. How should large, established companies respond?”

Teixeira asserts (and I agree) that “new technology isn’t driving most disruption today. Consumers are. And that in turn means incumbents require a different kind of innovation in order to thrive — not technological innovation, but a transformation in [begin italics] business models [end italics].” In other words, the business model needed must take into full account the given customers’ value chain. It must understand what they want and the main steps of activities they undertake to satisfy their desires.

Teixeira addresses questions such as these:

o How did the current borderless world evolve?
o What lessons can be learned from Best Buy’s competition with online retailers, notably Amazon?
o What are the core principles of the concept of decoupling?
o What is really disrupting most companioes?
o What has been broken by customers?
o How best to respond effectively to decoupling? For example, how best to assess risk of response options?
o Where to begin when building a disruptive business? What are the most imprtant dos and don’ts to keep in mind?
o How best to retain customers?
o How best to recover lost customers?

In the final chapter, Thales Teixeira focuses on how to spot the next wave of disruption. He acknowledges, “Digital disruption might pose a dire challenge at first, but it also affords us an opprotunity to evolve our mindsets, and our businesses, in powerful ways. Coupling, decoupling, and recoupling comprise a powerful tool — a trident that allows you to hook many customers. Let’s grasp this opportunity — for our customers’ sake, and ultimately for our own. I wish you the best of luck!” as do I.

The “trident” reference reminds me of a prediction by Alvin Toffler in Future Shock, published in 1984: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” Companies don’t disrupt, couple, decouple, and recouple. Their people do. The foundation of a business relationship is the customer’s value chain. For a business to succeed, its leaders must understand how to replace a competitor’s “link” within that chain with its own and then secure it against all threats.

TAGs: Unlocking the Customer Value [colon] How Decoupling Drives Consumer Disruption, Thales S. Teixeira, Greg Piechota, Currency/An Imprint of Crown Publishing Group, Alvin Toffler, Future Shock

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