There have been many instances when we dont know what our customers need. Further, it comes as a bigger surpise when we realize when the customers themselves dont know what they need.
Organizing the customer's knowledge of their needs with respect to Supplier kowledge of customer needs, I propose a four-quadrant framework -
1. First Quadrant is called Know-Know - In this perfect knowledge/information scenario - the focus of the supplier and customer should be on Delivery efficiency
2. Second Quadrant is called Know-Unknown - In this quadrant focus of supplier should be on Customer-Intimacy.
3. Third quadrant is called Unknow-Known - Supplier can make generate lot of gains in this quadrant - however it requires one level above customer-intimacy - which I call Orchestrated Customer Learning.
4. The Fourth quadrant is called Unknown-Unknown - This is the most difficult arena as it requires a deep dive into Customer Value net - through Customer Intimacy and Orchestrated Customer learning.
Bfailures emerge when we focus on delivery efficiency when actually we are in fourth quadrant. That is where the Indian IT companies are making a grave error. They have been fantastic to work in quadrant 1. I call them Quad-One Companies - It is altogether a different skill set and mind set that is needed to play in Quad-two and Quad-three. However to play is Quad-four - one needs deep engagement, long term views and continuous innovation.
The ICVD Framework (Innovating Customer Value Disciplines) and specific details are available if you send an email to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).