performances instead of products as the core for #organisationdesign

In organisations the word ‘product’ permeates through all thinking and talking. All the things organisation do for the outside world and sometime also for internal transfers, is increasingly called products. It makes costing, listing, selling, storing, categorizing, counting, assigning, managing easier.

And that is great, because a product is a great carrier of the value an organisation creates. Cars, smartphones, clothes, milk, petrol, all products that carry value. The difficulty starts when the tangible goods are enhanced with services or the value is a  service. And it even gets more problematic when there is in essence nothing else then a kind of intangible  legal obligation, such as financial services.

In such cases the value of the organisation provides relates only to the interaction, to what you experience as a customer. And managing that value in terms of a product may seem logical and smart, but it forgoes the real quality of the customer value. Giving a performance (e.g. cutting hair, playing music), creating a dialogue (e.g. advertising) and setting the stage (e.g. retail), engaging in real relationships between real people (e.g legal advise)  requires a different approach than just the management of the making and distribution of products. And by abandoning the word product, people in the service industry create the mental space to come up with new and appropriate design for their organisation and can the frequent mix-up of production and product be avoided.

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Is this a product?

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