Companies are often still organized around 20th-century departments like marketing and sales rather than customer propositions. “Digital transformation” may have been contained to the CIO organization. Technology, while viewed as important, is generally not regarded as the engine of growth. When people have to collaborate across silos to get results, you can be sure that there will be gaps in the customer journey, it will take longer to get buy-in for new initiatives, and the communication overhead will be higher. None of this is conducive to agility or constant change.
In contrast, companies that align around a product focus and have a strong product function tend to outperform the market. They accelerate away from competitors because they get products and services to the customer more quickly, have direct access to the customer, and tend to be incentivized on customer metrics. At North Highland, we view a product focus simply as an organization’s ability to prioritize and structure around customer and business-focused outcomes, regardless of functional silos.