Structured innovation and creativity processes are commonly used to develop new products and corporate strategies. The same principles and techniques can also help companies become more customer-centric.

This second article in the four-part series by the Business Authors Leadership Alliance (BALA) describes how your organization can use innovation and creativity processes to capture, manage and apply customer insight to achieve strategic goals.

The article suggests ways to

  • Build the best team to address each problem.

  • Extract creative juice from professional experts.

  • Organize thought processes to produce new and innovative solutions.


Once again, to recap, the overall BALA process for building profitable customer-centric strategies involves the following four phases:

  1. Identify key strategic customer-centric opportunities and challenges.

  2. Focus staff innovation and creativity to develop solutions for these challenges.

  3. Ensure and refine the profit potential of new initiatives.

  4. Address leadership and performance issues to ensure the company can meet its objectives.


Last week's BALA article covered Phase 1. We now present the five steps in Phase 2, as shown in the following chart:

To illustrate the steps in Phase 2, we continue to use the example of an amalgam of client engagements that we call Midwest Telecom.

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Jeff Mauzy is a Principal at Synectics, Inc., and CEO of Inventive Logic, Inc. He is co-author of Creativity Inc.: Building an Inventive Organization (Harvard Business School Press, 2003) and "Managing Personal Creativity" in Innovationsforshung und Technologie Management (Springer-Verlag, 1999). Synectics, Inc. is a 45-year-old consulting firm specializing in business creativity and innovation. Inventive Logic Inc. makes and distributes software to augment personal creativity. The Business Authors Leadership Alliance (BALA) is composed of Michael Lowenstein, Jeff Mauzy, Jim Lenskold and Pamela Harper. Jeff can be reached at or 617-645-5727.