Workshop tutor: Richard Ilsley, AKAM Deputy Chairman and Managing Partner with the Key Account Management Group


This workshop addressed some of the practical issues encountered in developing key customer value, considering what is value and what is not in the all-important eyes of the customer. Richard looked at why/how value is problematic but demonstrated that investing time to get it right can pay huge dividends. The workshop learned about:

  • The core lessons of success – what does value mean?Richard Ilsley - AKAM Board Member
  • Design Thinking and the identification of value
  • How does the value development process work?
  • Time and resource demands

Growth of between two and five times the growth rate of the rest of the business can be achieved by focusing strongly on identifying and delivering measurable customer value. The video and the slides below give some background, while the workshop focused on experiencing the process of Design Thinking: however, that is better explained by experimenting than explaining.

Nevertheless, perhaps the process can be summarised by saying that it starts in reverse order to many innovation processes, i.e. by encouraging as many ideas as possible from individuals, initially captured without judgment, and then subjected to review by the group. This outpouring of ideas is then whittled down by eliminating the really impracticable or less interesting ones and refining the first cut by extracting the essentially new or key features of the idea. The group then has the opportunity to develop the most promising towards viable concepts.

In the end, the idea has to be developed into a plan, to avoid the common criticism that ‘blue-sky’ thinking doesn’t result in any actual action. Key customers are often disappointed in the lack of innovation from suppliers, who need to find a way to offer some kind of relevant value to circumvent the common syndrome of customer indifference.




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