Simple Truths in a Complex Time

Recent events offered me a fresh reminder in the beauty of simplicity and the complexity of business – two often juxtaposed concepts that Customer Experience practitioners and advisors wrestle with on behalf of our clients. First, and most importantly: The passing of Nobel Peace Prize winner John Nash (popularized in A Beautiful Mind). Nash’s work proved, mathematically, that the best result comes when everyone in a group does what is best for themselves, and the group. It is a simple, yet powerful notion that is applicable in life and in business. Designing an experience that benefits the “group” – including customers, partners, employees, and shareholders – is no small feat. Yet uncovering the simple truths that bind and benefit that group is why I love my work.

Secondly: A year has gone by since I published my first book, Darwinism in a Consumer-Driven World. After this year of sharing the thoughts within, one idea – symbiosis – resonates in particular now, as it too is simple in concept and complex in practice. In a business context, we argue that the most successful companies will seek a symbiotic relationship (interdependence) with customer, partners, shareholders and employees. Again, we see that the best results come from everyone in the group doing what’s best for themselves, and the group.

While very few are capable of accomplishments on the level of John Nash, a recommitment to solving business challenges with simple answers is within reach by all. Taking and applying these ideas of Nash Equilibrium and symbiosis mean a few things for Customer Experience practitioners:

  1. Consider the broader ecosystem when defining and designing. Too often we narrowly, and naturally, focus on customers, but lack perspective and empathy from partners and employees. Expanding the circle, and the set of interactions within, encourages interdependence and yields the best results.
  2. Build a modern operating model that fuels collaboration, transparency and incentives. Designing an experience is a start, but only through business execution – workflow, governance, communication – can you deliver what you promised to your ecosystem and realize the benefits from the group.

Thank you, John Nash, for reminding and inspiring.

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Chicago, IL 60606
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