Earlier this year Google’s parent company Alphabet surpassed Apple Inc. to become the world’s most valuable company by market capitalisation. What started as a research project two decades ago is currently the largest and most successful company in the globe? An array of innovations and projects undertaken by Google often makes me ponder about the characteristics that are needed to make a company successful. Does the organisation need to be innovative, customer-centric, ambitious, have an open culture or all of the above? Undoubtedly, the fabric and bottom line of each company varies, however, I have evaluated that successful companies across the globe are consistently mindful of the 4C’s of success that drives their business.
All companies irrespective of their size must prioritise their customers and ensure that the customer is the central focus of all decisions and strategies. It is important to ask ourselves these questions “are we thinking along with or ahead of our customers?”, “are we challenging our customers?”, “how are we making our customers successful? “The exemplary chronicle of Amazon is evidence that a positive customer experience is a guaranteed recipe for success. Amazon as a brand is renowned for innovation and thinking ahead of the customer- Kindle being the perfect example of this strategy. Amazon serves 137M customers a week, which means Amazon has over 19.5M customers daily*. In fact, it has been noted that more and more Amazon Prime members start their product searches on Amazon and not Google! Companies must strive to partner with customers in their transformation journey. Organisations that proactively engage and solicit frequent communication with customers are assured of loyalty and promotion of their brand value.
The culture of an organisation encompasses the core belief of the company- its values, mission and priorities, ability to adapt to change and encourage innovation. Employees that work in an inclusive, fair and creative workplace are able to contribute to the company’s growth and goals directly. This translates into a better work environment, happy employees and delightful customers. Glassdoor conducts an annual survey of the best companies to work for, and every year corporate culture is mentioned as one of the most important benefits for employees. Twitter has been on top of this list consistently for the past couple of years owing to not just its high payroll, but also due to more qualitative factors like open and fun work environment, a culture of innovation and series of employee benefits, which makes the company a human company. However, organisational culture goes beyond free meals, fun workplaces and wonderful colleagues; though I’m sure everyone would love a free bag of candy now and then. My personal experience at Happiest Minds (“India’s Best Companies to Work for 2016” as per The Economics Times) is a testimony to this fact. I strongly believe that every Organisation’s Culture is unique and it can’t be copied or replicated. Any technology, solution, services or products can be replicated but not Culture.
‘Perception is reality’ is a very commonly used and perhaps a suitable quote in today’s world. A company’s credibility and reputation is of utmost importance as it serves as a significant element in attracting employees, investors and customers. There are multiple qualities that make a company credible; however, the most defining attributes are - being a market leader and innovator, having a visionary and strong management team, positive client and employee testimonials. Deep Rooted ethics and a strong balance sheet also ensure a good reputation in the market. Rolex has been rated as the most reputable company in the year 2016, by a survey conducted across 15 countries. The ranking is the product of Reputation Institute (RI), a reputation management consulting firm based in Boston that launched in 1997.
Organisational capabilities and competency are most efficiently utilised when the three pillars operate in collaboration - employees, processes and systems. Successful organisations are those that are able to implement and adapt strategies that maximise these three elements. Investment in hiring, retention and training of a company’s talent pool enables a firm to reap immense benefits. This further enables an organisation to innovate and adapt processes and technologies to respond to business problems and market changes. The collaboration of this trinity is also important in delivering world class solutions to customers. Starbucks under the leadership of Howard Shultz achieved success by getting their core competency and strategy right.
Leading US based Enterprises have recognised Happiest Minds as an innovation partner because we understood the customer journey, owned their challenges and build reliable solutions to address these customer challenges. We have become an innovation partner to our customer, as we understood their requirement and empowered ourselves by starting to think ahead of them. Often times, we have solved complex customer problems by practicing our Mindfulness approach of ‘perceiving immersively, processing non judgmentally and performing empathetically’ in our interactions and actions with the clients.
In the modern world of cut throat competition where brands are constantly vying for a bigger market share and customer loyalty, I believe, revisiting the core ideologies of the 4C’s will enable companies to rethink their principles and success plan. I personally attest to this mantra to steer company’s strategies and business plans.
Gopalakrishna Bylahalli, Senior Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, IT Services, Happiest Minds
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