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  • Sonia Gavira

Five key pillars for success in the 21st century

There are many people looking at our chaotic and changing world and wondering what is required for success today. Form our perspective at valueU, having done some research into those companies that seem to be having the most success, there are a number of attributes that an organisation fit for the 21st century needs to have. We have identified 5 key pillars for success.

  • Value

  • Networked, open and fluid

  • Innovation

  • Human Capital Enterprise

  • Trust

Over the next few days, I will speak about each one individually, but hopefully you will see that they are all linked.

And yet, before the pillars can work, there is one thing that as an organisation you have to have first in order for the pillars to make sense and to work - PURPOSE. You need to know what you are about, what your vision is, what you want to be and do in the world. It is surprising how many organisations that we work with today, lose sight of this. And also how many don't realise that it needs to be revisited as things change, including WHY you do what you do - that can change too in response to changes in the environment, to changing needs and even changes in you.

But we will look at Purpose another day. Today I want to talk about one of these key pillars:

Value - From creating wants to fulfilling needs

In the 21st century an organisation has to build sustainable relationships with its customers based on trust and on value.

What do we mean by value? It is no longer enough to build something and then tell people what the value of it is, how it will help them, what need it will satisfy. This is too risky, too costly and the customer will see through it.

Those organisations who get close to their customers, see how they use their products and services and anticipate their needs with additional value, will win. Many organisations will be defined not only by what they sell but also by what they give away.

What new benefits can you add for your customers? How do they buy and use your products and services? What does this tell you?

There is a shift from volume to value – what can you add in order to sell your products and services for more. How do you create value for money?

Take two examples:

Phones – we used to just make calls on them. Then they became mobile. And now the question is more, what can’t you do on your phone? The companies who have been most successful have gone beyond a volume model to a value model that links into their brand and their brand values. The customer buys into the whole experience as part of the value is there too.

Fitness industry – there is an explosion of personal trainers around the globe and the most successful ones are those that are concentrating on adding value and getting as close to their customers as possible. Just look at the number of free apps from these trainers, giving huge amounts of value away for free, which then creates a community that trusts them and will buy programmes and other products from them for a higher price.

Creating value could also lead you to rethink what you provide and how. Do you sell your product or lease it? Do you sell the physical product or do you sell or lease the end results?

  • How well defined are your customers today?

  • Who will your customers be in the future?

  • How are your customers using your products / services now?

  • How could that change?

  • What is the lifecycle of your products / services once in customer hands?

  • Where are the needs that you are not fulfilling now?

  • How do you need to think about value in your business?

If these questions have sparked some interesting discussions amongst your team, then do drop me a line and let me know. Please also do like and share this post.

And if you are ready to discuss some of these questions with us, then drop me a line at and we can arrange to meet up.

Coming up next: Networked, Open and Fluid - limitless connections inside and out

If you want to see them all now, go to

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