Flavor of the season "Reorg based on Customer Journey"

Org Design Jul 6, 2021

Over the last few years several old school organizations have been regrouping their product and software development around customer journey's.  And what a great lost opportunity this is.

The McKinsey's and the Deloitte's are back at selling the Kool-Aid of the 2020s - reorganize around customer journey's.  Using a version of the same 300 page PowerPoint slides to sell multimillion dollar change to help clone several of the top Fortune 1000 organizations look exactly like each other. And that is a shame.


Because the customer journey is an illusion. The customer does not want such a journey (perhaps you would know if you just asked them) and regrouping your siloes to build new siloes around this fictitious flow of events is the most ridiculous backward change that you could do to your organization.

Fifty years ago a bank was a bank. As was forty years ago. And 30 years ago. And 20 years, 10 years and today... a bank is a bank. With a similar customer journey. Yes, a little bit of digitalization but the experience has not changed at all. At the end of the day, you get the same feeling of interacting with "bankers". Bill Gates famously said in 1994 - “Banking is necessary, but banks are not.”

“Banking is necessary, but banks are not.” - Bill Gates, in 1994

So the point of an agile, nimble, effective organization of the 21st century is to innovate or re-innovate what a bank or insurance or any other company is. And to do that one might have to completely throw out the existing customer journey and start with new experiences that does not look like the experiences of today. And to do that there is no point in regrouping under a fixed structure of the "yesterday" - it is only going to set you back.

Often, the argument for such structures is that it is too hard to change in one go. And you need baby steps to get there.  Even babies don't take baby steps. Every baby step is a better step than the one before and it changes to become an adult one.  This kind of change leaves organizations in the same place, as babies who never grow up.


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