The Essential Skill

We need to master new skills.

The Idea Economy, a historic economic transformation rooted in creative invention, demands new business practices.  Industrial/Mass Market skills rooted in the priorities of last century are outdated.  We can’t do what we’ve done.  Steady measured progress  and incrementally building on established assets won’t lead to success in this tumultuously creative era.  

Repeatedly Create Original Customer Value” is the new skill at the heart of the Idea Economy. 

It does not matter what business we practice, if we can execute this one business capability we will thrive.   

Repeatedly Create Original Customer Value

This deceptively simple mandate is based on on the drivers that define the new economic landscape,  Change, Competition, and Abundance.   Each of these contributes part of the skill’s requirements. 

The drivers of the Idea Economy define the essential business capability of the 21st Century.

Accelerating Obsolescence -> Repeated Creation: Innovation has historically been treated as a transitional activity, something unpleasant that happens in between periods of relative stability. In the 21st Century innovation becomes the core ongoing activity of an organization. 

HyperCompetitiveness -> Originality: Not all change is innovation.  Many organization fool themselves, thinking that industry following package solutions and copy cat best practices can create and sustain competitive advantage.  This may have worked in a slower economy operating in protected marketplaces, but no more.   Innovation must be creative and original to derive competitive advantage over an army of ambitious competitors.

  • Abundant Choice -> Customer Value:  When customers have choices they are empowered to demand ever more value from the businesses that serve them.  There is a bounty of choice in the 21st Century.   Becoming a customer’s first choice requires a shift of focus from internal priorities and operational naval gazing, outward to the creation of meaningful customer value.      

The Rest of Big Picture Guy …

The rest of this site explores the emerging craft of this challenging skill.  There are a great many old economy habits and preconceptions that won’t support our need to repeatedly create original customer value.  There is a lot to change and learn. 

That is not easily done, but it is possible … and it will be rewarding.


Master this one essential skill … Repeatedly Create Original Customer Value.


  • What skills are we relying on now?
  • How often do we do real innovation? 
  • How difficult would it be to replicate the experience our last successful innovation? 
  • If there has been no successful innovation in recent memory, why?
  • Do we assume that only proven ideas and best practices are good investments?
  • Where are our creative original ideas?
  • How many ideas are focused oun things that matter to us?  How many on things that matter to customers?

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