Recomendo a leitura dessa entrevista com o Prahalad. Ele fala sobre a fragmentação das cadeias de valor nas empresas, sobre a força dos consumidores populares, principalmente, em países como o Brasil e sobre a importância da co-criação de valor entre empresa-cliente.
Dois desses temas estão relacionados com o método REVIE (Rede de Valor para Inteligência Empresarial): o próprio conceito de redes de valor e a co-criação de valor não só entre empresa-clientes (http://inteligenciaempresarial-brasil.blogspot.com/2009/09/revie-na-pratica-inteligencia-de.html), mas também entre empresa-parceiros (http://www.metaanalise.com.br/inteligenciademercado/momento/ponto-de-vista/revie-na-pratica-inteligencia-de-parceiros.html) e parceiros-clientes. Prahalad foi um dos autores que estudei para estruturar o conceito do método REVIE.
Prahalad ganhou como o pensador de negócios do ano. Mais em http://www.thinkers50.com/results
C. K. Prahalad is Harvey C. Fruehauf Professor of Business Administration, Professor of Corporate Strategy and International Business at the University of Michigan and an independent consultant.. He is best known for his collaborations with fellow strategy expert Gary Hamel. Together they wrote The Core Competence of the Corporation, which became one of the most highly acclaimed articles ever to be published in the Harvard Business Review. This was followed by their bestselling business book, Competing for the Future: Breakthrough Strategies for Seizing Control of Your Industry and Creating the Markets of Tomorrow (1994). His latest book, The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value with Customers, waas published early in 2004.
Competing for The Future was written in 1994 and had a huge impact on how companies think about strategy. How has your view of the world changed since then?
Competing for the Future was a very company-centric view of the world. We were still focused on the firm. We were also very product and service centric. Think about what has happened since then. Competing for the Future was written before ubiquitous connectivity became common. Whether it is the PCs or wireless, the book was pre-connectivity. Also the business world was not as well developed in terms of convergence of technologies and industries. That process was just starting.
What has changed in the intervening period?
In the last ten years, several forces have changed the way we think and live.One is tremendous deregulation. Consider what is happening to wireless around the world. It's going crazy. Today there are more wireless phones than landlines. Ten years ago wireless was just a blip.
A second force is the increasing role of emerging markets today. China and India are driving wireless and the development of wireless devices as much as the developed world. Actually, I would argue that poor people have driven wireless more towards success than rich people. We have fundamentally new business models, like prepaid cards, where I don't have to own a home in order to get a telephone. I can be poor and still get access to a telephone.
What impact do you think these changes have had on the relationship between corporation and consumer?
Deregulation, emerging markets, new forms of globalization, convergence of technologies and industries, and ubiquitous connectivity, these have changed many aspects of business.
They have also changed the nature of consumers. Today you have consumers who are informed, networked, active and global. As a consumer, I don't have to leave home in order to be globally connected and active.
At the same time they have changed the nature of companies. Today firms can fragment their value chain in ways that they could not have done before. Not just the physical products, but the intellectual part of my company - the business processes, management processes, including research and development, engineering - all that can be fragmented. Some of it can be in India, some of it can be in the UK and the United States.
Combine digital technology and the telecommunications revolution, the nature of consumer-to-consumer, and consumer-to-company interactions, the nature of business becomes very different. It changes the very basis of all transactions- the interaction between the consumer and the company. The consumer is interacting differently with the firm, and not only that, consumers are interacting differently among themselves.
Could you give an example of how these interactions have changed?
There is a medication called Lotronex. It's used by people with irritable bowel syndrome. After about 250,000 people had taken the medication various side-effects became apparent. So the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) suggested they withdraw the medication. But soon the people who were taking the medication organized themselves, and appealed to the FDA saying 'we understand there are risks but we are willing to take the risks because the alternative is even worse for us'.
So you find an activist consumer community emerging which is challenging the FDA, and the FDA has reinstated the medicine. Now the medication is available for a very selective subset of people. The doctors, the pharmacy, the company, GlaxoSmithKline in this case, the patients and the FDA have all come together and agreed on the risks, how to make those risks explicit, and how to make sure that the medication is given under a fair level of supervision, higher than it used to be before. All the parties understand what the implications are. It is an intelligent way of taking risks. Let us reflect on what has happened here. The consumers, the patients, have created the ability for GlaxoSsmithKkline to remarket the product and create value for themselves. So have the patients. They are creating value for themselves. This is a "win-win" for both, an excellent example of co- creation of value, where the consumer is actively engaged.
In the new book you talk about the consumer as a co-creator of value. What exactly does this mean?
We are moving to a new form of value creation, when value is not created by the firm and exchanged with customer, but rather when value is co-created by the consumers and the company. So the first question is: how do you go from a unilateral view of value creation by the company, to co-creation of value by consumers?
Co-creation of value is a very different thing from being consumer oriented. This is not about the firm targeting consumers and being more sensitive to them. It is about enabling consumers to be equal problem solvers, so that collectively they create value, and collectively they extract value. So that the consumer is helping the company to create value and also taking value away by extracting value through either explicit or implicit bargains.
So, the first big idea is the concept of co-creation of value. It's no longer just unilateral creation of value by the firm to be exchanged with customers.
The second big idea is that it is no longer all about the product, but it is about the experience. The product becomes the artifact around which an experience is created. If you think about Lotronex, the experience is about feeling well, and having a good relationship with the community of people who suffer from the same problem. So it is the experience that is of value, in addition to the medication. Medication is clearly the carrier, but the value is in the experience.
Thirdly, individuals do matter. Consumer communities, and the interaction with the consumers among themselves, and between the consumer communities and the company, are of great importance in thinking about value creation. So if you think about the transition we've made, we have moved away from a firm and product-centric view of value creation, to an experience-centric view of co-creation of value. It's a huge distinction; from looking at consumers as targets, to looking at consumers as co-creators of value. Looking at consumer networks, which are autonomously involved, with or without the sanction of the company, as an integral part of how we create value.
How significant is that shift?
My sense is that Competing for the Future was a clear conceptual and managerial break from the previous view of how to create value. Co-creation is an equally fundamental break from a firm-centric view.
What co-creation is saying is, because of the changes that have taken place during the last decade we can no longer be firm-centric. We have to be experience-centric, and co-creation centric. That I think is a big change.
Earlier you touched on the influence of emerging markets. How does this process of co-creation roll out to the developing world, or does it just pass them by?
That's a very interesting question. The most interesting thing for me is that we cannot deal with the markets of the poor, or the bottom of the pyramid, without a view of co-creation. Because the poor are very value conscious. The poor cannot afford to take risks with their purchases. By definition, they are going to be a lot more concerned about their experiences with products. There is a lot more word of mouth, and a lot more community-based activism in making buying decisions.
So actually co-creation is more natural, not among the rich but at the bottom of the pyramid. Because the rich in developing and developed countries behave alike. So when they buy something the attitude is:"if we don't like it, it is no big deal, it won't break the bank". On the other hand if you're very poor you can't afford to take that attitude. You have one shot, at buying something, you'd better make sure that it is absolutely what you want, and therefore by definition, they do a lot more networking and word of mouth discussion before they make any choices.
While we are on the subject of emerging economies, you have in the past spoken about the huge potential of the Indian economy. Do you foresee a major change in the economic world order?
I think three forces are changing the world order:
One is the co-creation of value we have just been talking about.
Second is the importance of the 'bottom of the pyramid' markets. There are five billion people at the bottom of the pyramid. They have been below the radar screen of large companies, or not on the radar screen at all. But now they are asserting themselves. If you look at the
number of television sets, the number of radios, and wireless devices that are being consumed by them, it is quite phenomenal. You suddenly find the Chinese poor, the Indian poor and the Brazilian poor are changing the basic dynamics of industries worldwide.
The third thing, which I think is usually reported, unfortunately, as outsourcing, whether it's call-centers, or research and development, or engineering, or IT. What I think is happening is a new willingness of companies to fragment their value chains in search of speed, low cost, and quality. Improved quality is one theme that we don't see so much of in the press, as all outsourcing is seen as primarily leveraging the asymmetry of wage rates in India and China, for example, compared to those in the UK and the United States. Yes that's part of it. But the quality levels are far superior in IT, for example, in terms of what can be done in India, compared to a lot of companies here in the UK or the US.
And then of course there is access to a huge talent pool which I think as a manager you have the obligation to access.
So if you take these three:
A willingness to access talent pool and quality for speed and revenues and cost reduction worldwide.
The emergence of 'bottom of the pyramid' markets as agents of growth and change in the global economy.
And, co-creation, where active consumers become a resource for companies and become equal problem solvers to create new business opportunities.
These three forces will collectively change the world economic order.
So do you see, as a corollary, a diminishing of the relative competitive position of the United States?
I think that would be premature. The United States is a funny place. They complain a lot but they also change very rapidly. For example, when manufacturing started moving out of United States in the 1980s, we had the same complaints and calls for protectionism to stop the import of Japanese cars and television sets. It was popular at the time to go and smash television sets in front of the Capitol building. So we went through that. Then people understand. This transition is inevitable and we have to do something. Now nobody is complaining about manufacturing jobs being lost as much, instead it's about high-end jobs going to India, and high-end jobs going to other places.
I think there is an immediate reaction, and I think that America is inventive enough to build new business opportunities, and new kinds of businesses. The leverage is the inventiveness of the community. Because after complaining and saying it is unfair, Americans are clever enough to realize that they are the ones pushing for globalization and their agenda is working. The only surprise is that they didn't think that if globalization worked they would also get hurt. And now globalization is working. Americans are hurting a little bit. But we have to move on. We cannot stop these forces.