Are Internal Monopolies Hurting Your Customer?
Whatever your role, it is always good to ask yourself, “Who is my customer?”
By definition, a monopoly is “the exclusive possession or control of the supply or trade in a commodity or service.” That is the kind of relationship many corporate functions enjoy. When the monopoly goes unchecked, costs increase, it is difficult to compete, and soon “corporate” becomes the center of the business universe–much to the dismay of the end user or customer.
University of Toronto professor Roger Martin raises some solid questions about improving the monopolies held by shared services in companies in Harvard Business Review.
“Competition is business’s great trainer . . . When a customer chooses an alternative provider, that provides an important signal of how the monopolist needs to get better to get that customer back . . . Hence, my belief is that the only way to have efficient, effective corporate functions is to take away their monopoly right to serve.” (RLM)
His brief opinion is worth a read–and some reflective consideration by leaders in IT, finance, HR, etc.