When customer focus is bad for business - Dec 2011

Knowledge @ Australian School of Business

"Beyond Specialisation: How Businesses Benefit When Opposites Attract"
Freelance business writer: Chris Sheedy
Editor: Deborah Tarrant
2200 words

The notion that people within a business cannot excel at everything typically prompts organisations to pursue particular orientations. They may be "customer focused" or put "employees first". Some are "adaptable" while others are "systems driven". However, new research from the Australian School of Business is challenging traditional business logic by revealing that ambidextrous organisations – those that adopt a more flexible approach and embrace the opposites – are more successful in terms of business performance, customer loyalty and staff engagement. Ambidexterity means more than being adaptable, it is about seeing value in the opposites, then striving to achieve them.

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