Rules of the Game

Those who write the rules of the game, have the best chance of winning the game. Processes – how the work is done – make up the rules of the game. Within companies. Where the product is critical to success. Where “a better mousetrap” really can, for the most part, sell itself.

Let’s march it backwards. Customer. Product. Manufacturing. Product development. Science and engineering. German. The core is science and engineering. In Germany scientists and engineers are king. They enjoy the prestige. Herr Dr. Soandso. Even better, Herr Professor Dr. Soandso.

Let’s march it backwards. Customer. Solution and profitability. Problem and pain. Relationship management. Sales. Marketing. American. The core is understanding the market, maintaining a constant close relationship with the customer, understanding and meeting needs. The customer is king. Those close to the royal court are king-too. They enjoy the prestige. The insider. The trusted.

Germans want to have the say about process, about how the work is done. For them it is make or break, success or failure. It’s the name of the game. Americans are happy to concede it, as long as the Germans concede to them the customer.

Mistaken thinking, or at most half-thinking. On both sides.