Manifest customer centricity

6 min. readlast update: 10.17.2023

Customer Centricity (CC) has found its well-deserved way into almost all corporate strategies. But there is no way to live CC fully, if your orgnanization stays the same. There is transformation to be made to achieve CC. Here's a suggestion: 

Traditionally, companies have been structured into what I call "skill teams": groups of people that have a specific skill (e.g. doing great marketing, developing amazing products, or delivering the best service in the market). Customer Centricity, however, requires teams that develop overall strategies along the needs of target audiences. I call these "strategy teams."  

The question now is: How to staff these new strategy teams while keeping the skills teams alive and strong? So far I have seen 2 options: 

  1. dedicated roles: New hires or existing team members leave their old role behind to take on the role of "strategist"
  2. To be more collaborative and ensure strategic decisions flow back into the skill teams, strategy teams can be made up of skill team representatives ("links").

Let's have a look at how this is modelled inside teamdecoder.

Meet the entire team:

As we will work with 2 different kinds of circles (skill circles and strategy circles" we use the tag feature in mytpt to mark each circle either "skill" or "strategy":


Skill circles

When clicking on a tag, teamdecoder filters the view to show only elements that include this tag. Let's click on a "skill" tag:


We can see that there are 3 skills circles:

  • communication
  • websites and apps
  • data anlytics

This team has decvided, that each skill circle is lead by a "coach". So in the roles list you can find these items with the tag "skill":

  • "coach" - this is where the team defines what a coach does, independent from the circle she or he leads. That's why the additional tag "Definition" is been used here.
  • "lead coach" - 1 coach leads a circle called "coach exchange" where all coaches exchange their learnings and discuss standards. This role also ownd the 3 "skill" tagged domains:
  • trainings overview
  • recruitment planning
  • vacations list
  • and then there is 1 coach per skill circle: 1 coach for the communications circle, 1 for the websites and apps circle and 1 for the data analytics circle. 

And the last circle "Management circle" shows both tags "skill" and "strategy" - this is where the department head (role), the lead coach (role, skills) and the lead advocate (role, strategy) come together:


Let's look at 1 of the 3 skill circles in a bit more detail, by clicking on focus mode:

Skill circle "communication"

  • For the simplicity of this case, this circle contains only 1 skill: "comms manager". Patricia, Jennifer and Mary are all 3 comms manager (skill).
  • The circle lead is the single-owner ("1") role "coach communication" (red LEAD pill), which is owned by Mary (grey LEAD pill)
  • Any finally this circle has 3 LINKS into the strategy circles. The 3 circle members each take one of them (see grey pill in name card in people list):
    • Mary into business
    • Patricia into private and
    • Jennifer into shop partners

Strategy circles

Now let's go back to the standard view and click on the tag "strategy":


Here we have 3 strategy circles:

  • 1 for business clients
  • 1 for private customers
  • and 1 for shop partners

Every strategy circle is lead by an "advocate" role. You can find in the roles list:

  • "Advocate" with the tag "Definition" - where the team defines what all advocates need to do
  • then 1 advocate per strategy circle: 
    • 1 for business clients
    • 1 for private customers
    • 1 for shop partners
  • and the there is 1 lead advocate, leading the circle "advocate exchange" where all 3 advocates are members. The lead adviate owns 3 domains:
    • the projext list
    • personas that describe the 3 target groups
    • and the strategy matrix, containing the adoption of the company goals for the 3 target groups

Let's look at 1 strateg circle in a bit more detail:

Strategy circle "business clients":

  • This circle consists of 3 LINKs:
    • Mary is the representative from the comms skill circle (link: "business - comms")
    • Linda is the representative from the websites and apps skill circle (link: "business - web")
    • Susan is the representative from the data analytics skill circle (link: "business - data")
  • Linda (grey LEAD pill) takes over the lead over these 3, by being owner of the role "advocate business clients" (red LEAD pill), which is lead of the circle "business clients"

And finally let's look at the perspective of the 2 man leads:

  • lead coach (Mary)
  • lead advocate (Barbara)


  • Mary is "comms manager" (skill)
  • She is "coach communications" (role) = lead of the circle "communication"
  • In the role "coach" tagged "definition" she can read what is expected of all coached
  • In the role "coach communication" she can read what is additionally expected from her as coach for the circle communication
  • As lead coach she is repsosible for the 3 domains we met earlier
  • and she owns link into the business strategy circle
  • owning these skills, links and domains makes her member in these circles:
    • in the comms circle she is comms manager (skill), lead and link
    • as she is the link into the business circle she is also member there
    • as coach she sits in the circle "coach exchange" with all the other coaches, plus she is lead of that circle, too
    • and as lead coach she is part of the managemnt circle with the lead advocate and the department head, her boss


  • Barbara owns the skill "web-app manager" which puts her into the skills circle "website and apps"
  • She is the link of this skill circle into the "shop partners" strategy circle (see links list)
  • In this "shop partners" strategy circle she is "advocate" (role), meaning she leads this circle (see roles)
  • And amongst all advocates she is "lead advocate" (role)
  • As lead advocate she owns the domains we were looking at before
  • These skills, roles, domains and links put Barbara in these circles:
    • She is in the "websites and apps" skill circle 
      • as skill-owner "web-app manager" 
      • and as link into the shop partners strategy circle
    • She is in the "shop partners" strategy circle
      • because she is the link into the web+app circle
      • and she is advocate in this circle = lead
    • She is in the circle "advocate exchange" with all other advocates
      • she is lead here, too
      • and as lead owner of the 3 domains
    • And finally Barbara is as "lead advocate" also in the "management circle", together with the "lead coach" and the "department head"

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