10 attributes of a corporate pioneer


Building successful products and services within a corporate environment is hard. It takes brilliant design operations, a workable tech stack and a company-wide culture of invention, trust and collaboration.

Most of all, it takes people who are willing to make change happen. The ones who put themselves in the firing line to improve business as usual. The people who bring energy, optimism and new ideas to create things that drive the organisation forward.

We refer to the people and organisations that do this successfully as 'Corporate Pioneers'.

But what separates a corporate pioneer from the rest? We've listed ten key attributes they all have in common.

1. Customer needs

Corporate pioneers work to constantly understand the brutal realities of customers’ lives.

2. What before How

Corporate pioneers fall in love with problems. They challenge their thinking with other, more diverse perspectives and work to understand the often irrational reasons people make the choices they do. Only once they have a clear view of the problem do they give any thought to potential solutions.

3. Decision making

Corporate pioneers empower product leads to make decisions that bring the product closer to the customer. They prioritise customer success over fixing internal operational challenges.

4. Speed

Corporate pioneers can move quickly enough to go from a new idea to the product being in the hands of the customer within 8 weeks.

5. Cost to serve

Corporate pioneers understand the commercial and organisational realities of bringing a new idea to market. They focus investment on those few opportunities with the potential to deliver meaningful and long-term impact.

6. Revenue streams

Corporate pioneers build a pipeline of new revenue streams that complement rather than cannibalise existing propositions.

7. Structured for success

Corporate pioneers structure their organisations around the customer experience. They have strong relationships across the business and reward teams based on shared success to generate company-wide momentum.

8. Inclusivity

Corporate pioneers understand that designing for all capabilities and physical potentials will make their products better for every single customer.

9. Resilience

Corporate pioneers insure themselves against irrelevance by allocating their resources proportionally between optimising and improving the core business (70%), opening new market opportunities (20%) and making breakthrough creations (10%).

10. Experience at scale

Corporate pioneers obsess over the customer experience. They optimise the onboarding journey and make the product experience so good that people want to tell their friends. And they build the systems to scale it.

So, how are you doing on your path to becoming a corporate pioneer?

Is there anything you would add to this? Let us know - tom@activematter.co

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