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[Rendanheyi OpenTalk 2021] Zero-Distance User Engagement to Create Value Cycles

[Rendanheyi OpenTalk 2021] Zero-Distance User Engagement to Create Value Cycles

With the progress of the 5th Rendanheyi Innovation Forum "Iterating Experience, Inventing Value", the 2nd "Zero Distance Award" ceremony was held online at 18:00 on September 18 (Beijing Time). Director of Business Ecosystem Alliance, Co-Founder of Thinkers50 Mr. Stuart Crainer hosted the event to award eight winner companies from different countries, and commended them for their continuous zero-distance engagement with users.

What is 'Zero Distance'?

The concept of "zero distance" was first proposed by Haier Group, emphasizing the close connection between enterprises and users. "Zero Distance" has become the core concept of the management model in the IoT ecosystem. At the same time, "zero distance to users" is also one of the core principles of Haier Rendanheyi model. Through working as the autonomous microenterprise, user needs can be discovered in time, so as to provide users with the best value creation solutions. "Zero Distance" aims to connect users and value-creation nodes as intimate as possible, so that user needs can be immediately conveyed to the corresponding business departments.

Under the guidance of this concept, the Business Ecosystem Alliance (hereinafter referred to as "BEA") established the "Zero Distance Award" in September 2020. The award aims to commend those organizations and enterprises that continuously create value for users through zero-distance interaction with users, and aims to accelerate the transformation of enterprises from "zero defects in products" to "zero distance for users" in the era of the IoT. The concept of zero distance is the core of the management model in the era of the IoT and many management thinkers are eager to study this. More and more organizations around the world are also putting the concept of zero distance into their practice.

According to Mr. Stuart, the criteria for zero distance awards this year are still based on the six principles proposed in the article "Zero Distance to Users" published by Professor Dennis Campbell in the Harvard Business Review in 2015:

1. Having a management philosophy that allows the organization to proactively react to newly identified user needs

2. An organizational design and processes that eliminate organizational barriers that separate employees from end users

3. The use of user-focused and independent teams that can move fast and smoothly within the organization

4. End-to-end accountability for the experience of end users is taken by the company and/or independent teams

5. The systematic collection, storage and use of end user data in order to increase value for end users

6. Commitment to the ecosystem principles of openness, equality, co-creation and co-sharing

Who are the winners of 2021 Zero Distance Award?

To acknowledge their groundbreaking work of organizations in seeking to create value cycles through zero-distance user engagement, Mr. Stuart awarded the Zero-distance Award trophies and certificates to the 8 companies and organizations at the event. The following is a detailed introduction of the 8 winner companies:

MAQE (Thailand) - Learn Rendanheyi Model to Create a Humanized Future

"Zero Distance" is not made by the scale of the enterprise. As a small and medium-sized IT company in Thailand, MAQE also won the "Zero Distance Award" this year through its own practice of zero distance. In order to follow the pace of advancement in the IoT era, MAQE has resolutely embarked on the road of innovation and reform. In April 2021, MAQE officially announced on its official website that the company will embark on the transformation of the Rendanheyi model. In the future, it will continue to explore and learn to establish a microenterprise pilot team and practice the Rendanheyi concept. MAQE expressed that the "user-centered" and "zero-distance to users" advocated by the Rendanheyi model coincide with its own development concepts. At the same time, MAQE builds its own ecosystem platform, and plans to establish its own microenterprise team. MAQE will give the teams three rights, so that the organization can actively respond to user needs and achieve zero-distance interaction to users.

Robert Bosch (German) - The Concept of Zero-Distance Interaction Performed by Cross-Functional Teams

Bosch has transformed from a business-centric model to a user-centric business model. It has established a highly engaged and transparent organizational structure model, and continued to empower the team. Bosch is committed to establishing a close and intimate cooperative relationship with users and gaining high trust from users. The transformation story of Bosch has been edited as a classic case of corporate transformation. In the past five years, Bosch has transformed from 20,000 employees and 6 business departments to 50+ cross-functional teams and 6 basic businesses. Bosch shifted its core focus group from consumers to those who actually use its products, and focus on users' real needs through interacting with them instead of selling tools as consumer goods. These cross-functional teams connect engineers, marketers, and sales personnel to provide solutions around real user needs.

Mammut Sports (Swiss) - A Digital Transformation Thinking: Look at a Big Scope and Start from the Small

Mammut is committed to developing a digital ecosystem. Through the establishment of the digital ecosystem and strong partnerships, Mammut strives to achieve product diversification and user needs as the center, to achieve zero distance to users. They work with other partners that provide services for outdoor sports enthusiasts to tap the potential for huge synergies, not just focusing on the product itself. Meanwhile, Mammut include the entire organization into the ecosystem by implementing and launching new projects to recruit more employees. The executive officer Pabst said: "Looking at the big picture and starting from the small, this is an important enlightenment for the Mammut to build an ecology". Mammut Company upholds digital thinking and data-driven thinking, through digital transformation to promote zero-distance interaction to users, and provide users with diversified and personalized services.

Viisi Mortgages (Dutch) - People-Oriented Autonomous Team Promotes Zero-Distance User Interaction

The Dutch Viisi Financial Services Company was established in December 2010 and is committed to promoting the long-term development of the financial industry. They uphold the people-centered philosophy, believing that if employees have full enthusiasm and participation, other things will be self-driven and the fully empowered employees will naturally do their best to meet customer needs. In the beginning, Viisi referred to the management model of Holacracy, but with continuous practice, they found that some of Holacracy's rules were too dogmatic and not conducive to the company's sustainable development. Nowadays, Viisi’s organizational structure is very flexible. Every decision is made by the team, and every team member has autonomy. In addition, Viisi attaches great importance to user evaluation. They regard user evaluation and recommendation as the most effective publicity for the company. Their company operation method attaches great importance to user experience and needs, and truly achieves zero-distance interaction with users, which also earned Viisi the user satisfaction score of 9.8.

Cipla (India) - Create a Zero-Distance User Experience through Tracking the Whole Process of the Project

Cipla provides personalized customized services according to the different needs of users, and integrates multiple resources to meet the different needs of users (including language and technical support). Cipla provides users with meticulous service, and this can be reflected from the greeting emails and preparations before the project, the whole process follow-up in the project, and the feedback emails with user satisfaction tracking after the project. Besides, Cipla is committed to creating a zero-distance service experience with users.

Resurgia Health Solutions (USA) - Build a Network of Medical Resources on the Basis of User Needs

As a medical service provider, Resurgia has never stopped exploring innovation development in medical practice. Resurgia provides users with personalized high-quality medical on-site services to help users experience medical services at home. In addition, Resurgia also offers personalized mobile medical equipment according to the demands of different users. Resurgia manages to bulid a network of medical resource service on the basis of user needs. Thus, Resurgia can be said to have achieved zero-distance engagement with users in the healthcare industry. At the same time, Resurgia pays attention to the interaction between internal teams, encourages team members to communicate with each other, and gives teams a certain degree of autonomous rights to guide their independent innovation.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (USA) - Realize Zero-Distance Innovation on the Basis of Human-Centered Management

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts encourages teams to challenge the status quo and make breakthroughs in innovation freely, so as to establish ecological relationships with partners to jointly create new concepts. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts adopt a human-centered management method, by interacting directly with users and encouraging users to participate when designing solutions, and in addition, realizing zero-distance innovation with users.


Security Scorecard (USA) - Explore Zero-Distance User Data Engagement from the Perspective of Users

The Security Scorecard of the United Stated is committed to providing end users with security rating services, and uses constantly evolving indicators to update iterative services and products, satisfying new user needs from the perspective of users. The Security Scorecard has always kept zero-distance engagement with users, and given priority to high transparency of security ratings, so as to help end users to understand the target company's network health status.

What does it mean to win a Zero Distance Award?

In the post-pandemic age, many industries are operating in a crisis, while this is a new opportunity for the healthcare industry. In the past two years, many medical companies and institutions have seized this opportunity and started transformation. A lot of medical institutions and enterprises have recognized the concept of zero distance, and have integrated the concept of zero distance into their transformational journey. They have also achieved good results. Three medical companies and institutions including Resurgia Health Solutions of the United States, Cipla of India and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts of the United States have created value for users through zero-distance user engagement, and thus won this year's Zero Distance Award. Kevin Charles, the representative of Resurgia Health Solutions, said that the company strives to "resolve interest conflicts and contradictions between patients, insurance companies and hospitals, make the entire process fully transparent, and make sure everything is based on the patient needs." Mr. Stuart also praised that Resurgia's solution has showed "the spirit of entrepreneurship in the medical context". Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts in the United States also managed to propose new solutions for the new user needs through personalized medical services and digital systems. In addition, Cipla of India launched the "Healthcare Superstars" program to provide doctors with training services and communication channels so that doctors can obtain the knowledge they really need. In this way, doctors can make adjustment according to users' feedback and new needs, thereby providing a better service.

Almost every winner has shared their transformational journey based on the concepts of "people-oriented" and "user need first", which is similar to the "human value comes first" of Haier Rendanheyi Model. As a long-established German corporation, Robert Bosch started its innovative and transformational journey in 2016. Its representative Jochen Goeser stated that “user-oriented enterprises must have certain values ​​and purposes. If the enterprise cannot end with the begin but begin with the end in mind. Everything will become much easier." The application of zero distance is not limited to the size of the enterprise. As a small and medium-sized company in Thailand, MAQE has achieved zero distance engagement with users by learning Rendanheyi. Andreas Holmer, CEO of MAQE, said, "The Rendanheyi model created by Haier has become a great inspiration for MAQE's transformation. The human-centered concept is very important, we are trying to practicing it and we are also committed to establishing our own ecosystem. We have been reorganizing the organization in such a way that the people doing the work will have a share in the value that they create for their customers, so as to better adopt zero distance and Rendanheyi".

Zero distance is an advanced concept, representing the trend of future business development. User needs differ from each other in a thousand ways, and the IoT business model can make up for the shortcomings of service depth. Through zero-distance user engagement, enterprises can accurately grasp user needs, thereby creating more value for users. The Zero Distance Award is a leading award. Besides eight winners, more and more companies and organizations are trying to break the traditional obstacles and explore new business models. In fact, many companies also hope to win the Zero Distance Award which means their business models and ecosystems are recognized. The end of this award ceremony is not the real end for the award-winning companies, but a new beginning for their exploration of the ecological model.

Please watch the recording in Chinese here:


Please watch the original recording here:


2 October 2021 : 06:14 am


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